“How deep is your love…how deep is your love? ‘Cause we are living in a world of fools…”
Bee Gees crooned on the radio station when I tuned in…..
Yes…How deep was my love, really?
And how do you measure love? Lengthy odes? Letter written in blood? Tears….? Do these measure love to the fullest?
I arrived back at home after a very fulfilling and enjoyable month-long vacation bursting with excitement to share with the world the stories of my vacation, only to find that our precious “Buddy” passed away few hours before our arrival. He was in good health and good care while we were away ……yet he breathed his last in our absence at the age of 6 1/2 yrs.
What thoughts must have passed in this four-legged creature’s mind while he took his last breath? Despair? Hopelessness? Did he have a heart-break? Was he confused about why we left him? Do dogs shed tears? Did he give up on us?
It seems so easy for us humans to fall in and out of love…. Arguments between a couple….solution: break up, ego problems….solution: break up, unfavorable behaviour….solution: break up, long separation…solution: break up and a new partner……
How do these canines love so wholeheartedly….we call ourselves the master of a pet but these simple creatures simply love us as family….
Buddy…..just loved and loved. Whenever I was annoyed and scolded him he would lower his eyes meekly and crawl under the bed…but a slight wave or smile on my face would bring him out wagging his tail, barking away his demands of a pat or tidbit or a hug. He would then sit contented just outside the kitchen door and see me work. Every time I walked back to bedroom he would follow and then back to sitting outside the kitchen. I would talk to him through out the day. He would snuggle up near my feet while I sat reading some book or newspaper. Having made sure that we all were in the house…he would go under the bed and go off to a fitful sleep loudly snoring away to glory without any worries.
He was a little jealous baby…..Whenever I hugged my daughter, Buddy would bark and seek attention by raising his paw …” pet me too!!”he would say. He was an impatient child….though he understood the “sit” command but he couldn’t control himself for more than few seconds when his food was being served. He would sit when told to but bark incessantly till his bowl wasn’t given to him. He was a naughty brat….when playing with his ball he never fetched it instead he would sit with ball in his mouth ready to leap away. He expected the ball to be snatched from his mouth and thrown again for him to play. He would run away with my bathroom slippers… He was sometimes very dumb….He was not aware of the magnitude of his strength and would sit feeling helpless if his leash was stuck on a moulded plastic lawn chair not realising that with his single pull the chair could be easily dragged to anywhere he wanted..
As a pup he claimed rights over a bean bag and dragged every biscuit and every bite of his dog food on the bean bag. As enjoyable as it was to watch him show annoyance if pushed from beanbag yet I took away his throne one day to wash and put away. He was quite upset but soon took fancy to an oversized stuffed toy and would sleep with his head resting on the toy.
All he ever wanted was a pat, a hug, food and sweet words and he made us his family ….his dog family. Even though he was over enthusiastic to meet every new person but it was us who he loved most. He never ever however was angry at us….never!!
He had never stayed separated from us for more than ten to twelve days. This time however he waited for a month……Was it a wait too long for him?He hid his anxiety well from everybody else and put up a brave face ….all the while waiting for us to turn up. And then he gave up!!
If only he knew that we were away only for a vacation…we hadn’t left him…we did love him and we were coming back to hug him again, to pat him, to feed him to say loving words to him….
His love for us was so so deep that he couldn’t bear the separation from us…..but how deep was my love? Did I take him for granted? I feel guilty……..of making him lose hope, of his despair, of his heartbreak, of him feeling unloved and alone…
Had I known the extent of his pining for us….
Why did I not call? Would he have lived after hearing our voice? Would he have waited for us? Would his heart become whole again? If only I could show him once how much I loved him…If I could touch him once more….If only he had seen us once before closing his eyes….
If only I had not made him wait this long…