An ultimate act of love

A major arm injury last year changed my life, and my dog Shunti's life, forever.

Last December, as I set out on an evening walk with my husband and two pet dogs, it seemed like any other day. Little did I know that in just a second my life would get a huge jolt! I fell flat on the road, just a few metres away from my home, and had a major arm injury which changed many things in my life for nearly a year! But I won’t dwell upon those things here.

My pet Shunti, who would only wait for a chance to be unleashed to take off freely on her rounds, behaved very differently that day. As my husband tended to me, she, along with Scooby, stood shocked, staring at me. After that, I was hospitalised for a couple of weeks and when I returned home, we could not let the dogs in due to my medical condition.

Thus, Shunti’s life changed forever too. She, who loved to spend most of her time inside the house with us and sleep in our bedroom, had to be kept out in the garden all the time. My husband was very busy nursing me and taking care of so many things at home, that he hardly found time to spend with her. She was mostly attended to by my maid, except on days when my husband stole time to take her on a walk. I saw her only during our trips to the hospital, as she stood at the gate watching us with a sad look in her eyes. I was sad too that Shunti had to go through that phase.

While I was still recovering, my daughter delivered her first child. By then, Shunti lost control over her stools  and, once again, we could not let her in because of the baby. Thus, Shunti suffered loneliness and depression for nearly seven months. She was being treated by a good vet but she refused to take any medicines. If we mixed the medicines with food, she would not touch the food too. Even on earlier occasions, when she fell ill, the only way medicines could be administered was through injections.

Of course, after I recovered, I did spend time with Shunti now and then, though I was too busy with my daughter, the little one and my physio sessions.  However, that did not satisfy Shunti.  “Why am I being neglected?’ her expressive eyes asked us. My husband
and I suffered more than she, unable to convey how much we loved her!

Then, my son invited us to Canada.  We were worried about Shunti’s health and wondering in whose trustworthy care we could leave her during our travel. We discussed the matter with our dog-loving friends and relatives, as my maid was hesitant to take care of a sick dog. We also spent the maximum possible time with Shunti and tried to reassure her that everything was normal and she would always be our favourite.

But looks like Shunti sensed our plans and our concern over her health. On  July 29, when we called her for a walk, she was very unresponsive and tired. We coaxed her and took her out on a short walk. She struggled to cover even that distance and kept looking at our faces all the way. She had not eaten anything since that morning. Once home, we tried feeding her some biscuits and milk but she just lay down, showing no interest.

We were all worried and kept checking on her every few minutes. At about 11.30 pm, we went to her and were shocked to find her motionless. Yes. Perhaps, she thought this was the only way we could go on our trip without worry. Shunti, whom we had adopted from CUPA when they decided to put her to sleep back in 2007, met a natural end, but not without causing us intense grief!

As I walk down the streets of Calgary and see people walking with their dogs,  my heart cries and I long for those happy times with our dear Shunti. I miss her! Her morose eyes will always haunt me. May her good soul rest in peace...

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