I’m all excited..woof !

I know bloggers, I havent blogged too much in the past. I have been one busy person the last few years. A ton of change happened around me and I was too busy trying to explain to my folks that it was normal and teaching them life lessons. Boy! they are slowww learners. So I moved into my own two-storey home in the center of this bustling city called Chennai. I grew up in beautiful colonies filled with so many brown-tailed pretty girls and a lot of my friends who like me, moved to different places. Let me give a quick recap before I can start harping about my current excitement.

I dont like chennai all that much. I was born here but mostly grew up in front of the air conditioner. Hence I liked that roti-eating, mountainous cold place called…doon. I had an excellent staff who looked after my every need, enormous space to run and dig, ( I dont know why no one gives me any credit for that excellent garden I helped them make ) and some fans. I really liked the cold weather where I had my bed next to the heater and my staff would put on socks and jackets for my walks. Ah, whatte life. Chennai so far, has been pretty drab in comparison.

Its hot. Really really hot. I make mom and dad turn on the AC for me from 10 am and turn it off only when it rains. It rains pretty hard too. Dad explains that the sea is nearby and we get something called a cyclone which came as recent as last week and I dont like them at all either. Thankfully, dad’s blanket is good enough to cut off the sound and mom got some fabulous curtains so I don’t see any lightning. But coming back to Chennai, its dirty. Extremely dirty. I have to cross tons of human shit and other kinds of shit, not to mention carve my space in this rowdy city full of gangs that hide under rickshaws and parked vans. I hate them. I like a couple of guys living in the next lane but they are always angry and irritated and really big. My parents call them German Shepherds. Big annoying fellas. Don’t go near one if you spot one. There are a couple of cats that live next door. I dont mind them at all, but they are always meowing in my presence and mistake my calls for threats. Sigh, if only they understood.

I am very loved in my apartment. I maintain a small garden in the patio and lounge there when its not too hot.I found some really tasty food too. I really like McRenett’s milk bread, nilgiris’ paneer and Grand Sweets’ mixture. I can tell when Mom or Dad shop there. Its for me only mostly. Every week. I miss my Chotu and Chimmy though. Chimmy was a visitor since I was a kid but Chotu has gone off somewhere lately. I miss her a lot. I keep hearing a voice that sounds like her every sunday on one black machine that my dad or mom turns on, but I don’t know where she went. She misses me too, I know. We never spent a moment away from each other until two years ago. She left with Dad and these two big boxes and I thought she’ll be back in sometime but she never showed up for a year! Her last trip was fantastic. I showed her around and she met my friends. She left crying so hard, I couldnt even go and see her off at the door. Ah, sad times.

But hey, dad tells me she is coming. And mom too. I have to show mom the things I discovered under the sofa which the stupid maids never clean. I have missed her and her fruit bowl so much for the past half-year. Chotu is coming! That makes me doubly excited. I can’t wait to race with her to the terrace or show her how my efficiency at chasing crows has astronomically increased. I wish I could go visit her but everyone tells me the journey is terrible. My family will of course not put me through anything worse than a yearly injection. But its nice with mom and dad. Chotu and Chimmy know some of my secret tricks but mom and dad dont. Hence I keep myself entertained.

So folks, Happy New Year. What a start I’m gonna have. First Chotu and then Chimmy. Mom and Dad at home. There is nothing else I could ask for.

Loads of Love,

Whisky

Feeding a fussy eater

Fussy eaters are always a problem and when the party in question cannot talk in human language, the problem is multiplied by a neat factor of 10-50 depending upon his highness’s mood. Yes, I am talking about my Whisky. (You should know who he is by now)

So the day starts with a compulsory walk and the expert urinologist takes to his work immediately. What would be an otherwise brisk 45 mintue walk is converted into an hour what with his careful analysis of every tree and the various parapets all over the colony. Of course it is an hour if you exclude those days when he meets his enemies and then gets irritated and barks at everything he sees or asks for a ride on your shoulders. But mostly, the morning walks are the easiest part of the day.

Then comes ladies and gentlemen, the toughest portion – feeding. I have only heard of Tenali Raman making his cat wary of milk by burning her tongue everyday. My dog here, is a complete natural. Give him no food and he is the happiest you can find.
His feeding is an elaborate procedure. The milk needs to be cold, the curd fresh (even if it is a little sour, it is rejected by him instantly), the rotis need to be finely mashed, the papaya pieces sweet and eggs (only yellow please – though we force the whites in ) and the whole concoction needs to be frozen to an extent that it falls in the shape of the bowl into his. Then the spooning starts. Yes, spooning.

He had his share of histrionics from the start. He spotted those interesting vessels called casseroles and wanted his food to fall from that. So everyday his food would be mixed and kept, transferred to a casserole and then emptied from it in his presence. His highness would then give a smug smile and slowly approach his food. He loved bringing potatoes from their basket in the kitchen and making a nice pile under the dining table. Only the putting back would be my task. He loves toppings – biscuits, cake, sweet (all banned) but once he knows some such thing is in the house he wont let go without some sprinkling of those on his food. Never a non-vegetarian, he dislikes most dog food though he ate Pedigree for a couple of years (in a totally unrecognizable form – soaked in milk,mashed to a Cerelac consistency). He even took to eating the Caviar we got in so many tins thanks to Dad’s Russian friends. Only to get bored in a month and then run away with the same speed from it as we did.

Whew, its not been easy feeding him all this time. Every choice of his took twice as long to be found since he cannot tell us exactly what he wants ( though now we have a fairly nice idea what it would be like – full of salty and sweet dishes – even dogs like their level of junk you see).

Now you know why I say – Its busier at home. 🙂
Muah Whisky.

Splash!

I swam after a long time today and it felt heavenly. Swimming is by far the most pleasurable sport in my opinion. I have been swimming since I was seven and a half years old. I remember the time I just moved into Chennai, constantly nagging my dad that I wanted to swim. I dreamt about snorkeling among the fishes, diving like those olympic champs and never missed watching a swimming event in the Olympics.

I remember my first swimming lesson. My first teacher was a fisherman, a dark stout man with a huge paunch, quite a contrast to the fit and flexible swimmers I had imagined. The light blue water sparkling in the sun was an extreme tempation. Honestly, as I went through the lessons, I felt swimming come almost naturally to me and tanned myself badly (We didnt know that sunlight and chlorine was perhaps the worst combination for the skin colour. A tan from which I am still recovering!!!). I was way ahead of the class and was eager to start jumping off the diving boards. I remember an amusing incident when I was a little hesitant to swim in the 22 feet deep side of the pool the first time. I told him, “Sir, I’ll drown!”. He replied cooly, “Then drown maa!”

Today was the first time for someone else though. Yes, it is none other than whisky. I always take him to the pool. He keeps barking and whining at home otherwise. So today was no different, he was tied near the edge where he likes to keep a watch on me, barking at the crows and sitting like a sphinx on the starting blocks. As I completed my lap and approached the end, I felt someone kicking near me. I got a start since the pool was empty otherwise. I looked up to find whisky enjoying himself in the pool though the chain was beginning to choke him.I untied the chain and let him go. He happily splashed around almost giving me the “Oh-so-this-is-what-the-fuss-is-all-about” look. He kept swimming, even trying the backstroke. We both splashed each other with water, his face gealming with delight.We raced each other around the pool, he even trying to bite my ankles as I moved ahead. I must say, it was the best swim I ever had!

Whisky’s made his peace with the pool. He sat contendedly outside, looking at the water like a conquered mountain peak. I am sure though, tomorrow he’ll want more! ( Or maybe, I do! 😀 )

Happy Birthday, Whisky.

It has been ten years today that you, my delightful little pooch, were born. These ten years with you were perhaps the best I have ever had. You came into my life that hot May afternoon, a little bundle of fur with the cutest little back eyes and ears that were partly folded. I was the first to take you in my arms before you sniffed me gently and settled on my lap as I looked at you with wonder. Watching you grow up has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. As a little girl of under 12, I for the first time understood what it was to love someone so deeply and responsibly bring you up almost single handedly. Your illnesses, the way you used to hide in the dirtiest corners or the way you went about using my room as a toilet at night times, to the times you used to prance about the house, run over the sofas, bite the cushions or even try to lift heavy shoes and put them on the bed or every time that I feel sad or bad, you are always there, pink tongue, folded ears with the licks that drip with love, everything has been one amazing journey of my life.

You definitely are the king of our house. Everyone dotes on you. You sit with mom and give her company while she cooks in the kitchen, occasionally picking up a potato and biting it just for fun. You always are awake to receive chimmy even when she comes back from office at odd hours or give Dad company on his early morning walks or wait for him by the door everyday without fail when he comes back from the office. You love chasing crows, barking at the milkman and driver, biting your own paws just to irritate me or push my books away when you feel I am not listening or looking at you. Each and everything you do, is perhaps the most innocent and most beautiful things any living being can do. Let it be that you are very choosy about your food and most of our dinner-table discussions are about what to feed you or the way you have bitten off my favorite stickers or the blankets or each sock of dad’s. Every time I come home, more than anything, it is for you. I dream for days about the little angel who would be vigorously wagging his tail and waiting for me at the door with all the love in the world.

I have scolded you the most, punished you in the most novel ways (including making you stand in the attic) or even yelled at you for many of my things that you have destroyed. But Whisky, there is no moment in my life for all these ten years where you haven’t been there. I speak no end about you or your doings to all my friends and every day I wake up hoping to find your cute face looking at mine trying to wake me up or feel your warmth as you curl up under my bed sheet.

Your sleeping chair, the bathing times we had when you loved to sneak in when I was having a bath or when you barked and called your towel from the shelf when you were wet, hoping it’d come , the way you proudly show off your toys or simply love playing football around the house or the best being, when you dig holes in the ground or hide cricket balls in the mud whenever the boys next door hit a six, never once giving it back, the way you waited to be dressed patiently in your socks and sweater or ate eggs at your favourite restaurant or waited for me to pull out all your ticks or never hesitate to ask for belly-rubs no matter what, are some of the things I keep remembering all the time. Today, I am forcefully sitting miles away from you, thinking about you and wishing you the best of everything for years to come. May you find more caterpillars to play with, more balls to bite, more socks to chew, more of your favorite things to eat and most importantly have the best of everything in the health department.

Though I know, dad and mom will celebrate your birthday as always, I wish I could be there to watch that expression of innocent wonder which asked me the first time in awe ,”Is this entire piece of cake for me?’

I love you so much. I wish you could read and reply with your contented ‘Woof!’

Happy Birthday once again, Whisky. I don’t know what I’d have done without you.