29 Years
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You live in my heart

Thursday, March 22, 2012
By Naymat Anayat

He would wait on me every night, hiding in the shadows. He appeared aloof, sleeping but he was always alert. He recognised my footsteps, even the sound of my bike. As soon as I entered my building, his ears would pucker up and there he would come running, charging with speed as if he will pin me down...taking me by surprise. All I could manage was a squeal and call out his name, “Brownieeeeeeeee!”

Wagging his tail, that small brown puppy would place his forelegs on my feet and look up expectantly, barking often. I would feed him a pack of biscuits everyday. He would eat it all hungrily and would pat my feet with his paws, I guess that was his way of saying, “Thank you”. On days he felt playful, he would roll over, exposing his belly and looking at me with those innocent brown eyes. I would use my feet to rub his belly, his muzzle and say over and over again, “There you go. Good boy, good boy”. After a good rubbing, he would get up and accompany me. We would both climb the stairs, me speaking and he making small whimpering, purring sounds. Reaching my door I would ask him to leave and he would go away with one last look at me, maybe saying good night.

I always looked forward to our nightly rendezvous. It had become a ritual ever since I had adopted Brownie, when he was left alone after his mother died in an accident. He had two other siblings, but even they died one by one. Brownie, all of just two months was left alone. He used to lay around my house, just like other stray dogs, but there was something about him which gave him a special place in my heart.

Years passed and Brownie grew up. He now reached my face when he stood up on his hind legs. He would rest his forelegs on my waist and sniff my bag. He knew he would get his pack of biscuits. He was my companion when I used to come home late and the streets would be deserted.

Till date, I have not figured how he sensed that I was around. He would just appear before me, as if coming out of thin air. There were other dogs too and my own pet cat at home...but no one like Brownie.

Then suddenly he stopped coming to see me. He would just laze around without acknowledging my presence. He would eat out all the biscuits I fed him but I could sense that something was wrong. He looked thin and pale.

Then he went away, just one day suddenly. He was seven-years-old. I tried searching him, but in vain. I missed him badly. I felt eerily lonely climbing the steps to my home.

A kid told me one day that Brownie had died. He had gone to a far off place and he died there. I felt like I had lost a friend, someone from family. I could not believe it. Brownie could not die!

Now that I think about it, I know exactly why he went away. He knew I could not see him dying. And I am thankful to him that I did not see him die...I still remember him the way I last saw him. Looking at me with those big brown eyes, wagging his tail. Happy. I want to remember him just like that.

Brownie lives even now. I miss him. I miss him dearly. He is my angel and I know he lives even now.

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