The ultimate hunter

It was my first meeting with Rocky and he scanned me with his sharp eyes. No girl ever likes anybody staring at her with suspicion and disapproval. But there was no “dislike” option left for me as my mom even insisted I put his photos on Facebook, a less laborious way to hog limelight.

He had a domed forehead, strong jaws and brown eyes. I have heard myriad tales of his superhuman courage, indisputable loyalty and daredevil acts. An ultimate hunter, Rocky, the German Shepherd, was my mom’s pride and neighbours’ envy. Mom is not a Maneka Gandhi-type, but the doggy’s arrival catapulted her otherwise monotonous post-retirement life into a thriller of sorts.

Rocky was downright dangerous for fish-loving feline beauties, mongooses, bothersome beggars, the neighbourhood mongrels wandering in the streets and potential thieves. Whenever a mongoose made a tactful move on its prey, the chickens hastily took shelter under the no-less-palatial enclosure of the muzzled hero whose barks forced the faint-of-heart to beat a hasty retreat.

For reasons unknown, we shared a cold vibe. When I screamed to get the newspaper lying near the gate, he was little amused. But, he was quick to decipher mom’s secret code and in the nick of time, he grabbed the paper; re-enacted the moonwalk on the face of a neta shedding crocodile tears on terror attacks. Then he surrendered the ripped piece of paper in front of mom.

“Don’t mind. He always had a thing for newspapers...” she said in a cover-up act. Mom never believed that a dog should be treated like a dog only. When it comes to love, mothers switch off their brain. Still basking in the glory of his recent escapade, “the Rockstar” sat on the floor, perhaps dreaming of a rocking career in journalism.

Soon a self-styled trainer arrived. Gopi worked hardly, boozed wholeheartedly and often came up with harebrained ideas. Only mom was sure Rocky would learn tricks that could even land him an enviable job in Osama killers’ team.

His fierce barks invariably reassured his princely status at home and strangely bruised my ego as I realised even dogs could give aging parents a new lease of life. Once grow up, offspring in pursuit of happiness rarely give them chance to shower their affection.
Roosters thrived under the patronage of the ultimate saviour. The young chick with a Bipasha Basu-facade always toddled around his cage.

It was Gopi’s idea to let the doggy out to end the mongoose menace. The ferociously barking Rocky jumped out of the cage, rushed towards the tamarind tree where we could spot a mongoose. Chickens were running helter skelter. Awestruck, we were awaiting the moment. His animal instincts were more explicit. In a move well suited to an audaciously proud hunter, Rocky pounced on his prey with utmost precision. In a pool of blood, there lies the featherless Bipasha chick! RIP.

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