It was in March 2000 that this fellow crawled from under the gate into our house and our hearts. He was about 4 weeks old then and we loved his attitude to life, universe and everything which was expressed with a happy wag of his tail! We used to be in splits watching him handle our other dog, Munni, who was a big bully. Whenever she tried to pick on him, he would simply crawl out under the gate which would make her totally neurotic. She could not catch him as she was too big to follow him under the gate and out!! And whenever Munni had been upto some mischief, which was always, she would run and all we had to tell saba was to "catch Munni" which he would promptly do and hold her down- only he would let her off just as we were about to get her- the idiot!
He was a hit with every teenager ( whom he adored) and every adult who came to our house. Vaish never fails to enquire after saba in every mail from Boston even though she has met him just twice. In his opinion the major threats to society were people shorter than 3 ft ( yes, the children) and anyone who was dressed in rags or carried weapons of mass destruction ( such as crowbars and other digging implements).
He loved eating (a curd rice eating dog which led to anita calling him "Sabapathy Iyer". It was Anita who shot the picture above and to him she was the" pastry aunty" who brought expensive pastries from Sweet Chariot for him mainly and incidentally for us too. No wonder he jumped up to her full height every time he saw her.)
His other passion was drives in cars. He never believed in anti-dog policies about dogs staying back and guarding the house when the humans went out - he was the first to jump into the car. He believed it was his right. Here he is with "his car", wanting to go out barely a few hours before he fell terribly sick and never travelled in the new car which replaced this old one.
This afternoon Saba breathed his last after 36 hours of suffering - his body was continously shaking as a result of a nervous problem which he developed as a side- effect of his medication for epilepsy which we had started for him since March 2004. His epileptic attacks were one of the reasons I had stopped accepting assignments for work so that I could be around and ensure that he doesn't go unattended when he gets these sudden attacks. It has been a tough 33 months with severe attacks but we always hoped he would get better sooner or later which was not to be.
He is gone.
It is going to be scary being alone in this house, without his sensitive ears that monitor every little sound and warn me with a bark. This was a dog who was deluded that he was a detective - it was amusing to watch him scrutinise the plants and leaves every morning and the car tyres everytime they came from outside. Everyone entering the house was throughly sniffed for tell-tale smells of where you had been and what you had done. I dont think he was scared of anything - except diwali crackers which,in his opinion, were a sign of the world coming to an end. He had sound proof spot which he had identified in the house which we called his "bomb Shelter".
It is going to be tough not having his gaze follow me wherever I go - or perhaps he will, unseen, from his new resting place in our garden.
Thanks for giving us so much of your love Saba, I hope we gave you back at least a small proportion of it in return. Not that you would have minded if we fell short for it was you who taught us what "unconditional" love is.