By Kuhu Roy
It was three weeks since two super senior dogs of the house; Guchguch and Disco, had left in a span of just five days. Home was quiet, definitely. Chhutki was lost out because she was in the habit of caring for Disco, being her nurse dog. Ghoplu tried to cheer Chhutki up. Chamgi was dented because she gave company to Guchguch. Natasha was heartbroken because she had a soft spot for Guchguch. Jammy, who was recuperating from the near fatal ordeal, remained to herself while Rapunzel slept for most of the day. Tweeky, the peace keeper of the house, observed the unnatural quiet. His adoptive children; Chhutki and Ghoplu, whom he had raised along with Orange, were not playing.
It was the evening of the thirteenth of December, 2020. Maa was tensed. She had received a call from a milk booth manager that an injured pup had surfaced in his area out of the blue and that Calvin and his gang, the local dogs, were bullying the little one. Maa was perplexed. It was a hundred percent sterile area, all the stray dogs of the area were sterilized and vaccinated against rabies. Then where did the pup come from? She asked the milk booth manager to take care of the pup for the night and that she would come the following morning for the pup. She asked me, “Where will the pup go? There is not one unspayed female dog in the area!” “Think someone dropped her off?” “With the adoption tamasha and failed fosters and homing based on marketing, no wonder the pup would have been dropped off to live its fate.” Her phone rang one more time. “Yes, I will be coming for the pup tomorrow,” she said with affirmation and a little sterneness in her voice. After she hung up, I asked, “Now what?” “A group of ten animal lovers have come to pick up the pup.” “Ten people for one? What a wastage of human resource.” “They wanted to take her but Jeetu bhai asked them to speak to me first.” “Glad he did that. These ten people would toss the pup from one to other and eventually leave it in a shelter or back on the streets or give away to somewhere at random under the pretext of adoption.” “Which brings us back to the question, what to do with the pup?” “I think we both know what the answer is.”
On the afternoon of fourteenth of December, 2020, hiding her face in Maa’s lap, arrived a month old pup, a she, brown furred with kohl eyes. I brought the tiny fur ball to my room that was vacant after Disco had left. She slept for two hours at a stretch. At the door, Ghoplu and Chhutki were overdoing their snouts as they tried to take as much information as they could about the new entry at home. All the dogs at our home were welcoming to the new needy ones who came home, always. But, they were either adults or senior. Would the canine members of our family accept a pup this time? The little one, in the meantime, was an over affectionate pup. Her two inch long tail could just not stop wagging nor her tongue could stop licking my face. She had a bloodshot left eyes, an injury she had sustained on the roads, that healed in a week’s time. We named her Zenobia.
Zenobia was Disco and Guchguch sent to break the quiet in the house. Our home was taken by storm with the entry of Zenobia. Chhutki became an adoptive mother to the young one, Ghoplu, an uncle, Chamgi, an aunt, Tweeky, a grandpa, Natasha, a teacher, Ronaldo, a snooty uncle, Rapunzel, a grandma and Jammy, a no-nonsense aunt. Chhutki took over the responsibility as she groomed the pup, disciplined her and cared for her like a biological mother would. A welcome change was; Chhutki and Ghoplu began to play once again. The energy levels were ostensibly high as Zenobia was a hyperactive pup. The play sessions also involved hands on self-defence training for Zenobia by Chhutki and Ghoplu. Tweeky, the peace keeper of the house, lost all his peace with Zenobia, as she landed on him every now and then during the play. Chamgi lost her cool every time Zenobia went to sit on her day time bed in the open. Zenobia tried to win even Kaniya’s heart, but being the loner that he is, he did not entertain her at all. Zenobia found all her love in her Gran Rapunzel, for the doting grandma she is to her. Zenobia loved Chamgi as much. When Chamgi left us untimely, Zenobia even went to lick her face to get up and scold her, like she always did. It was the first blow with reality that Zenobia had. Jammy, who until then was reclusive, opened up because of Zenobia. The two are now the best play mates. That they have an approximate six years age difference, really does not matter to them.
Zenobia came home to us with a purpose. She is the harbinger of happiness. As she completes one year at her home today, we continue to see the naughty pup in her. We also see the goodness of Chhutki coming to her, non-genetically, as she cares for anyone who is ailing. She also gives company in all the house chores and is a curious dog who is not scared of anything ever. Because of this trait, I can see a little bit of Butter in her as well.