This is the second time I’ve moved to a new house. I was a king in my old place and this new place posed some problems. It was already under the control of a big black dog called “Karuppu nai”, as my master calls him. I had my first encounter with Karuppu the night we moved in. I was checking out the new place and marking my territory when all of a sudden I was surrounded by a pack of angry dogs. I understood that I was the unwelcome guest here. Two dogs then parted to make way for their leader. That is when I saw him. Tall, scruffy and pitch black with bloodshot eyes. Karuppu made his way to me. Though I was outnumbered heavily, I was not ready to go down without a fight. I had my war face on and we were growling at each other. It was going to be a fight to the death. Then came flying a stone from nowhere and it hit Karuppu right in the head. It was my master with his sure-shot aim (earned from all those years of chalk piece fight in his class). He came shouting, as the dogs scattered. Karuppu ran too, but not before giving me a threatening glare. This wasn’t over yet.
Life was starting to get into a routine. I was slowly becoming friendly with the neighbors and their kids. I also had a few chance encounters with other strays and soon I was the leader of a gang of my own. I was getting famous, much to the dismay of Karuppu. I was slowly starting to like this new place and that is when I saw her. It was just another night like any other. I was back from my usual rounds to find my food missing from my plate and her sitting next to my plate relishing it. She gave me a glance and darted off. I gave her a good chase but she was quite proficient at climbing walls and eventually I had to give up. That night I couldn’t sleep. I just got one glance at her but that was enough to mesmerize me. I was in love.
It would be a few sleepless nights before I met her again. This time I intentionally hid in a corner as I waited for her to come steal my food. She jumped over our compound making no sound at all, all the while looking carefully at all directions. She was a natural thief. I had to wait till she made herself comfortable in my rug and started eating my food. I slowly tiptoed behind her and whispered “Hello”. She was quite startled on hearing me and I had to calm her down saying it was okay. We now stood facing each other and she gave me a smile before she said “Thanks” and darted off again. This girl had killer looks. I knew she was the one. Although my master didn’t like her one bit, his mother took a liking to her and named her Vicky (because she wasn’t sure if it was a boy or girl and went for a generic name instead). Now, Vicky started getting her own food from my master so that she doesn’t have to steal mine. I would wait eagerly every night for her to come. We talked for whatever little time we had and slowly became friends.
Things were going great. My gang was growing bigger day by day. I was slowly becoming the top dog. We raided the roads in the nights, chasing unsuspecting bicycle rider, howling away our glory into the night and having the occasional street fights with Karuppu’s gang. I was living the life. All until that day came.
I was playing with my master, taking rounds chasing each other. I heard a vehicle come in and parking at our gates. I looked out and saw an Enfield with a small red cross stuck on the tank. I saw a tall man with a booming voice get off the bike. I knew this man. I hated this man. He was the veterinarian, who came once a year and had my master pin me down as he stuck me with needles . No amount of treats this man gave me after this ordeal would make me like him one bit. I knew I was in for pain and had to think quickly. I was about to make a dash for it when my master caught me. I was pinned down as I saw in terror, the man taking out the instruments of pain from his backpack. I was making a ruckus, hoping mother would come out. She always took care of me more than master did. She would surely save me. I was whining and making sad noises till I saw Vicky. She was at the gate watching all this. Suddenly, my ego hurt more than the needles. I manned up or should I say, dogged up and took it all without a whimper. Surely I wasn’t going to make myself look weak in front of her. I was offered the usual treats by the man as he patted my head. “One of these days”, I thought as I saw him making his way out.
That Fateful day
I always acted brave in front of Vicky. But no amount of courage could stop me from crying that fateful day. It was a fine morning. I was having my morning milk when I saw a big van pulling beside our house. A few men came out of the van and entered our house. They were hauling stuff into the van from our house. I knew at once what this meant. We were moving again. I wasn’t ready to leave this place. I had my gang, my good neighbor kids who played with me, and most important of all I had Vicky here. Surely I can’t live without her. I was so sad-stricken, but my life is where my master is and I can’t bear to leave him. I sat in the car looking longingly at the street and Vicky and my gang watching me as the car drove me away to this new place. I felt a hand fondling my ear. It was my master. He said, “Don’t worry da Babloo. We aren’t going far from here. We are just moving a few streets away to our new house and I am sure we won’t be moving out of it for a long while”. I was overjoyed. I knew my gang and Vicky would surely make their way to this new street. I sat in the car now cuddled up against my master, brimming with joy. I was ready for the new adventure that awaited me in this new place 🙂