I don’t have the ability to abandon anything.
He opens the car door. “Get off.” He spits his words out. This isn’t a regular, “let’s go and play tone". He smells of guilt and irritation. My body tenses up. “Come on.” He snaps his fingers. I bark thrice in defiance. He doesn’t have the ability to understand me, while I know all his emotions and feelings.
He throws my favourite toy out and pets my head. “Come on Speedy, get it.” I run as hard as my arthritic hips allow me. Then I pick up the toy and turn around. He’s slammed the door. The car blows smoke in my face as it speeds away. I’ve been fooled again. I sit by the curb and put the toy between my feet. I must stay here so he can find me when he returns.
Day turns into night. The harsh sound of thunder makes me shiver. My fur is wet and I’m cold. I miss my bed and my family. They had taken me in several years ago when they had a newborn child. We played in the yard, he pulled my tail and ears and I licked his face. Friends and relatives praised me and petted me. Family pictures were incomplete without me.
Then my hips started hurting me. When we came back from the veterinarian, the family had hushed conversations about money. Tempers flared and things changed forever. The child was now just concerned about studying for some exam and had no time to play with me.
My hips kept getting worse. I had a hard time just getting up, especially in the winters. Then today after several months, my master asked me to come for a car ride…
So many strangers, so much noise. I just want to be home. I need medicine and food. I see homeless dogs eating out of the garbage and trying to stay out of the rain. I certainly can’t eat that garbage — at least not today. I’m not seeking shelter because they must’ve left me here by mistake. They must be looking for me. They can never forget me, because I can’t forget them.
They are my family; my loved ones.
(The writer of this piece is an engineer and volunteer with several animal rescue organisations in the U.S. and India. Originally from Chandigarh, he currently lives in Houston)
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