A Dog Story
I want to tell you people about the short but interesting life of our dog. Yesterday a very strong willed Lady was sadly waiting for her pet Ginee to undertake her final journey. May Ginee play in the eternal garden reserved for dogs.
It was this restaurant that we started frequenting with a Lab and Caravan Hound in tow. Soon enough our dogs met with the owners dog. This tall man used to be standing in the dark shadows next to his restaurants entry with his dog tied nearby. So usually when we were without our dogs my daughter who was may be 10 used to go and play with Captain yes that was his name. And became friends with the owner too. Now this owner always being in the dark waved to me but I never saw his face. We had the best service in the place it used to be open till late so in a city where it is mandatory for hotels to close at 11pm, we had no choice when our arrival time in the hotel was 12pm. Well I met this guy at a posh club and really saw him for the first time in lights. Now you must be wondering where I am going with this, but have patience you will soon see the relevance.
Finally we met over beer in the day time and I casually asked him what he does. I am number 4 in police says he. Now I was wondering what that Rank would be? Turns out he is Gangsta no 4 in the police files. Well to each his own I thought. Here was a impressive well built handsome soft spoken guy who came across as a bollywood star. And a Gangsta? Have three wives to boot.
Well it had so transpired that on my first visit to his hotel when I saw the dog and man I had been captivated by Captain’s size and had brashly asked the owner if Captain was for sale. Believe me I would not have done that had I known his background. Sure enough after a month or so the big Gun calls me to ask if I wanted CAPTAIN… and if I wanted him I was to carry him immediately. A price was fixed and I was on my way to collect Captain.
Captain comes Home!!!
A monster of a Dog (Alsatian/GSD) 6 months old and full of un-channeled energy. And totally untrained, was chained most of the time. He sees a hanky it’s gone. He fancies something… say bye to it … chewed it to bits.
I decided to unchain him. Our Dog is happy to sit at my feet. My 4 yr old son comes running and promptly falls over Captain. I was scared bad …Captain is startled growls loudly but doesn’t follow-up with an attack, no damage done phew!!!
I tried to feed him a biscuit this guy snaps it from my hand with my finger nail, a small wound was my consolation.
Well my daughter who had trained Bella the lab and Dax the hound starts Training Captain. Dax refused to do his business in front of witnesses and had chosen my living room as the most private and comfortable place to do it. Bella who was potty trained also joined in to safe guard her ownership rights I guess. So Dax as was his nature to be a rural type was sent to a friend’s friend living in a bungalow with a 2 acre compound 5 acres of farmland and a pet rooster ( they loved the looks of the wild Indian rooster and and dinner was petted…these folks actually became vegans). He is very happy there. Coming back to our dog Captain he was a fast learner and very eager to please. Now I was leaving the dog loose in a thickly populated locality that I stay in. He was free to come or go anywhere at his will. Usually he used to be sitting in front of our apartments gate. People who were scared of the monstrosity were assured by other regulars nearby that the monster was harmless. Once or twice when Captain was sleeping inside the compound and a visitor used to yell asking if the dog bites I admonished them to lower their volume or our poor dog would get scared.
At this time one of my client factories was robbed and there was a spate of robberies in that locality. I was their Landscape consultant and they needed a dog squad. Of course I volunteered. So Captain Bella Me the Missus with 2 Gardeners and Chingi a street mongrel are packed in a Jeep and we are providing security to the establishment. We had a Air gun as additional deterrent. Travel 60 kms. and secure the company from 11pm to 7 am then back home, schedule on every Tuesday. I was known as the Dog Man in that area. Our Dog Captain had a fierce reputation more so by making him bark and the sight of him effortlessly dragging a large Gardener in tow did the trick
Once I was sitting in a Garden restaurant with Captain in the same village. This place had a huge garden behind which was rented out for parties and clients were not entertained there, but being pals with the owner a table a fire and a waiter was always provided to me in this otherwise restricted area. Well I was peacefully having my drink with Captain, my car was sent to fetch my family from the city as I wanted to stay in a Motel in that village. That’s when a very High ranking Police woman with a male Police Inspector were also provided the same VIP status. The whole Area was under her Jurisdiction. Now I was hoping this lady won’t take exception to Captain. Sure enough to my dismay Captain immediately took interest in their food and reached their Table. To my relief he was well received and had a succulent bone for his effort. The owner reported to me after the party had left that this lady had commented while leaving his counter “If normal citizens can have such impressive dogs why cant the Police”. Well I was just thinking if only she knew that Captain was in the same line of business as hers what would her reaction be? And since the area was her responsibility we were helping her out. That is when this thought struck me that I was providing security with a Gangsta’s dog and I laughed till I was in tears. Then I realized it was better for all parties concerned that she did not know. We had a beautiful time ending with the kids Our Dog Captain Bella The Missus all in the Motel swimming pool the next day.
Many weekends were spent in this Motel with rides for all in a boat and a swim for the dogs(they were evicted mid stream from the boat) & ending up with a lot of mud in the car. I still remember those images vividly.
Most times Our Dog was my travel buddy in the Car. At other times he liked to lie within 2 feet of my feet preferably touching. If I change my place Our Dog follows. He used to sleep under our bed at night. Bella gave up the Competition and was much happier to be roaming around visiting a regular string of neighbors who fed her Chapattis (Indian bread). There was a particular neighbor whose bed she likes to sleep on and is never disturbed in that house. There is no communication between this family and us.
Comes the first season for both the dogs and we have a cute local belle waiting on Captain and a Handsome well built Country Prince awaiting Bella. I am sure her Indian English and Australian champion ancestors must have turned in their graves. Bella’s pups though not pure bred always commanded a price. Captains kids were adopted I would think, at least 1 of them was within 50 feet from my house.
Captain had become a very loving family dog was very social and accepted by the neighborhood. I only had 2 complaints from visitors in the 3 years that he spent being with us, that too were attributes to his size rather then any lack of protocol or misconduct on Captains behalf.
Abha had trained him well and he responded to signs. A pointed finger = sit, palm facing downwards = squat, rolling hand = roll followed with lots of tasty bites. A wave of my hand and he is inside my car through the window. We loved the evening walks on the nearby mountain. Park the car and climb the mountain enjoy the sunset with the dogs running around.
He had one peculiarity that gave him a white beard. Amongst all the many pets I had all of them were scared of crackers. Not Our Dog Captain he would attack crackers and annars a fire cracker and burnt his face skin. Latter that part had white hair looking like a graceful beard.
A very tense time used to be his shots. I had to tie him and pull the chain from under the bed in such a way that his face is under the bed me on one side opposite the vet who was in charge of the local Zoo and he had to pull on the back leg and give the shot. After that the vet and I had a relieved cup of coffee. The Vet was smart enough never to walk in our area. Captain was only relieved after he was sure the Vet had left.
One evening I found Captain barking hysterically and saw a cat had been cornered in our kitchen. Behind the fridge. It was a stalemate for half an hour after which Captains throat was hoarse and his barks were sounding more like yelps. I could not pull him away as he did not have his belt on (someone had got in the habit of pinching his belts). The cat had nowhere to go and Captain could not reach her. Finally the cats pounce made contact with Captains nose. After that day all and any cat had access to our house and I have actually seen a cat walking across a room with Captains face not a foot away. The only reaction was Captains eyes following her from entry to exit.
Alas these happy days came to a tragic end. Captain got a hereto unclear brain infection suspected dumb rabies. He looked and acted very sick and only drank water that too with his whole snout in the pail the Vet called it unreported and strange behavior and took snaps of Captain drinking water in this typical fashion for further research.
I took him to the vet in a Rickshaw one morning. After about 20 minutes he was missing. We were absolutely puzzled. As he did not have the energy to go far. In the evening a Rikshawala came home with Captain. It so happens, there’s a Rickshaw stand next door and as Captain loved to ride in Rickshaws he had just taken himself a ride unknown to the driver it was only latter when a very agitated prospective passenger informed the driver did he see Captain sprawled in the Rickshaw ( 3 wheeled Auto) . He had an unknown beast in his auto that would not budge and was growling when threatened. After a lot of commotion, a regular Rikshawala from our stand was passing by and asked the driver if he had been in our area. That’s how they got Captain home. Captain Passed away that night. I believe his last wish was to have a rickshaw ride by himself. He was very fond of the breeze in his face when we traveled in happier times. And a go getter that he was he just had his last ride! I am also sure he passed on to better world.