Look around you and you would have noticed or read of people having all kinds of pets, ordinary animals to an exotic one, birds of different kinds, reptiles like snakes, alligator or an insects too. Having a pet is not to show off to your friends or your neighbours but for your personal self. A moment with your pet calms you down and washes away the stress and anger which may have accumulated within you during the course of the day. Most pets impart lots of love to their owners but some of them may be dangerous and their actions may cause bodily harm to the owner and yet the owners treat them with lots of love and care .
I have always loved to have various animal/birds as pet during my growing years but then after marriage had to adjust to not having any pets at home because of my spouse. When I was 3 years old staying in Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan we used to have an Alsatian (German Sheppard) called Sheba and it’s been told by my parents that the dog used to sleep beside me in the bed... don’t remember the same as it is nearly half a century back. While my father was transferred we had to give away Sheba to a family friend.
From then on I have been having one pet or the other till I went to college and I have had Parrot, Myna, Cats and so forth .The interesting pets I have had were the squirrel and a white rat. My uncle and his friends used to come to our house during the weekend ( all working in Air force) to spend some time with us and one particular day found that one of my uncle’s friend had something moving around within his tucked shirt and slowly peeping out of the collar....the moment i saw the squirrel I also wanted to have one as a pet . To train a squirrel you need to have them with you when they are very young so that they get used to you and your smell... otherwise they are a pretty shy lot and awww they bite quite sharply. Though I got a squirrel that had not even its eyes open, she has bitten me enough times. I had the squirrel as pet for over an year and one fine day she met her mate and vanished from my life.... Born free live free I suppose !!!
During one of the visit to Air force station during a fete being conducted ,there were lots of games being conducted by the airmen and one particular game was Rat racing.... it is actually a wooden box with glass topping having 8 tracks meter and half in length. One side of the track was a gate covering the entrance to the track. White rats ( looking similar to guinea pigs) were in their enclosure each having their number tagged and bet are place somewhat similar to horse races.... but on a much slower pace. These races went on for quite some time and at the time of winding up the fete the stall owner, a friend of my uncle handed over one of these rats to me and said that they make nice pets. Well I brought the rat home and had this as a pet for over year and half ... finally the rat died at a ripe old age.
One pet I always wanted was a monkey but then my parents would never allow it... so the next best thing I got home, which looked like a monkey but lot timid and slow moving is Slender Loris.... bought off Kuruvikaran ( Indian gypsy) for 50 paisa in 1968. All was well and initially mom did not comment on the choice of pet.... then comes the house maid who started shrieking the moment she saw this on my neck and she told my mother that this animal brings bad luck to the home it stays........ so the same day I was asked to let go of the Slender Loris !!! Felt bad and am sure it would have made a lovely pet !!!
When most of us were grown up and I was working out of the country and one of my sister studying in Delhi, my mother used to feel very lonely so my father got her a Pomeranian pup and she was named Tanya.. she was the joy of the house full of fun but then fate had a cruel outcome. I was recently married and my wife has never ever had pets at home.... one day Tanya in a playful mood started running behind my wife who ran helter skelter to avoid being licked and in the process knocked the dining chair over which hit Tanya on the head... Poor pup went limp for it damaged all the functions of the limbs.. so Tanya was bedridden for over 8 months and i still remember the times my mother used to carry Tanya to the veterinary Hospital hoping for miracle to happen and Tanya starts living her normal life. Even when she was lying around she used to wag her tail and look at us with so much love !!! Can never forget the moment when the doctors advised us to put her to sleep since it was not fair on our part to keep an immobilised dog. My mom could not bear the loss so the same day we bought home another similar Pomeranian and she was also christened as Tanya. Well Tanya was with us for over 8 years and during the course of stay we also added one of Tanya’s litter to the household and she was named Soniya.
Soniya departed first due to illness and then Tanya due to old age ... it was then my mother did not want any more pets as she had no more tears left in her to mourn for loss in future. So much attachment to Tanya and Soniya...... that my parents always said that Tanya is their third daughter and Soniya their grandchild. It is a great feeling since dogs give unconditional love unlike us !!!!!!
Both my daughters love pets and due to constant pestering my wife conceded to have a pet dog at home.... more so to avoid my children going over to my neighbours place to play with the dogs or to play with the pups of the street dog which was quite friendly with us. The condition was that the dog would not be allowed to move round the house freely. We accepted to the conditions with a thought that we would be able to bend the rules at a later date.... so came Christopher to our lives and home , a Doberman pup 3 months old. It was fun when the pup was growing up.. and had pay a hefty price to my wife since Christopher used to sharpen his growing teeth on the Sofa and he used to love cuddling on the sofa. Had to revamp and repair the Sofa set once he stopped gnawing the wooden legs.
My work involved regular travels to Bangalore and each day to take Christopher out for a walk was taking toll on my father and my wife and it was then decided we will give him to someone who would give Christopher his freedom and also love him. My daughters class mates uncle living out of town had a huge farm and he was looking for a guard dog and we decided to hand over him to them. My father, myself and my daughters went to the station to see Christopher off to Trichy where is very happy... lots of freedom and lots of love.
I now have taken a vow that if I have pets at home they would be completely free... no chains except while going out on walk... this means I cannot have a pet at home !!!