By Dr. Kuhu Roy

Dixa Babu came home to us under the most challenging of circumstances in 2021. Our association with him dates back to 2007, when he used to sing bark to welcome either of us, Maa or me, every day. It was followed by a tight push in an attempt to make us fall. He was a brat, a right-hand man to Mukhiyaji, the group leader, and together they went about throwing their weight to bully Fringy and Socks, the other pack members. A stray dog is often termed dangerous even if he barks, so our Dixa Babu fell in that category although all he had to offer to mankind was unconditional love. He would rub his head on our clothes for extra attention.


When Dixa Babu lost Mukhiyaji in April 2020, to a run-down, he began to age all of a sudden. Stray dogs do mourn and grieve the loss of their pack mates. For two days, he skipped food. Thereon, he became a silent shadow of his former jovial self.

Coincidentally, when Dixa Babu started to show signs of vision impairment is the day COVID struck us. I had him picked up by a private vet to ensure his safety when either of us could not tend to him. As soon as the quarantine got over, I rushed to the clinic to get Dixa Babu home. When I picked him up on my lap, a cleaner said, “People abandon breed dogs in old age and you are taking a blind stray dog home?” I welled up.

With homecoming, it was our turn to sing lullabies to Dixa Babu. He became a pup who loved to throw tantrums. He snored while I worked. His heart had also grown weak due to advanced age, but he snuggled to me when his heart did not pump well. Although at one point he lost his vision totally, his sense of smell and hearing became supremely powerful.

On the first of June, 2021, Dixa Babu left staring at me with opaque eyes. It was not easy, because tending to him had become a habit. But there was solace in knowing he did not die of neglect at a shelter, but rather came home to live the last fifty days of his life to the fullest.

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