A twist in the tail

A twist in the tail

A twist in the tail

It all began on a cold rainy evening two years ago. My neighbour Tara had come out of her office to get a bracing cup of tea from a roadside vendor when she spotted what looked like a ball of brown fur in the drain. A closer inspection revealed that it was actually a little dog - cold, wet, terrified and filthy!

Being the kind-hearted person she is, Tara didn't think twice before she picked up the dog and brought him home. Of course, the first thing that needed to be done was to feed and bathe him; which was when Snoop, as he had soon been christened, revealed his true colours - white and brown.

The next course of action was taking Snoop to the vet to get him checked and vaccinated. It was when Snoop was returning from the vet that I first met him. We happened to be in the lift together, and this lovely fellow was licking me and jumping all over me as if he had known me all his life-of course it was love at first sight! It was also instinctual for me to offer to help them care for Snoop if required.

Little did I know how soon I would have to get into the act. The next day Tara and her husband Kaarthik went to work, leaving Snoop locked in their flat. The poor little one was scared witless-here he was in a strange place, locked up and all alone. He started barking his head off and clawing at the door in frenzy. Fortunately, I live next door to them and heard the commotion. It took a fair bit of effort to trace Kaarthik and Tara that day, but once I did, they came home on the double to release the panicked dog.

It was at this point that we started on the journey of sharing Snoop! They left me a duplicate key to their apartment, so I could bring Snoop over to my place whenever I was home, and leave him back at their place when I was not. The early days were tough - Snoop hated being left alone, and used to tear up anything he could, to show his anger. Then he had the habit of running away whenever he could - fortunately both Kaarthik and I are runners, so chasing Snoop and catching him was not really difficult!

What was difficult however was the fact that Snoop was extremely sick-probably the reason why he had been abandoned? Every week saw Kaarthik taking him to the vet for one problem or the other - the worst being recurring bouts of tick fever. It took a lot of effort and diligent care on all our parts to get Snoop to where he is today-a well settled, balanced and happy dog. But that's getting ahead of the story.

Slowly we fell into a pattern whereby Snoop spent most of the day in my home and the nights in Kaarthik and Tara's home. Over a period of time, he acquired food bowls, toys and beds in both homes. He also got quite set in his ways! Come morning, and Snoop would be straining to come over to my place, and in the evening he craved his dose of Kaarthik and Tara's affection.

He is the most loving dog imaginable - friendly with everyone who would like to be friends with him, and yet sensitive beyond belief - he knows that some people do not like dogs and so when he comes in the lift and someone else is with us, he makes it a point to go behind "his" human!

Snoop is now extremely happy with his extended family of four people. It only bothers him when one or the other has to travel. Most often it is my husband. The first time he was packing a suitcase when Snoop was around, Snoop tried to get into the suitcase! So now packing gets done only when Snoop has retired to bed!

Sharing a dog was not something I ever imagined doing, and yet given our busy working lives, the fact that we live in nuclear families, and don't have a great deal of household help, doesn't it make perfect sense?