I have heard and read a lot of stories which prove Dogs as Man’s best friend, from dogs who saved their owners’ lives to loyal dogs who stayed by their loved ones’ side even after death to protect them. My family always owned a pet dog since I can remember my own existence and I never felt those stories I read were just imaginary.
The protagonist of my story here is our pet dog. His name is Puppy and he is 6 years old. He is a white hairy dog and our family’s protector, staying awake the whole night, barking at the chicks who spoil our kitchen garden, chasing cows/oxen who get into our grass field, barking at electricians/workers who come to grasp his owner’s money and chase away other stray dogs fearing the diversion of his owner’s attention. No one can shout at him or give him left over, else he would cry and diet for days. He also understands most of our words like get out, come in, eat, sit, sleep, stand up, etc etc. Amongst all, the relationship Puppy share with my dad is just incredible, so very unlikely and unbelievable at times. He used to accompany my dad almost everywhere and protect him from the fear of darkness, the fear of being alone or the fear of being robbed or things like that.
He used to cry for days when my dad remained away from home, he didn’t even eat without seeing my dad around. When my dad got ready for school, he ran and waited for my parents in their car so that he won’t be left at home. My parents used to take him to school with them, while they taught, puppy used to stay under the table and watch them teach turn wise turn. However, he had to be chased out of the class when the students got distracted with his presence in the class and in addition he would bark if the students stayed too close to my parents. He then sat near the door and waited for the class to be over. One day, my dad told me that, while checking his students’ homework, one of the students had done the work exceptionally well and in order to encourage more of such works, my dad called the student in front of the class and as a token of appreciation he gave the kid a gift. It was at that time, Puppy jumped from nowhere on the student. If my dad hadn’t been there, he would have bitten the student and created a scene. It was after this incident he was tied at home when my parents went to school. Poor Puppy!!! He was to be blamed somehow though.
Every morning he used to cry like a baby. When we were at home on vacations, we had to hold him tight so that he wouldn’t run behind my dad’s car. And we would know that my parents were on their way home through him because Puppy would waive his tail and run around the house happily. One time my dad had to stay away from home for a week for my grandfather’s treatment. Puppy didn’t even eat one meal properly in a day, he stopped barking and he cried all day and night. When my dad came back, Puppy started being his normal self again. We used to wonder if he was one of those dogs in the stories we had heard before. He was just so extra ordinary. Everyone in the neighborhood would say, if Puppy dies, he would be reborn as my dad’s grandchild. That was the kind of bond Puppy had with my dad. J
Of recent when I went home to celebrate Losar (Chinese New Year) with my family, something was strange. Then I realized it was Puppy, Puppy wasn’t there, he didn’t come to get me from the car, to jump over me, to lick my legs. My dad told me that Puppy had left home two weeks ago. What I heard thereafter just left me dumbfounded. As we talked towards home, I could see a little black sick dog perhaps just few days old sleeping at the gate. When I asked my parents about it, they said it was the reason for Puppy to leave home. My brother had brought the dog home few weeks earlier when he had found it lost and sick on the way. He couldn’t just leave it seeing it suffering, almost dead and he thought he would bring home a brother for Puppy as well. However, nothing went as expected. The first few days, Puppy pretended like he didn’t actually care, he stayed away from the little black dog and slowly he stopped coming inside the house, he stopped barking and he even stopped crying when my parents went to school.
One day when my parents got back from school, they noticed Puppy wasn’t around. He didn’t come back that night. The next day, early morning my worried dad went around the neighborhood to check Puppy and get him back home. He told me it was one of his saddest moments. He saw Puppy running away after seeing him. He chased Puppy, but my dad lost his sight after a while. My parents thought he would come back home the next day after starving for a while. My dad stored a lot of meat for him so that he could give him and bribe him to stay home every day. But it never happened.
On the morning of Losar, every one of us was seated outside the house with piles of eatables. To our surprise, Puppy made his appearance finally. All three of us (me, my brother and my sister) used to be his favorite, it was actually really so touching to see him come back home after hearing all that had happened in our absence. We felt like maybe he came to meet us. His favorite food used to be Cookies and Fish. No matter how full he was, he would not leave it untouched. There was yet an another astonishing moment for us. My dad threw him a cookie pretending not to notice his arrival, Puppy picked it up and ran towards the garden with it in his mouth. All of us were watching him, we saw him dig the ground and bury the cookie inside it. Everyone just stared at each other and said nothing. Puppy left again after celebrating his Losar with us.
I told my parents if Puppy was really so wounded by the presence of the little dog, why don’t they just send it away though I knew the reason myself. The little dog looked very weak and sickly. He needed to be taken care of very well and he had to be fed with milk and good food which he won’t get elsewhere. They said they would keep him till he grew big enough to take care of himself. But I wondered even if they do that, would Puppy ever come back again? Even if he comes back, will my dad and mom get the same faith, trust and love Puppy once had for them again? When I called my mom to check about Puppy today to write a conclusion for this article, she said he still isn’t back home yet.