When Tuffy gets going

Last Updated 21 January 2018, 17:48 IST

Having a pet at home has become a necessity for me. I can't even imagine my house without my dog. Growing up, my mom used to have pet dogs at home but she also took care of all the stray dogs in her lane. This habit of hers was passed down to my sister and me as well.

Even though we had  two dogs at home, we would still look after all the stray dogs which didn't have homes. We would treat them exactly how we treated our own pets Tuffy and Chintu.

Tuffy, my eight-and-a-half-year-old German Shepherd, was gifted to me when I was in the fifth grade. Now she has become the most important part of my life. I remember when we first brought her home, she used to be a very shy dog, it took her a while to get used to all of us especially since we already had a Pomeranian at home.

People who say dogs don't get attached to their owners or don't have any emotion have never truly bonded with animals. Some time ago, my sister had just left for the US and I was really missing her. I was in my room all alone crying and Tuffy sneaked into my room, sat beside me and started hugging me to try and comfort me. People might find this little gesture stupid and might not pay much heed to it, but I believe it is these little moments that truly show how well our pets understand us and care for us.

In my experience, dogs communicate mostly through their eyes, if you ever look into the eyes of your pet, you will be able to truly understand them. Tuffy communicates with me through her eyes, helping me understand her better. She also has her own unique ways of communicating with me, like when she sniffs me and realises that I had just met another dog, she will immediately start ignoring me and giving me the silent treatment. She will only communicate to me after I have thoroughly apologised to her.

But having a pet is not all fun and games, keeping them happy and healthy requires a lot of time and effort. Once you have a pet, you can no longer be selfish and just think about yourself, you will always need to think about your pet first. In a way having a pet is kind of similar to having a baby. My family finds it very hard to go on trips and holidays since we all feel guilty leaving Tuffy behind. Although we never leave her alone and ensure there is always someone taking care of her when we're away, be it a neighbour or a relative, it is still heartbreaking to leave your pets behind.

It's a devastating experience when you lose a pet, our first ever pet Chintu, who had been living with us for the last 13 years passed away when I was 14 years old.

He had been a part of the family for almost as long as me, so when he passed away it was one of the saddest times of my life.

No matter how much trouble you have to undergo in order to take care of your pets, it is all worth it in the end. The love and affection you receive from them is incomparable.

(Published 21 January 2018, 10:46 IST)

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