A Beautiful Child | Flash Post 444
Button, do you remember the day she came home? It was October 6, 2019 at 6 months of age. Our previous stray who was rescued and brought home when she fell from the arms of a chattering group of monkeys had just passed and your didi’s hawk eyes—which never misses a single case of hapless and abandoned animals—narrowed down on a three-legged dog looking for a home. She had met with a bad train accident that had also left her with a missing front leg, a smashed jaw that needed multiple surgeries to be reconstructed.
Can I take over from you?
Of course you can.
Instead of writing the usual rona/dhona stuff, I suggest we write a post where we talk about the joys she brought to our lives and every bit of love she was able to squeeze out of us. I’ve heard that strays are the best watchdogs. She was and anyone who entered her territory had a huge sum to pay because she’d go straight for the jugular. Barring didi’s.
Mojo, our 13 year old Labrador, is a real darling. She is super confident of the ample space she occupies in our hearts and has never raised an eyebrow to question our frequent decisions of bringing home other pets. When our three-legged friend came home, the first thing she did was walk up to Mojo and pay her obeisance and curl up beside her. Mojo’s reaction was one big woof as if to say—Yes, kiddo, I see you. But I won’t share my food with you!
I remember the speed with which she’d chase Messi, the ginger cat, all over the house. She’d walk into the kitchen promptly at 1 in the afternoon and at 8 every evening for meals. Mojo also took it upon herself to toilet-train her. While Messi and she were pals, her relationship with Mojo was one of respect. When she turned aggressive—maybe due to some pain or discomfort at the way she was being handled—we would call out to Mojo and she would instantly calm down.
She was considerate up to a point. Even after the condition of her spine—that had snapped into two because of the train accident—deteriorated paralysing the lower half of her body, she’d signal her caregiver that she was ready to be picked up by raising her left shoulder and support her weight on her front leg while being relieved. She loved Dost dearly. You recall how she would drag herself to get close to him. It’s not like she wanted to be fed. All she wanted was to lie at his feet and go to sleep but, at the same time, lie low and grab Messi every time he sauntered past. That was his way of tempting her to get up and play with him like old times.
I felt Messi went into depression after his now one-legged friend stopped responding to the fun and games they indulged in earlier though she tried her best. She’d growl at him and try to grab him every time he tried to burrow his head under her shawl and show disapproval every time he woke her up by scratching the fabric of the sofa she sat upon.
Her passing away will be a little more difficult for us to come to terms with because she was a special needs kid and you live with the guilt that you could have perhaps done better by her—maybe spent more time with her or consulted with more vets or surgeons or mobility equipment makers (we consulted many; tried out multiple things, suggested by medical and mobility experts) or instead made, her life a little brighter or taken her out for car rides or to Chowpatty beach to sit on the shores of the Arabian Sea and watch the sun go down.
Perhaps. But I’ve also been witness to everything barididi did for her. From consulting with several vets to getting a pram designed such that she could take her out for some fresh air or searching on the internet for various ways and means by which she could make her life that much more comfortable. And it didn’t stop at that. She tried everything she could but nothing worked and, then suddenly one morning, Malala was gone, leaving us all heart broken and empty inside.
Her passing away was so sudden. I’d like to believe that she is somewhere, whole and painfree, running around in fields of yellow mustard and having the time of her life.