Sirius was only 36 weeks old when he came into our lives. A cute little fawn coloured Labrador pup that melted our hearts as soon as we held him. My siblings and I always had a pet dog around while growing up, but this was the first time when I had one on my own. I had spent days brainstorming a name for him, before settling on Sirius – inspired by a character from Harry Potter.
“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
You need to own a dog to understand what is it to love and care for someone without expecting anything in return. I cannot forget the joy with which Sirius would leap at our sight after a long day. Sometimes, when I would be in the kitchen and my husband in other room, he would keep going to and fro, snuggling around the legs, happily licking our hands. I loved him and all his antics, including the chewed up toys and my expensive heels. And no matter how much scoldings he would get, he would still snuggle into our arms.
How to make a fussy dog eat?
Maybe I spoiled Sirius a little too much, but he was a fussy eater. I used to buy an extra unsweetened yogurt packet just for him because he wouldn’t even smell his food if it didn’t have a layer of yogurt over it. Or bones. The sight of him happily eating his food would make my heart fill with joy. I would even sometimes sit next to him and feed him Roti by hand as he preferred that way, much to the annoyance of my brother who was studying veterinary science back then and was an expert at training dogs.
You gotta be fit if you want a dog
Why? Because dogs need to exercise. It is essential for their health to exercise and eat well, specially bigger dogs like Labrador and Alsatian. Labradors are prone to hip deformities if they don’t get enough exercise. Which meant that I had to run alongside my dog. That’s how my tryst with jogging and walking started. Every weekend we would drive to a quiet location and spend around an hour walking or running. Most evenings my husband would take him to the roof and play with him with a tennis ball, teaching him new tricks as well.
I was always happy around Sirius. Sometimes I would talk to him and he would respond with a wine like sound. My husband would often joke that he was begging me to stop my chattering. But the joy of talking to an animal and in turn, trying to understand his needs is amazing. I have such fond memories associated with Sirius. He was our little baby that made every single worry disappear.
Strangely, bathroom was his most favourite place in the house. He would often sneak into the bathroom if we happen to leave the door open. Giving him a bath was just as fun. He was so obedient and would stand still has I rubbed his coat, as if enjoying the whole process, unlike my previous dogs.
Someone truly said – “Anybody who doesn’t know what soap tastes like never washed a dog.”
They need love and care – just like any other baby
I used check out a lot of websites for reference, read articles on dog care and talk to other owners on how to care for a puppy. When we first got Sirius, he was so scared and tiny that he would wine at night. I used to keep him right next to my bed, pat him every time he started wining. That comforted him and he would catch a few winks too, with my hands slowly caressing his head. But that also meant I couldn’t sleep. For a week, I could catch only 2 hours of sleep every night. Thankfully, after that he slowly got accustomed to the new environment. And no matter where we kept his bed, in the morning we would always find him next to ours.
Sadly, I didn’t get to spend many years with Sirius and had to find a new family as we were relocating to a different country. The new family was just as loving as we were, maybe even more and I would often get updates of Sirius on Facebook. The one thing that didn’t change was his knack to find the most expensive of the shoes and shred only one of pair to pieces. 🙂
“What Shoe!! I ain’t chew no shoe”