WHILE growing up, a favourite place I loved visiting was an aunt’s bungalow: There were guava trees and mulberry trees to climb, but what I loved most was playing with her dog Bruno.
And then one day, I was told Bruno had passed away and the next time I visited my aunt, had tears in my eyes as I opened her door, which turned into a scream, for there sitting in her drawing room was Bruno, staring fixedly at me.
My mother was also as white as a sheet as I was till my aunt hurried in and told us she had got her dead Bruno stuffed through a local taxidermist.
I watched aghast as my aunt petted the dead Bruno and somehow never felt like visiting her for awhile as the stuffed dog, terrified my little mind.
I thought of Bruno today as I read about many in the city stuffing their pets, even pet fishes, hamsters and cats, through a vet who’s specialized in taxidermy. The vet I read takes a month to finish a ‘project’ and charges around twenty- five thousand rupees!
I love dogs and cats and most animals, and quite often am filled with grief when a pet passes away. It’s like a member of the home has died, and there’s deep sorrow in our home for some time.
But one incident I remember vividly was when my previous German-Shepherd, Buddy passed away. My younger daughter was grief stricken and wept uncontrollably.
We buried my dog and my daughter went to her room, from where I could hear her sobbing.
I left her alone for awhile, then went in and sat by her, “Let’s make Buddy come alive!” I said quietly. Through tears and wet hair my daughter’s grief-stricken eyes peeped out questioningly, “Let’s talk of all the happy moments we had with Buddy from the time she was a pup!”
And that’s what we did. We spoke about incident after incident; how she ate up all a visitor’s biscuits, of how she jumped to fight another dog, but ran away when that dog snarled at her, and suddenly we both were laughing, “Daddy!” said my daughter, “I can feel her alive!” I could too.
I do believe, that as we live we bequeath moments of love, goodness, kindness, laughter, moments of giving comfort, giving advice and lots more to those around.
Those treasured capsules live on after we are dead, and that, I believe is what we are! Not our flesh and bones but moments created by us.
For me, Bruno, was that happy dog always jumping to pull me down from the guava and strawberry trees, not that stuffed ‘project’ in the living room.
Exciting thought isn’t it? So let’s leave something behind for our loved ones, joy, laughter, kindness, positivity so when we say goodbye, there’ll be much of us to rejoice over..!