More than just pet dogs

More than just pet dogs

Shrividya Somanna

Coco’ was the name of my first pet dog. My fear for dogs vanished the moment Coco made her first appearance at our residence. She was a stray pup whose twin, being a male, was separated from her.

My family and I wanted a dog to guard our house situated amidst the lush green coffee estate in South Coorg. Coco was fierce, and no man dared to step our premises until she was locked inside her kennel with a piece of bun or bread, her favourite for a treat.

She always accompanied dad and me on our usual estate visits and also on our walks down the rice fields and banana plantation.    

I understood the true meaning of a dog’s loyalty when Coco was in her dying moments. Prisoned by the deadly distemper disease, no medicine and remedy whatsoever could cure her. She couldn’t lift her head, but she still accompanied dad on his estate visit. She sat after every five steps and yet she never left my dad to walk alone. On reaching home, she lay a peaceful rest that relieved her of the material world, eternally.                                                    

Oreo was Coco's pup

My family and I had decided to continue with Coco’s generation of pups. Her first pup, Oreo, however, was a victim of cancer in his later stages of life. For a human, there are support groups to share the sorrow at least socially, but it is not the same for a dog or any animal. We never knew Oreo was suffering from cancer and it was heart-wrenching when the vet told us that he was bearing the pain on the inside. My dad had decided to inject Oreo to death.

One of the most cherished memories of Coco and Oreo was the run-about game they had every time we returned back home. My dad and mom were working, and I used to travel with them to school, and so we left in the morning to return back only late in the evening. On our return, Coco would be standing near a river. Oreo would lead our car in the front to Coco, and then the two had a running race to touch the doorstep! This was a game every day!

Coco and Oreo were more than mere pet dogs for my family. We had a lot to learn from them - love, bondage, compassion and affection.

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