Findus. His name is uncommon even by German dog name standards. But my recent google searches of the name left me harrowed. That name is also of a food brand now apparently linked to the horsemeat-in-the-lasagna scandal.
He was the cure to my life long pet deficiencies and mild Cynophobia (abnormal fear of dogs). My parents had had all the cogency on their side when they had told us –
Fine. Get the dog. Then don’t expect us to clean after him when he poops or go out when he wants a walk.
Which the kid-brain rightly perceives as,
No. You are not getting the dog.
In addition to the lack of pets, there was one incident that led me to
So, a neighbour’s mad dog had outrun my brother, scratched him and mysteriously left tooth marks on his foot a day before his birthday. My brother’s birthdays always failed to be normal, much like that.
Years passed but I could not forgive the dog community’s act of mutiny. Then one fine day, I was sitting at a friend’s place, when her mother asked me if I’d like to go with them to Constance/Konstanz for the weekend. Since, Konstanz ranks somewhere between Tuscany and Kashmir in heavenly goodness on Earth, it was a YES.
Accompanying us was their pet dog.
Between the debacle with my brother and now, I had grown to like and ‘Aww’ dogs on streets and online. But besides that dogs were still beyond enemy lines.
The first night I could not trust the dog being around while I slept. Next morning I was wide awake by 5 am.
Fact: Vacations induce insomnia.
Anyway, I got up to get some tea before I tugged myself in with The Casual Vacancy. I stealthily made my way to the pantry when I heard the dog squealing. My mind registered that sound as a growl and something I should be running away from. To add to my panic, the dog got up and started rushing towards the sound my NOISY feet made on the wooden floor. The commotion woke my friend’s mother up and she stopped the dog from jumping on me, just in time. After she had consoled him and sent him back to sleep, she told me that ever since he was a puppy he would get bad dreams at night and sometimes he cries when he awakes. And my running away just worsened it.
Yes, I felt pity. It was time I tried my hand at being friends with our old man, Findus. That night I kept my room door open. Following morning, I woke up at the same hour and sneaked into the room where he slept. He woke up to the clanking of my cup and spoons. This time with apprehension he gently ambled behind me as I seated myself on a sofa. As if on cue he settled between my feet. Rewardingly, I stroked Findus’ brown fur.
I witnessed the most peaceful sunrise of my being that day. And then he followed me around everywhere much of the day.
It’s true what they say about dogs being man’s best friend.
On the Sunday, I opened my eyes to find Findus with his head resting on my bed, probably reminding me of our sunrise ritual. We watched the sun break through the dawn clouds into my last morning with this dog who had salvaged the dog kind’s respect. I could all but curse the person I was 3 days ago for getting an apartment lease that didn’t allow pets.
Yeah-writing and gathering awesomeness this time week again!