TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 6 Jun 2022
Everyone who has a dog has some interesting stories about it and other dogs. So does my family.
The first time our family started keeping a pet dog was when our son found a small puppy sitting alone on a nearby street of our home. He just put the small animal in his pocket and brought him home. It was interesting to see the puppy trying to familiarise himself to the new surroundings and to the new family around him as he quickly finished the milk placed in front of him in an old bowl of our kitchen.
We five persons in the family quickly fell in love with him. Then the important question arose — what should we call him? Names like Brownie or Raja or Gullu were debated. Finally we decided to call him Gappu. Did this name mean anything special? Yes, in Hindi, the name meant a person who talks a lot. Why this name for our pet, we could not explain but the name was short and original and finally our pet became Gappu.
As a student in USA, I rented a room in a house whose landlady had several dogs. She loved them and dressed them colourfully in different clothes. Once I asked her the reason. She promptly replied that she took one or the other of her pets to dog show competitions. ‘There are competitions for dogs?’ I asked. “Yes and I have won several prizes. I mean my pets have won” she replied proudly.
In several American or Canadian regions, teenage children leave their parents’ homes for higher education or to look for small jobs. This often leaves the parents desolate. One option for them is to increase the number of dogs or other pets and treat them like their own children. Wonderful ways of keeping themselves cheerful. Sever popular cartoons in newspapers depict people lovingly talking to their pets.
A recent photograph of a newspaper showed a dog sitting all alone on a busy street in a European town. He was travelling with his masters in a car. A horrible accident took place and both the master and mistress were fatally injured. They were taken to a hospital leaving the dog all alone. Several days have passed — the dog waits patiently for them to return. Some local people have started feeding the lonely animal.
This reminds me of Gappu. When we had to change homes after a long stay in the earlier home, we shifted every object as well as our dog to the new home. After some hours in the new home we found Gappu missing. Our frantic efforts did not succeed. Finally my wife suggested that we look for him in our old vacated home. Indeed there he sat patiently hoping we would return to that home. How faithful you are, Gappu !
It is not only a dog that dislikes leaving its home. Many people and children feel a squeeze in their hearts upon leaving their old homes. Dogs are no different in this respect. I adore you Gappu for teaching me this profound lesson.
Dr Ravi P Bhatia is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, an educationist, Gandhian scholar and peace researcher. Retired professor, Delhi University. His new book, A Garland of Ideas—Gandhian, Religious, Educational, Environmental was published recently in Delhi. email@example.com
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 6 Jun 2022.
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