He came in a tiny basket over 16 years ago and today Dash leaves us with a basketful of love, memories, joy and enrichment. Over the years, Dash became a very intrinsic part of our lives and family, as well as that of most people who encountered him.
He was closest to me; waiting for me to return from work, licking my face clean when I got home and complaining to me if he was denied his chocolate. And if by chance we left him home and went out to dinner, he would ensure that I take him out for a stroll no matter how late we got back. Even in failing health, he would drag himself around the house to find me and then sit by my side, satisfied.
For Swarup (wife) he was our third child. Always pampering and cuddling him, he was probably partial towards her because she would never hesitate to give him paneer and cheese, sometimes even smuggling in a chocolate. Raised on a typical Gujarati diet which sometimes included farsan and junk food, the doctors were surprised that this 16-year-old (more than 112 dog years) wasn't on health food, and yet was so active.
Not just active, Dash was a fighter till the very end. Even as his body started to give way, Dash did his every bit to spend a little longer with us, to let us know that he tried.
Perhaps the most selfless source of love ever, Dash was always very possessive of Vinati (daughter). He wouldn’t like it if anyone hugged her for too long and would bark to make his point clear if anyone reprimanded her. He was also possessive about his gifts. One birthday, excited over his gift (a new ball) he played all day with it. At night he suddenly remembered it, so he got out of the room, searched for the ball, grabbed it and got back to his bed placing it right next to him so he could sleep peacefully.
As loving as he was, Dash was also a famous dog. So many of our friends remember him as the happy dog, which would wag away its tail, leaving them with a big smile. His frequent trips on Sunday evenings to the nearby Crossword bookstore got him many admirers. He had the distinction of being the only dog to have been permitted into the store. One such visitor was Lakshmi (daughter-in-law). So much so that the first time she came home to meet Jay while still dating, she remarked, “Oh this is the Crossword doggie!”
Once a woman on the road stopped and asked if she could photograph him because he was so cute. Such was Dash... adorable, loving, cheerful and irresistible. He even managed to convert Urvashi (sister), who was petrified of dogs... into a dog lover. Scared to bits that he was brought home, she was very hesitant to meet him. Yet over time, no one could imagine that she was once scared of the doggie that she was carrying around the house.
Dash was also a great friend, listening patiently while Jay (son) spoke out his apprehensions, fears and happiness. A secret stayed safely with him as he’d nod attentively, making us feel so much lighter after talking to him. Did he understand? Maybe not the words... but he knew when we were upset, worried or even happy. On his part, his bark would be mood-based: “happy to see you”, “why did you leave me alone?”, “I miss you” and the best of them all “I love you”.
He was our family member; his name featuring very prominently in all our family correspondence like greetings and emails. It pains us that he isn’t with us anymore, but when we think about it, we thank God that he brought Dash into our lives in the first place. And with him a lifetime of pure love and irreplaceable happiness.
DO LOOK UP Rainbow bridge - a beautiful poem : http://javeri.net/rainbow.htm
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