Five years ago, my Jimmy died. Jimmy was our puppy. But for me he was definitely more than a dog, which I think, is a universal feeling for all dog lovers. He was my sole companion when we moved here. I always longed for a sibling and he was the only one who could satisfy that longing, albeit partially. I learnt a lot from him. I think it would be wise to say that I’m still learning a lot from him. If you know me personally and if you think that I am kind or gentle, I can assure you, a significant portion of that was instilled and inspired in me, by this amazing guy.
He was big and had an intimidating bark. He was my Mufasa. But anyone who was fortunate enough to gain his acquaintance might still remember his endearing charm. He loved children- be it humans or animals. He was gentle with all beings. He was literally a saint. We had a poultry farm as well. Not once did he harm any of those hens, nor their eggs, though he loved eggs and chicken mixed with rice. That level of self regulation is something that I rarely see these days in and around me. He was a truly gentle dog.
He never finished his lunch completely. He’d save some for a little bird and some squirrels, who happened to be his friends. He was kind and gentle to all the animals, big and small alike. After his death, the bird and the squirrels still continued their visit to his kennel, as if they were visiting a shrine. One might argue that it’s conditioning. But usually a lack of reinforcement leads to extinction. Their visit never ceased until the kennel was later demolished. I think our preference for a reductionist view of animals is quite defensive, because quite often we see more humanity in animals than amongst us.
In the last 5 years, ever since he left us, I have had many people telling me that they love me, they care for me and they understand me. It puzzled me all the time. Because I never understood myself. So how can they understand me? Besides it is quite hilarious to note that most of these people ended up as strangers or even worse. And then there was Jimmy, who never uttered those foolish words. Yet, strangely, I have never felt more loved, more understood and more validated by anyone else other than him. I never realized how lonely I was only because his company shielded me from it. Five years down the lane, he remains the only soul that I miss. But that is enough. Because the void is huge and I understand that he will always remain irreplaceable. I tried filling the void of his absence with people. But then, you know, they were just people. They can never fill in the shoes of an exquisite soul like Jimmy.
We had an amazing bond. But, sometimes, I do feel that it wasn’t enough. It is not a regret, but a feeling that it was over way too fast. A weakness perhaps, of my mind to accept reality as it is. I must admit that I had to wipe my eyes occasionally as I jotted down these words. I had to write, because I don’t think I can ever talk about it in a steady voice.
This is where I’d like to make a request to all dog lovers and especially to people who are currently in a relationship with a dog (Don’t laugh. Trust me, a dog is always superior to a gf/bf). Spend as much time as possible with your puppy. It will never be too much. Instead, as you see in my case it will always be ‘not enough’. So enjoy and cherish the relationship and it’s magic while it lasts. That’s all we can do. We are all mere mortals.
His death has left a wound in my heart which I don’t think will ever be healed. But I think it is precisely such wounds that sustain life, like apoptosis. I don’t know if, one day when I leave the face of Earth, I would be able to do to someone, what he’s done to me. I don’t know if I will be missed. But as long as I am alive, I do hope to lead a life that will honor him and the lessons that he gave me.
I miss him and I love him so much. I am grateful for the time we were together.