Can A Lie Ever Be Welcome?
Can Unconditional Love Overcome Barriers?
It was the beginning of May 2007. I was excited and tired at the same time. We had finally decided to start construction of our dream home in a plot we had purchased. The ground breaking ceremony was held the previous week and yesterday, we were up all night at the site praying for the borewell to hit the water source.
I was lazing around the house when my husband Rajesh, came home with a Dalmatian puppy who was around 75 days old. I was shocked as he knew that I was petrified of dogs. I would not visit friends & family who had dogs in their house or insisted that they leash the dog and keep it close to them while I sat at the other end of the room. This fear was deep-rooted and went back to my teen years when I was chased by a Doberman on a dark night.
So I was unable to understand why Rajesh had come home with a puppy. I asked him what was he thinking and did he want me to leave the house. Rajesh assured me that this was a temporary fix for just a few hours and he was only transporting the puppy to his sister’s house. He said that the puppy belonged to his friend’s neighbor and they wanted to give him away because their older dog was not accepting the new pup. I hunted for some plastic bowls and asked Rajesh to give the puppy some water and biscuits. In the evening my husband took the pup to his sister’s house and I heaved a sigh of relief.
Two days went by. I was busy with my office work and planning for the new house and so forgot all about the pup. It was late evening, when the phone rang suddenly. It was my sister-in-law and I assumed it was a random call made to generally chit chat. But she asked to speak to Rajesh. The pup had scratched my nephew who was very little at that time and they had decided to find another home for the pup. So the pup was back at my place – again ‘temporarily’. Since I had a corporate job at that time and my office was at quite far, I was away for most of the day. I graciously agreed to let the pup stay in my apartment till a permanent home could be found. My condition was that he would not come anywhere near me.
Truth be told, I was feeling very sorry for the pup who had to change multiple homes in under 3 months. I was brought up to be accountable for my actions, whatever they may be. So in this case, my sense of responsibility extended to my husband’s actions as well. Since we had taken the pup out of a home I felt it was our moral responsibility to find him another good home. I told Rajesh this and reassured him that I would adjust for the few days that we would need to find a good home. Since it was only for a few hours a day when I was home, I felt I could adjust if it meant something good for the pup.
A fortnight passed by and the pup was still at home. Every time I asked, Rajesh said he was seriously looking for a home but nothing was materialising. In the meantime, he had started taking the pup with him to the construction site of our new home as he was spending most of the day there supervising the work. I could see a bond developing and was internally panicking because I was scared of hurting either of them emotionally but was also not prepared to live with a dog on a permanent basis.
A few more days passed by and the pup was still at home. Though he was never left free in the house because of my fear, Rajesh had slowly started making him sit on the sofa with us. But I always ensured that he was at one end of the sofa while I was at the other and that Rajesh was always in-between.
Every day I came home in the evening to his excited barks and wagging tail. And this had slowly opened up something in my heart. Since he was not getting in my way, I naively assumed that life could go on as it was currently.
Then two incidents occurred which proved to be a turning point in the story. The first was a tiff with a worker at the new home which was getting built. I would visit the site on weekends to take stock of the progress. One weekend, some new workers had come in and one of them kicked the pup because he was playing near the place where he was working. I was furious and gave him an earful. Afterwards, I was surprised at myself and the sense of oneness that I felt with the pup. The second incident happened soon after. While I was at work one day I got a call from Rajesh saying that he was at the vet and that the pup had eaten something because of which he was throwing up. He had lost a lot of energy, was not able to keep down food and they were giving him drips. All day, I was unable to concentrate on work and that evening I came home to a very tired pup. He still tried to show his pleasure at seeing me with a feeble wag of his tail, while lying down on his bed. I had no knowledge about dogs and thought that we were about to lose him when I saw him like that. So for the first time, without one iota of fear, I wholeheartedly caressed him.
That was the first day that I accepted that Scotty (yes, that was his name which I had rarely used because I did not want to get attached) was here to stay and that he was my family. And that was just the beginning of a beautiful journey that changed my life forever.
After a few years, during a casual conversation Rajesh told me that after he brought back Scotty from his sister’s house, he didn’t really look for another home. Somehow, he got the feeling that we would become his permanent home and so he kept pushing his luck with me. By then I was too much in love with Scotty to actually care about the deception. In fact I only felt gratitude towards him for having brought Scotty into my life.
This is a true story of how Scotty came into my life. He is the reason why my blog exists – it was his loss after 10 years that made me turn to writing as an outlet for my sorrow, through Forever In My Heart.