An Unlikely Namesake

“Hey Arushi, the travel agent just called up to confirm our tickets to Mysore.”

Arushi and I, along with my brother planned for a getaway of sorts and decided to attend my cousin’s wedding. After work, both of us went to the jeweller’s to buy the wedding present.

When we reached home, Sashank was not back from college yet. He came in while we were getting the dinner ready, carrying home a small fluffy bundle in his arms. It was a very young Pomeranian. After he fetched the old, unused bath tub and lined it with few rags to make it cosy for the pup, he narrated the whole episode.

Sashank had been seeing the pet regularly in the neighbourhood. It belonged to an affluent family and couple of times, heard a loud whine emanating from the house. His friend told him that when the pet was brought home with two other pups, it was quite healthy. But over time, its handicap was noticed – one of its limbs was little shorter than the other three. The limp was proving to an embarrassment for the family. They repeatedly abandoned the pet, but poor thing, always went back. Today while coming back from college, Sash found the little pup in deplorable condition near the locality’s garbage can and rushed to the nearest vet. After two hours of tending and medicating at the clinic, he brought it home.

The pup continued to occupy the small abode in our verandah. We strictly followed the vet’s instruction regarding meals and medication. It was weak and frightened and in all probability would take some time to recover from the trauma. The vet had suggested counselling, in case we decided to adopt it. It was a special dog with special needs.

We had another option as well. When it got better we would hand it to the animal welfare agency. I didn’t think any of us had neither the time nor the inclination to take care of it life long.

We left for Mysore, entrusting the task of looking after the pup to the watchman’s son.

When we returned three days later, the pup seemed to be moving a little and jumped in joy upon seeing Sashank. The watchman’s son also seemed surprised.

“Sahib, the poor thing barely ate anything. A quarter cup of milk is all it had since you all left. Last afternoon, it lay in one corner whimpering. It remained frightened all through your absence.” Sashank was now stroking the pup gently in his lap. We turned little pensive. Probably it thought we had left it like its previous family.

On Arushi’s advice, Sashank immediately fixed up an appointment with the vet.

Once we freshened up, and sat down for coffee, Arushi said we all ought to take that counselling thing seriously. The poor pup is in shock. “Would we do that to our baby, Adi?” Arushi asked me bleary eyed. Her question stunned me, but she had a point.

Our counselling session was scheduled for nine days later. But we already were turning out to be good parents. We played with him, shopped for him, started taking him for walks, bought him a nice bow collar and did extensive reading on pet care. In short, the pup became a well-balanced part of out lives. His handicap was barely of concern to us. He would always remain in our fold. He had come home. Never again would he be made to feel uncared and unwanted.

We named him Pluto.

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