Pet Parenting – A year into the journey.

A few years ago, one of my colleagues lost her beloved dog. She was in mourning and took a few days off, my aloof and immature reaction to this was ‘but it’s just a dog. What’s the big deal!’.

That was me when I did not have a pet, never held a dog in my life and never ever thought that I will be a pet mom one day. Today, my reaction to that dog passing away will be a ocean of tears with a heartbreak. I understand how she(colleague) must have felt at that moment, the pain she must have felt.

It’s amazing how emotionally stunted we become towards something until we experience it ourselves.

My husband, who is a pet lover, never had a pet and bringing home one was his dream. With the pandemic, lockdown and work from homes, he finally felt he could make his dream come true. Only problem was ME. I was not onboard with the idea. I loved dogs or pets in general but only when it’s someone else’s. Never imagined having one of my own. They are a huge responsibility and I was not sure if I was ready for it. It took him days to convince me, I am stubborn but he is relentless.

The day she came home.

After days of cribbing, sulking and endless pet videos later, I finally gave in. And, the very next moment she was here.

Rumi came into our lives on a hot July afternoon in 2020(read here). Delivered to us via a delivery service (we could not travel because of the lockdown), cuddled up behind the delivery boy she reached us unharmed but a little scared. My husband saw her and it was immediate love. I have never seen him care for anything in his life more than this creature.

Unarguably for me, it wasn’t love at first sight. I was still questioning my decision each time she chewed off my plants, shoes, any piece of clothing laying around or answered nature’s call on our rugs & floor mats. It took me days to warm up to her. Two weeks to be exact and a road trip(read that here).

First Road Trip.

Just like Rumi, it was a new experience for me too and I was learning new things with each passing moment. I would jump in fear each time her tiny legs touched me or she tried to bite my slippers. She would sneak into the kitchen and circle around my legs, never having been around pups before I would jump in fear and shoo her away(in vain). 

Our first day with her was scary. We wanted to make sure that she is safe and sound. She did not eat or drink. She was as scared as we were I guess, by night she started pooping everywhere. Diarrhea. We were clueless so we consulted a vet who reassured us that it’s normal.

Stayed up all night making sure she is alive. The realisation that we are responsible for another living being hit me hard. Little did I know that, it was just the beginning of a series of interesting and occasionally annoying moments in my life. I won’t deny it, I had mixed feelings about it up until a few months ago.

My house stank like a stable. While I was running around saving all my things from her, my husband was cleaning her shit(literally) from every corner of the house. It was a roller-coaster ride, figuring out what to feed her, what is safe and what not, what she likes, buying her toys, cleaning her and keeping her away from harm’s way.

Did we enjoy it? Initially no, it takes time to transition and make up your mind(if you are someone who never had a pet in their life). I was annoyed for the longest time, my life got turned upside down. My schedules went haywire but soon I realized that I have two choices, either I can stay angry, never get anything done & blame it all on the poor creature or I can make my peace with it and move on.

I chose the latter. Rumi was given to us, it was not her choice. We took responsibility for her and it’s our job to give her a loving and caring life. So we did.

As she grew up, we saw the playful, naughty side of her. My love for her grew each day, I got to know her better and understand her. She still chews away whatever she finds but she knows what not to chew, that’s an achievement in itself. She still poops and pees but she is trained not to do it inside the house. She still annoys me with her little tantrums but now I know the reason behind it. She hates cuddles, does not obey any of my commands and runs around the house like a maniac for no reason at all but every morning she waits for me to wake up and pat & kiss her. She cries whenever I leave the house. She patiently waits to be fed and whenever I am working she quietly comes and sits around my leg.

I believe she has accepted us as her family and it’s the best feeling in the world.

Today, marks the anniversary of her coming home to us(celebrating it as her birthday). I cannot imagine a life without her now. A year ago if someone had asked me what I would be in a year’s time, never in my wildest dreams the answer would have been a ‘Dog Momma’. I am proud to be one. It has taught me patience, meaning of unconditional love and care and most importantly, how to be a parent, what more can one ask for!

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