James Herriot, the famous vet, in one of his masterpiece described about the boy Wes, who in order to save his dog Duke from distemper, turned from a mischievous miscreant to a responsible lad earning honest money to buy Duke fresh food and medicine. But when Duke died, the same boy turned into a crook who at the age of thirteen started stealing cars. This shows that animals do play very important roles in the development of a child.
In this modern world of nuclear families where parents are busy in following their ambitions, a child find solace in the companionship of his furry friend be it a boisterous lab or a cool composed cat or even a hamster. This is very true in my case as my best friends have always been ‘dogs’. I acquired my first dog at the age of seven and from then on I have learnt so many things from each one of them. I learnt working in group, loyalty, patience, never to complain, adjusting power and many more…Animals can be our nonstop teacher…teaching us different facts of life that we are losing with our drifting off from the nature.
Jim Corbett picked up his Robin from a dirty basket consisting of a litter of his other brothers and sisters. He was told, Robin was a spaniel and he bought him for a sum of thirty rupees -when the pup was only three months old. Later, Corbett realized that he had indeed picked up a winner and when Robin was thirteen years old Corbett declared that even all the gold of India could not take Robin from him. I find this story of Robin very interesting because this was exactly what happened with me.
I went to my aunt’s house in Champahati (Sunderban area) and visited a relative’s house. There I found that their Cocker spaniel has given birth to a litter of five puppies and one of them instantly attracted my attention towards her…her big, round, soft, brown eyes that looked up to me made me fall instantly for her…and at that moment without thinking of any pros and cons, brought her home – when she was just one month old with my first earned salary…and from that day every penny that I earned went for her upkeep…her bed, collar, necklace, medicine and what not! And from that day began my adult relationship with her … a relationship based on love, understanding and trust.
She was very intelligent as a young pup and it was very easy for me to train her and she quickly responded to my different commands like ‘boso’, ‘esho’ etc. She has been my constant companion since then. I have heard that dogs who are left all to themselves develop problems but my Twinkle…that’s what I call her because of her mischievous, twinkling eyes …never developed any sort of problem. Whenever I leave for work she says goodbye to me with her beautiful eyes and smiling mouth and when I return from my work and before I press the calling bell, I can hear her excited bark and when the door is opened she gives me a hearty welcome to show how happy she is to see me. She never complains if I am ever late…she treats me like a princess whenever I am at home… she does not mind sitting with me when I am at home, she loves exploring our locality whenever I am ready for walk…she loves socialising with me when my friends come over for tea… so I, like Corbett, can tell that I have picked up a champion from the remote village of Champahati.
Only once in her entire life of seven years she barred her teeth to me because I unknowingly touched her paw which was painful. But after this incident she was so embarrassed that she remained lying on my feet and licking my feet for the entire day to tell me how sorry she has been to lose her temper on me…this shows that we have lots to learn from our pets if we do spend our time with them…even a small gold fish can teach us many things. We just have to look around and learn.
My sweet tempered, docile pet has taught me a lot just like the ones before her had. I am sure that if every child had a pet of his own he would be guided to be a wonderful person which is highly essential for our planet…