Diamonds are for ever…
By Vivek Hande
I am not much of a pet-lover. I don’t feel comfortable with dogs, cats, parrots, parakeets or any other such creatures. I did, however, have an encounter of the close kind with a pet and that was a long time ago. My father, then in service, had a boss who quite liked him and he decided to present us with a pedigreed Dalmatian pup, fresh from the oven, in a manner of speaking.
We took in the little white thing with a little trepidation and uncertainty. It was almost like having a new baby at home. The only catch was that this was our first (and only) tryst with pets and none of us were particularly comfortable with the four legged creature. Within a week, black diamond shaped spots started appearing on the white coat. It was christened “Diamond” because of its spots. It was introduced to a strictly vegetarian diet. Efforts were made to get friendly with Diamond. Diamond grew very fast and was a voracious eater. It would devour everything and look with doleful eyes for more. We were not sure whether we landed up overfeeding it .We were singularly unsuccessful in toilet training Diamond. Consequently, one had the task of clearing up the mess and my brother and I did the honors.
It was a playful little creature and would jump on us with joy, on our return from school or work. It would have been nice, but unfortunately, we were all rather terrified by this excitable creature.. My mother made tentative attempts to get friendly with Diamond and was rewarded with a friendly bite on the fingers. That was the end of her efforts to befriend Diamond. After a couple of my Dad’s trousers got torn off by the cheerful fellow, my Dad did his best to protect himself and his clothes and his legs. A whole lot of my shoes went missing. My brother had quite a few of his notebooks happily ripped apart by the young master. He was trying to be friendly and get our attention but we could not reciprocate satisfactorily. We have a solitary family portrait with Diamond in the center and all of us looking to keep a respectable distance from him. Fear writ on our faces and smiles forced, it was a portrait of abject discomfiture for all concerned, Diamond included.
I am sure Diamond sensed our discomfort and maybe our aloofness. He started retreating into a shell. His barks sounded less frenetic, his leaps a little forced and his antics a trifle contrived. He seemed a little depressed; we were feeling a little guilty. But there was a total transformation, in the chap, when, my cousin, a confirmed canninophile (if there is such a word), came visiting. They discovered each other and got along like a house on fire. He would follow my cousin all around the place and they seemed to be soul mates. They were quite inseparable and Diamond seemed to have been reborn. It was quite obvious that Diamond would have a new home where he would be appreciated and enjoyed. Diamond and my cousin lived happily ever after for many years.
Having a pet is not easy. It has to be a relationship of mutual comfort and affection. Much perhaps, like marriage. But for pet lovers, there can be no other way of life. For these diehard pet lovers, Diamonds are forever