I patted him and asked him what was troubling him. I knew I would get no answer — the kind I wanted. I would only hear more whimpering. I tried feeding him water, which he wouldn’t take. Then, I tried massaging his legs, patted his back, scratched behind his ears and slowly he began to quieten. Chikoo suffers from arthritis, which leaves him in pain and exhausted. Every time I sit beside him, he gives me his paw. When I massage it, he feels a relief that is obvious from the calmness I see in his eyes.
I don’t have ‘kids’ of my own, but I know how parents feel when their child falls sick. I have heard that no pain can ever equal labour pains. But, the pain, the helplessness one feels when the apple of one’s eyes suffers, that can be the worst pain, ever. Being a pet parent, I suffer a bit more as, my baby can not explain exactly what it is that troubles him. And, as the days pass, my heartbeat quickens. I get scared. Very scared, for my baby. He is not the only one who suffers from separation anxiety!
I have heard from my friend how pets suffer during their old age, during their last days. She has been through it. Every time she merely thinks about the dog who was with her during her last days, her eyes moisten. The old dog’s original ‘parents’ felt it below their dignity to have an old, sick dog in their house. Therefore, my friend’s husband got the dog home, to give her the love and care she deserved. She was with my friend for a mere 4 months, but, the bond she developed with her while caring for her! She suffered immensely at the old dog’s demise. She felt an emptiness within her after the dog left her for the heavenly abode.
Not every one understands the love that one has for one’s pet. And, it is wholly because of the dog and his unconditional love, that such a bond exists between the two. I often wonder, that when God created the dog, and blessed him with the power to offer love with such an intensity, why did he have to give it such a short life span? Every minute of my day, every breath I take, has Chikoo at its core. And, as the moments fly by, I get an intense urge to stop time in its tracks. I will have that much more time with my darling son. That much more time to pat him, cuddle him, scratch behind his ears and tell him how much I love him. But, as I extend my fingers to grab time, it slips from between them, like the sand. And, my heart misses a beat, too many.