Meet Loco. He’s 13 years old, 33 kgs and 100% mad, just as his name suggests. Like all good dog lovers already know, Loco has provided my family, friends and me with 13 years of love, companionship and laughs. I would really love to say that we are best friends, but the truth of the matter is that Loco’s best friend is food. When I say food, I mean literally any kind of food. During his younger days, before he got obese (you’ll understand why), my siblings and I used to play this lovely game called “What will Loco eat today?” It was the most entertaining part of our evening. We would go to the kitchen, find some new vegetable, fruit, ice cream or leftovers, then take a small piece of it and give it to Loco. The idea of the game was to see where Loco’s taste buds draw the line. There was no line. He ate everything. If you can name a vegetable, he probably ate it. Carrots, peas, snow peas, karela, bhindi, brinjal, pumpkin, potato, peppers, broccoli, parval, doodhi, and almost any other nightmarish vegetable you can think of! This dog’s love for food so much, that he knew everyone’s breakfast, lunch, tea, and dinner schedules and would show up with big, glossy, Oliver Twist like eyes.
While I can go on to tell you millions of stories of Loco and his neuroses, there’s more to him than just mad genius. There was also a little bit of grandfather genes in him. At a very early age, Loco abandoned me as partner in crime for my grandmother, and it was possibly the most intuitive move he’s ever made. With us kids growing up, going off to college, getting jobs, my grandmother was suddenly getting very lonely, and Loco saw that. He attached himself to her hip and never left her bedroom for 12 years. Except at meal times. I would at times come home to find Loco having pushed my grandmother to one corner of her bed, while he sprawled out like a prince on this king sized bed. And to torture him back, she would recap every Kyuki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi episode for him on a daily basis. Their relationship was perfect.
As for me, he’s been through many tears, tantrums, fights, coming out fears, life fears, and has also shared a beer with me once (don’t judge me). He’s been a mad dog, and best friend for a long time. But now it’s time for me to say goodbye. By the time you read this post, Loco will be put to sleep.
Being around dogs is one of the most rewarding experiences. They come into our lives to show us what it means to be happy, compassionate and to love unconditionally. They don’t judge you or get angry with you and are the first to forgive, should you cross them. We struggle so hard to find the simple pleasure in life but to a dog, life is a pleasure in itself. Having Loco around was a present to me. He’s left me with fairly simple rules to life:
- If you’re an obese, smelly, shedding Labrador with a skin disease, walk around like you own it. There’s no point pretending to be a beautiful unicorn.
- Run. Just run as fast as you can with no reason what so ever. If there’s a leash holding you back, bite the leash.
- There are no time restrictions on playtime. If you want to play at 5AM, just do it.
- Food is worth being fat for.
- Balance things on your nose. It’s absolutely pointless and completely fun.
- The front door is the enemy. It must be vanquished!
- Last but not least, there’s no such thing as too much love.
For those of you who’ve never had a dog, it’s time to get one. Don’t worry about your parents, grandparents, or friends being uncomfortable. They will all eventually fall in love with it. For those who do have dogs, give him a treat and tell them he/she is a good boy/girl. It’s all they care to hear.
For me, it’s time to move on.
Thank you old friend, it’s been a fantastic journey. Just try not to terrorize too many pigeons in doggy heaven.