The loveliest dog in the world


 

Candy

Candy’s 20th birthday is on the 10th of April. In human years, that means a hundred-and-forty years. She died yesterday, on the 30th of March.

She was the loveliest dog in the world. So human that she’d understand facial expressions. The slightest raising of one eyebrow would make her cock her head to the right side and look at you, as if to ask what’s up?

She’d go thirsty for hours, but wouldn’t drink water from a bowl. You just needed to pass by, for her to get up and start prancing around the sink, looking all happy and hopeful that you’d stop and put on the tap for her. And then she’d happily drink fresh running water.

We’d take her for picnics and she’d run around in crazy circles till she was completely exhausted. And then she’d sit quietly in the car on the ride back home.

At this same picnic spot, there was this little lake with pedal boats. Candy saw Mom standing at the opposite end of this lake, and wagged her tail and jumped into the water – and swam across to reach Mom. Of course, then she got stuck since she couldn’t climb out from the water on to the cemented edges, and looked at Mom with panic on her face – till she was pulled out of the lake.

Even though we had a male dog in the house also, she didn’t ever get pregnant till she was 6 or 7 years old. And the first time that she did, none of her pups survived. I remember taking 4 days off from school because she’d trust me to look after her pups. Also becuaes she was never a very good mother – would just get up and walk away while her pups were still feeding. All of these pups from the first litter would start shivering one by one, and all the other pups would leave that one alone – and then this horrid coldness that I’ll never forget, would start creeping upwards from their paws, and slowly each of them would just die. I held most of them when they were dying, and cry with Candy. One night, exhausted with the crying, I went to bed and left Candy on her bed with the pups, in one corner of my room. Another of the pups started shivering, and Candy gently picked up the little thing in her mouth, came up to my bed and put her front paws up and whined and cried till it woke me up. And I woke up to see her standing with her dying puppy in her mouth, and her eyes asking me to help her babies. I’ll never forget that feeling of complete and utter helplessness.

Candy would always know if you were upset. I remember crying with her sitting next to me, licking me gently.

Her favourite food was fruits. All fruits, but especially mangoes and papayas. Also, roasted sweet potato. Though I always wondered how they were her favourites, since she never chewed anything. Would just open her mouth, grab the fruit you offering greedily, and gulp it down. All the dogs in our house got two meals a day. But one of us would always feed Candy at lunch as well. After finishing our food, we’d take an extra roti and feed her whatever it was that we were having. And she loved it. She loved paneer a lot too.

Through the last 20 years, we’ve had other dogs too. But that’s all they were – pet dogs. Candy was like everyone’s baby. And she knew that too. When we got our Dachshund pup home, she spent the first 3 days being scared of this almost-hairless little black thing with long ears and a straight long tail. And soon she was dragging him around the house with one of those long floppy ears in her mouth.

She’s been steadily growing old, but the last couple of years saw her getting thick cataract in both her eyes. Her hearing went. She could always smell as well though. She had trouble standing up. And would sleep a whole lot. But she never lost her puppy-like happiness and jumpi-ness ever. Except the last week.

My brother spent two nights sitting up with her, trying to put water with Electral in her mouth, through an empty syringe. He tried papaya too. It looked like she was getting better. Yesterday morning, Mom gave her her medicine and she went back to sleep. Her breathing was raspy. And then around 10:30 in the morning, Mom was told that Candy wasn’t breathing any more.

Mom and Papa went to the community park opposite our house, dug a hole near the back wall of the ground, and buried her.

We all miss her. I can’t imagine a lovelier dog than her. And I’ll always wish I could’ve gone home to Meerut and sat with her sometime in the last week.

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11 Comments

Filed under family, home, life, love, the critters

11 responses to “The loveliest dog in the world

  1. She had good, loving family, and died peacefully.
    She looks adorable in the photograph, and the cataract in the eye can be seen clearly.
    I was amazed that she would only drink water from the tap. Dogs are amazing. She lived a very long, loved house almost 20 years.
    My deepest condolences are with you and your family.

    me: Thanks, IHM.

  2. ….doesn’t it feel like the one thing connecting you to your childhood has finally disconnected…you’re finally wholly adult…

    me: Nope, she wasn’t the only thing connecting me to my childhood – there are many, many more! And why would I want to be disconnected from my childhood? It was an incredibly happy one. And it’s made me who I am. 🙂

  3. i am sorry…the sentence above sounds so insensitive..i wish i could write better…I mourn with you.

  4. D

    I’ve never heard of a dog living for 20 years. But I know how painful it is to see a pet dying and I think it’s really pathetic how sad their end is. You must miss Candy so much and she does seem like an exceptional creature.

  5. Mom

    I feel so proud and happy to have raised 2 sensitive caring loving adults like U and Brat. Dont be sad Beta. And don’t mourn Candy. She lived these long yrs in the midst of a happy loving family.. Of which she herself knew she was an integral part. She was never ill. Or troubled. Or alone. Went everywhere almost with us. And when 2 winters back she fell ill . . As I sat thro a few cold nights with her in front of the blower on the carpet.. Warming her with hot water bottles.. I thought that was the end. Was not ready to lose her. But this last week.. Seeing the glazed eyes.. The total lack of response to any of us.. I almost hoped and prayed for her release. . Friends and well wishers advised us to have her put to sleep.. But i knew i would never be able to live with that guilt in my heart. Somehow.. Inspite of her condition.. I couldnt take her flickering life away from her. She lived.. And died.. A happy little puppy. So remember her as she was.. And let her live within all our hearts as a fond memory. Yes i miss her too. Each time i step out of my room and dont see that alert hopeful face and shiny nose. . I miss her when the door bell rings.. And i cant hear the familiar barking. I miss her each time i have a bowl of cut fruit in front of me.. And dont see the pleading face under the chair. 🙂 i miss her beta. And always will. We all will.

  6. monika

    Awww…..I am sorry about your loss. Candy sounds like such a happy & lovely dog.
    Came blog hopping here from Chandni’s.

  7. Luke

    Sorry to hear about her. I met her a couple of time. she was lovely

  8. So sorry to hear of this loss, Aanchal. My condolences to you and your family.

  9. so sorry for your loss…Candy is looking very sweet dog…Havent heard of any dog living 20yrs..you shd feel lucky that he was there with you for such a long time…

  10. So sorry to hear about your dog. We lost our first dog just a month after I left for college and I still hate it that I wasn’t there when he died 😦

  11. I’m so sorry.

    They are such a joy. Complete, unconditional love. Tubby, our pom came home to my parents after I’d gotten married but he still knows I’m a part of that house. We are now in Bombay but he actually recognizes my voice over the phone. Mom says he listen’s to my voice, cocks his head questioningly at her, and then goes and sniffs around in my bedroom!!

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