He loves animals, specially dogs. And the dogs seem to unconditionally love him back. Wherever he goes strange dogs around used to come looking for him. Unfortunately, in the country he had to spend his childhood in, displayed a sign at the airport which listed dogs as contraband in addition to fire arms, dart guns, idols of worship alcohol and pork products. So he had an aquarium instead.
Once he finished studies he left his parents and went back to his motherland to join his sister who was returning from another faraway land. The first few days they spend at home which was some 25 km away from the capital city which was too far thanks to the public transport that wasted more than one and half hours to make it.
Brother and sister rented an apartment in the capital city together with another girl who studied with the sister in the faraway land.
This is when both of them wanted to make their long restrained dream come true. To adopt a dog. They didn’t want to buy a dog with good pedigree. They wanted to adopt a homeless one. At the beginning it was difficult to convince their parents that they could do that in spite of all the downsides to it. Living in an apartment with no garden posed a problem. And looking after a puppy when both were busy with their education was another. And everything seemed to be a problem. Would the apartment owner like it? Would the neighbors complain?
Luckily the sister’s friend didn’t mind this as she had two dogs at her home too. And they started searching the internet looking for a suitable life partner. After so much search they found this week old puppy advertised. She was homeless and waiting for a loving owner. They fell in love at first sight.
The day the puppy was brought home was a joyous one. The two spent time mopping pee, removing poo and mopping the floor with Lysol. Parents were really worried and told them this was a huge commitment which would limit their freedom to sacrifice all the trips they wanted to make, to bear up dirty looks from the neighbors and the list was growing long.
The two bought toys and stuff for the puppy with their own allowances. Parents had a separate allowance for the puppy too for his food to relieve the kids of that expense. The stuffed toys were eventually bitten into and the stuffing lay all over the floor. She played with the skin.
They were so mad sometimes when the puppy ran away and hid in neighbor’s houses when he was loved and cared so much. “She behaves as if we are keeping her imprisoned.” The brother and sister cancelled the invitations from their relatives for new year and other occasions because of the puppy. When they got a break they had to hire a three wheeler to come home with the pup for a week, as no public transport allowed dogs. And they discovered how much the puppy who had never seen grass, enjoyed to be home. They watched in sheer delight, how she was having the time of her life rolling in grass and chasing butterflies and digging holes in the yard. Like every good thing, the break had to come to an end and they had to return leaving a place where nobody complained about the dogs, back to the reality.
Once again,when the parents were back for the holidays, all had a chance to return home, this time in their own vehicle to have a six weeks of fun. The dog welcomed the parents and created a heavy bond in that short time. To their immense relief, brother and sister were relieved of morning puppy duties, too. Actually when she was sedated for her sterilization operation even the father was hiding his tears. The brother wanted to do this surgery with his money even though the adoption agency had promised to do it. “They have enough problems finding homes for all those puppies. I don’t want to burden them further” he said. Once the parents were gone after the vacation, they had to return to the apartment where the dog was depressed for days.
To cut the story short, some neighbors started to frown and give dirty looks at the brother when he took the puppy for a walk. Any unclaimed pile of dog poo suspicious puddle on the staircase was blamed on the puppy. The Muslim brothers who rented an apartment in the same building freaked out every time they saw the puppy and complained to the house owner constantly to complete the irony...
One year passed and puppy grew up amidst all this. So did the complaints and some days the brother and sister were so depressed and needed a lot of consoling by the parents on Skype.
To make the matters worse, the house owner refused to extend the lease if they keep the dog. When they finally agreed to parent’s advice to return the dog, the adopting institution said it was easier said than done. Mother spent hours on the internet looking for apartments where they could keep a dog. Finally, they were quite exhausted visiting those houses and apartments and not finding a suitable one.
The kids made up their minds. They decided to give up the apartment and keep the dog. The dog was family and you won’t give up on family. They returned home with all their belongings and the dog. By doing this they sacrificed so much. Now they had to get up early and make bus journey to make it to their classes. They were going to hunt an apartment or house again staying home.
The brother had a great bond with the dog. The parents yelled at him not to let the dog in his bed but he hardly listened. As the main road in front of the house was dangerous her who grew up inside a house, she was tethered to the pillar porch. He was given a cushion to sleep on and tucked with blanket on rainy days.
They found a girl who wanted to adopt the dog with loving care. She already had another dog. They had agreed to give away the dog and go back to an apartment which had everything except the place to keep the dog. This was the most difficult decision the brother had to make. “I do this because this will be good for her. Or else she will suffer” he said. Though he believed in “boys don’t cry,” we knew he was weeping inside. The day before they had to take the dog to the place about 90km away, they bought a huge chicken and made a farewell dinner to the dog. Now that the brother had got driver’s license and they had the vehicle at home transport was no problem. All the parents insisted was to take their uncle with them as a supervising adult.
The next day which everyone dreaded finally arrived. But they never made that journey. We decided to travel to capital city from here without going to live in a prison like we did earlier. When we have our own home and own transport here why should we live under those house owner’s rules and regulations?
And everybody knew they had the the dog’s best interest at heart, not theirs. Parents sometimes wondered if she knew how much her master has sacrificed for her because she bit through her collar and ran away the every opportunity she got, looking for adventure. Each time she was brought back. When this final time she ran away parents asked both of them not to go looking for her. "If she doesn’t appreciate what you have done for her, let her go," which they obeyed.
Two days later, when the sister opened the door she was sleeping in her usual chair, looking very guilty, hungry, dirty and an injury to her legs. Finally, she had realized how loving and caring her family is and had returned.
Ah, I nearly forgot. Today is that brother’s birthday. Happy birthday Hirusha, our son, the kindhearted one.