Brimming with unconditional love

Brimming with unconditional love

Photo for representation only

Anirudh Dhanda

A number of times, I feel that she knows it all and wants to communicate with me but I lack the sensibility to comprehend her silence. I sit in the corner of the small cot that belongs to Bano, one in the middle of three, and she holds my hand tightly close to the chest under the grip of her front two paws and gazes constantly into my eyes with ears pointing up. ‘Tu kaun hai, Bano?’ routinely I ask.

All three were brought into the house by our daughter. First came Saira, given by a benevolent donor, and then Bano, picked up from the road because Astha thought somebody might run her over. And the third, Burfee, a labrador, was a little expensive acquisition. All three are different not only in name and description but also in their nature and personalities. Saira is the senior and perfectly plays that role, keeping an eye on the other two. More on Bano, maybe because she was the one who took a lot of attention and love that hitherto was the sole property of Saira.

Only one thing is common amongst them all. They are perfectly untrained, and spoiled with love. Yet it is the middle one, the one picked up from the street, who understands our moods and follows the weakest of our commands. The senior one just ignores and the youngest plays too dumb to follow. Saira takes the treat very coyly, opening her mouth just enough to take it from your hand, Bano ignores and walks off, whereas Burfee jumps with an open jaw.

Every time we sit to have tea, they appear all around the table for their piece of toasted bread, crunchy toasts being their favourite.

We are often told by our friends that the house does not belong to us but to the dogs and we are mere tenants, pushed into one room. Whenever a guest enters the gate, all three jump over one another for a noisy welcome as Saira barks to let even the neighbours know of their arrival. English language crashes in its communication capacity. Two of us somehow stand holding on to their collars till the time guests walk past us and into the house. Then starts the race with the dogs to reach the drawing room.

Every time we are to go out for a little longer, my wife sits with each one of them and tells clearly where we are going and for how long because they start feeling morose seeing our suitcases getting packed. My daughter left for Toronto and for three days, when she was packing and repacking, they were glued to her. Every coming back home is welcomed by yelping jumps, salivating tongues, loud squealing and each one jostling to reach into our laps. No human is capable of loving so unconditionally, as they do.

They are our little companions in joy and sorrow and they rightfully own us… and all that we own.

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