Knight in shining armor

Knight in shining armour

RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE

Representative image. Credit: iStock Images

One fine hot morning in May, I opened my front door to see a puppy in a really precarious shape huddled in front of it. He had been mauled badly and infested by maggots.

Being an avid lover of dogs I just could not leave him to his own fate. I rushed him to the vet who said that his infections were bad and the chances of his survival were slim. The tiny warrior battled on and regained his strength and appetite after almost a month. His bark with all the chutzpah he could muster was just music to my ears.

Already a parent to four dogs, my mind baulked at the idea of a fifth dog. But fate had a different tale in store. It was the height of the Covid and we were unsuccessful in finding a home for him. A part of me was relieved at the thought of keeping him as by now I had fallen in love with him head over heels.

However, territorial wars began among the canines shortly. Our pint-sized dynamite held his own and soon established his place in the hierarchy. I named him Vetri, meaning victory, in my mother tongue Tamil. After all, he had defied death and emerged victoriously.

His antics were the bane of our lives. He ate up slippers, remotes and chargers. Not one cushion was safe with him around. He specialised in pulling out clothes from half-open cupboards and sitting on them rather proprietarily.

The days flew by, and Vetri was firmly ensconced in our lives. Every evening he and I would walk. Defying all rules of his training, he would lead the way cocking a snook at other dogs and barking whenever he felt that his authority had been challenged.

On one such evening, as we were walking, I felt my head spin, lost consciousness and fell down. When I woke up an hour later I found myself in my bed surrounded by the worried faces of my family. I was told that I had been found on the road with Vetri standing next to me, though his leash had slipped out of my hand. It was he who led the people who found me to my house.

It was amazing that Vetri had the instinct to know that something had gone wrong and waited patiently for someone to come by. If he were a normal dog with all his faculties intact, it would not have been unexpected, but coming from a dog who was born blind, it was surely surprising.

Vetri was a beautiful life lesson to me, being born blind but establishing a place of his own in this world which is very intolerant of imperfections, with the intellect and instinct.

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