One dog, two families

One dog, two families

The author with her pet

Many years ago, I was passing by the post office near my area when I spotted what looked like a goat’s kid near a garbage disposal bin by the side of the road. Upon closer inspection, I was surprised to see a little-frightened grey and black puppy. Though I was intensely tempted to, I didn’t take her home because I already had a rescued dog to care for. My neighbours, the Jethmalanis, adopted her later that evening.

That same little puppy has now grown into a beautiful dog and had a few litters of her own puppies. Her fur with peculiar patches gave her a rather obvious name – Patchy.
She’s fiercely independent and never liked the idea of being confined to the Jethmalani’s compound. During the day time, she would wander about the streets in a rather graceful way. At night, she’d return to the Jethmalanis’ and often sleep on their couch despite her having a little doggy bed. I often played with her and nicknamed her Lali, after reading about a Hindi lesson about a goat that I taught my grandson.

On one occasion, she was captured by the pound’s dog catchers. The feisty one put up a fight and ended up getting wounded. The dog catchers gave up on her and left her bleeding profusely from the neck. The traumatic experience caused her to develop a fear of chains and collars.

In September last year, the Jethmalanis sold their home and moved to another neighbourhood. Patchy resisted every attempt to transport her to their new house.
September also happened to be a rough time for our family for our dog of 13 years had passed away. I was devastated by his death for he had been my companion through the lonely and often boring days of retirement.

My grandson quickly suggested that we adopt Patchy. We all agreed to the idea and she became a part of the family soon. However, we like to tell people that she adopted us, for it really does seem that way. She quickly found spots around the house for her to hide in. She has now grown close to my grandson, Kabir who achieved the milestone of being able to make her wear a collar.

She has protected me from intruders on many occasions and personifies loyalty. The Jethmalanis still drive down to our neighbourhood every day to bring Patchy her favourite treats and shower her with affection. When she needs medical attention, my grandson and Mrs Jethmalani drive Patchy to the hospital. When she needs to be groomed, they work together as a team. She is the new sunshine in my life and has the ability to instantly cheer up everyone at home.

Both of our families are now joint custodians of Lali/Patchy and we are so lucky to have her in our lives.

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