Saturday, 28 September 2013

Animal Tales - 3

Johnny joined our gang of dogs as the previous owner left him behind – he was a part of the ‘Package Deal  - Take  the farm and get one dog free!’.
Johnny Wafadaar
Surprisingly he took to us and our dogs immediately – none of the territorial nastiness that canines sometimes exhibit.  He was utterly untrained and did not hesitate to help himself to any food kept on the coffee table if no one was watching.  But he learnt very fast and soon became as disciplined as Misty and Phoenix. And he followed my instructions in Konkani much to the amazement of the locals with whom we had difficulty conversing in Kannada.  “The dog can follow Konkani..” they would exclaim in Kannada.

One of our friends had a very lovely Mudhol hound who had just had a litter. When the daughters saw the little pups, they just could not resist and came back with one. They named her Zuki.
 Phoenix acted like a grumpy-grampa with the playful pup and Misty ignored her initially. Both were despondent after Snoopy’s disappearance and seemed to resent the pup. But Johnny tolerated her antics and they both became fast friends. 
 Phoenix and Misty did come around eventually and accepted her and today all four of them frolic around and have fun.


When a new member joins the gang, it is always the youngest one who is the friendliest with the new member, the older ones act like the big bosses and look down their nose at the newcomer. So it was when Posha joined the group.
 Zuki and Posha would play together and tumble around while the others generally ignored them. 
  But it wasn’t long before Phoenix joined them and Posha although a bit wary of him, still enjoyed playing with him.


Favorite Places

Chewsticks and nibbles and Whiskas and kibbles

A yard full of sunshine and a field full of fun,

Vast open spaces with a view  from the top,

these are a few of my favourite spots

Warm sunshine on the window sill

Even better when someone leaves a cushion on it for me
The size seems just right - I guess I can fit into it
Oh Yes I can, and it even has a velvet lining
Oh those days! I could even fit into the cupboard.
A Yard full of sunshine


3600   World view

See what I mean?

My favorite chair

I could not get the sun rays to bend and come to my favorite chair, so I have to make myself comfy here
The Sand pile - Believe me, they used to take Misty and me to this place where there was miles of this same stuff.
Be absolutely still and it wont be long before I catch that little bird.
Clumsy dog!!!  You just don't get it do you?
Posha says if you sit still for long enough, you can actually catch that bird


A field full of fun

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Animal Tales - 2

Three months passed by with Snoopy and Misty’s merry antics and non-stop entertainment.  They played together, catch, hide-n-seek (with Snoopy always hiding) and wrestled with Snoopy making tiny growling sounds.    It was great fun and even though I never imagined that we could manage 2 pets in our home, we were actually doing so.
 And then one fine day in March, our friend who had promised us the Mudhol Hound pup ‘Very Soon’ turned up with a very skinny, not so healthy looking pup – “You had asked for a Mudhol pup, here is one” he said.  Oh Goodness!  I really couldn’t handle yet another pet now – all the travails of  toilet-training and with a 4 month old kitten already on our hands – no way I just couldn’t.  But one look at the sad looking pup, and my heart just melted.  How could we turn it away? 

And so Phoenix joined the menagerie.  It took quite some time for the introductions – Misty was quite okay with the young pup, but Snoopy snarled and hissed at him and Phoenix was scared.

Please May I be your friend?

 But we kept pacifying them  and soon they were friends enough to cuddle together.

 It was a rare sight indeed, a gawky hound and a delicate looking kitten – the best of friends, and Misty tolerating their pranks.




Phoenix grew in height at an alarming rate – that is how the hounds grow!  And soon he was towering over Snoopy


– but she was the boss!


Having heard about how uncontrollable and ferocious hounds can be, we tried our best to make him gentle – and luckily for us he turned out to be the one with a most generous and soft heart.  He would wait for all three to be served before starting on his own meal.  Snoopy loved ‘Pedigree’ the dog food which comes in the form of little pellets.  But it played havoc with her health and  the vet warned us against giving a cat any ‘Pedigree’ which is strictly meant only for dogs.  But Phoenix would never eat it alone. In fact when we held it in our palm for him, he would ‘nose’ a few and drop them down so that Snoopy too could eat some.  She would boldly push him away from his meal and eat the choicest bits and he would never growl at her!


Sadly, a few months after we moved to the farm, Snoopy disappeared one night, never to be seen again.  She often used to go out at night, while the dogs slept indoors and probably got picked by one of the numerous wild animals that abound in the forest adjoining our home.  Both Misty and Phoenix seemed devastated by her disappearance. 
 Phoenix looked mournful for a long time until we got a new pup and yet another kitten.... and yet another  and yet another...But more about that   in the next post. 

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Animal Tales

Frisky 1st Dec 2000 – 1st Aug 2006.

Frisky – a dare-devil, bundle of boundless energy,

Our constant companion on all our picnics to the most god-forsaken places

and a terrific swimmer. 

A life cut short by a kidney disease which is hereditary in Dalmatians. 


When you are so used to a canine companion, it is hard to get by without one.  So we decided to get another pup and thought it would be best to get a sturdy Indian breed like the Mudhol Hound.  One of our friends promised us one  ‘very soon’.  But the days slipped by without any news from him.  A whole week passed after Frisky’s death and I could scarcely bear to return home from work and not be greeted by her boisterous welcome. So when I heard about some Dalmatian pups for sale, we rushed to see them and Misty came into our lives.  The same naughtiness, eagerness for walks and the boisterous greetings were back. 


When Misty was almost a year old, we found a stray kitten fallen on the road outside our office. It had not yet opened its eyes and was small enough to fit in my palm.  We looked around to see if we could spot its mother, but no luck.  It was in danger of being run over by the cars whizzing past and we picked it up and brought it home.
  The daughters were thrilled and took turns to feed it with an ink-dropper, took it to the vet and in general molly-coddled it to bits.  Misty kept trying to get close to the kitten, but we were rather scared of letting her.  Frisky was very aggressive with all other animals and would attack them. We were not too sure about Misty, but she kept begging and wagging her tail trying to nuzzle the little kitten. Finally we took a chance and let her. She nuzzled it onto its back and proceeded to give it a thorough lick.  The kitten seemed to wriggle with joy.  From that moment on, the two were inseparable. The kitten would crawl around searching for Misty and snuggle close to her.  A few days later we were surprised to see Misty  suckling the kitten .  Misty had taken her role of a foster mother very seriously!  The vet explained that it is quite a common occurrence among animals when they take charge of a young one even if it is a different species.




It was a joy to see Misty and Snoopy together – their bonding was incomparable. Snoopy thrived under her care – learned to play ‘fetch’ with a paper ball,  ran to the door when the bell rang and in general, short of wagging her tail, exhibited quite a few doggie traits!   

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