Up the Stairs

It's an overcast day. We have been having a lot of these lately- dark grey clouds wander over to increase our rates of perspiration and excitement by threatening to burst, only to depart after a mild, blink-and-miss drizzle. Sensing a pattern, I decide to make the most of the cool evening air by strolling around on the terrace. It has been a while since I've been back home but the dismal weather had kept me from venturing out on the terrace. Plus, Carey and I have enough of a playground in the driveway & the leisurely evening walk. However, today, we hobble up the stairs to the terrace. Hobble, because the right hip has gone somewhat stiff (I read online that that's genetic in GSDs) or maybe because we have to sniff out the rats lurking around the old items stacked alongside the stairs. Either way, its one excited, yet slow, step at a time.

The terrace is a beautiful, large expanse of concrete and brick littered with Carey's hoard of items to play fetch with (three dried mango seeds, two chewed sticks, one empty cup of yogurt and so on...). Though the view is not of the lush green fields we had been habituated to in the old house, the Ashoka trees and flower laden creepers give us nothing to complain about. It is a quiet, peaceful neighborhood and birds begin to gather around as we start play. Carey acts as goalkeeper as I proceed to kick the 'ball' (in this case a mango seed) around the 'park'. You'd think an old dog would grow out of such behavior but this one's still a kid at heart (and shouldn't we always be, too?). So, it is kick and guard, kick and guard till I notice big, round droplets forming on the ground- Rain! Run for cover! Carey is loathe to return- she doesn't have to worry about drenched clothes and impropriety; and the showers add the zing to her game- but, return we must.




Now, I'm relaxing on a bean bag with the AC on for the rain died almost as soon as we rushed downstairs and the dog has gone to sleep clutching an old ragged cloth in her mouth. But, with the trip to the terrace, at least my will to write has arisen.

Carey is now a senior dog- she had her tenth birthday in February. She is happy and healthy and greets each day with a wagging tail. It is nice to have a dog grow up in front of you- you get to become acquainted with its habits and get a fair idea of what might be scheming in the old bugger's head. The wily pooch also learns to tolerate your moods and the household's charter of 'Crime and Punishment' gets firmly embedded in its head (along with the loopholes and clauses, of course). As for vision and hearing loss, I do actually recall Carey not paying much attention to instructions involving sitting still and not stealing my food from the table- but it may be a strange case of selective hearing or just good old doggy wisdom.

Anyhow, the point I am trying to drive home here is that your dog (or cat or parrot or whatever) deserves to grow old in a healthy, loving environment. That is the least you can do to repay unconditional love and undying loyalty. It pains me to see people abandoning their pets just because they get 'too big', 'too old' or 'too sick'. A pet is not a toy or accessory for your household- it is a member and when you bring one home, make sure the commitment lasts through its lifespan (unless it is a tortoise).

Respect Life- all of us have a one way ticket.  






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