In memory of Khalua … and all the dogs who ever loved me.

Chatting with friends last evening and sharing stories on our four footed friends, I was reminded of the incredible story of Khalua as he breathed his last.

Doggy love

Khalua – or ‘the black one’ in Sinhalese – was a road dog.

I noticed him hanging around when I moved into my new home and thought he belonged to one of the other eight homes on a private street – but soon realised no one  ‘claimed’ him as their own.  I found out he had been adopted  by the workers on our construction site and left behind when then moved  on. Our street was his home and he would patrol the neighbourhood.  Everyone fed him.  There was  no routine and no regular diet but he was sturdy  (around 17 kg) and tough.

He was also an excellent watchdog.   Every time I reached home, he would come bounding in from wherever he was, jump over the boundary wall and carry out an recky (reconnoitre) of the premises, giving me a sort of ‘thumbs up, its safe for you to enter’.  I would open the gate and drive in but he never took the easy walk out but leaped over the wall again after I had closed the gate.  It was very comforting to have him around,  especially when I drove home alone, late at night.

I grew to love my security guard.  Others with evil intent did not.

They tried to poison him once and physically injured him another time.  I called the vet  – and he recovered from both incidents.  Then, the ‘would be intruders’ – I can’t imagine any other reason for wanting to injure the dog – had thrown something causing serious burns.  It was bad.

My living room was turned into a ward as the vet visited daily to administer a drip.  Dad took over as Matron in charge whilst I went to work.

One day, I had just reached office when Dad called to say Khalua had taken a turn for the worse. Dad figured corrected that I would want to be there.  I  attended to some urgent work and left for home. I was half way there when Dad called again to say there was no need to rush as Khalua had breathed his last.  Since I was in no mood to go back to work I decided I would continue as planned. I drove slowly for there was no rush. It may have taken me about 20 minutes to reach home  … and this is the incredible part that is seared in my memory.

When I entered the living room, the drip was off and Dad was standing by Khalua lying inert on the floor. Dad simply looked at me.  He loved animals and Khalua – there was no need for words.   I waited a few seconds to collect myself and then knelt by  Khaluas side and Khalua .. that beloved loyal dog that graced my life  .. lifted his head, licked my hand and then closed his eyes .. this time for good.

Again words failed us.  For twenty minutes or more,  he had held on to his last breath to say “Thank you”.  Khalu beautiful loving dog, it is I who have to say thank you to YOU,  for caring for me and taking over the job of security guard;  for making me feel safe when I returned home alone late at night; for loving me.

I love you too Khalu … enjoy eternal bliss with your creator.

And to all the dogs who have always loved unconditionally and who have gone ahead : Family dogs Spotty, Prince, Charky (Charcoal), Biscuit, Zippy, Chico , and my own dogs Scampy, Elsa, Misty, Rocky and Monster -King of the Road (whom I’ve written about) – thank you for loving me and caring for me.  I thank God for the blessings of all of you and am sorry for any neglect and lack of appreciation. You loved more than you were loved.  May you be loved unendingly and snuggled and live happy  in your heavenly abode

Image Credit : http://www.allthingsclipart.com/06/loving.dog.clipart.htm

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Territorial War of Paws !

There definitely is a territorial war going on on Lake Road – or – in Sri Lankan parlance  – an ‘eelam‘ war as it is a battle to claim the Northern and Southern ends of Lake Road.

The main defender of territorial rights is Smokey Rasquinho, with backing and full support of FFF (fearless freedom fighter) aide and body-guard, ‘Kella’

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Smokey – looks to his Commander in Chief for support.  Double brace put on after Bambi jumped on him snapping his leash 🙂

The usurpers  (listed later) are trying to  take over territory, staking a claim to the North of Lake Road whilst the bystanders (see list) who get involved in the fray are seeking promenade rights 🙂

So many tails – sorry  tales, of the War of Paws on Lake Road.  Today’s tale is how Snitch earned her name.

I was late, so Usurpers were out in full force when we stepped out at 7.15 today.  It is an unwritten treaty that whoever leaves the bedroom first Continue reading

SMOKEY on the roof !

Trying to figure out how Phototrablogger got his roof tiles for this weeks Mundane Monday Challenge by simply sitting on a chair!!   (See his answer to Aadhirai in his post).

I think I will need to switch to a professional camera to even begin to take his type of pictures. I still can’t figure out how he got THAT angle Image result for emoticons

But focusing on roofs – have a look at this cute subject matter who thinks the roof is his playground.  Or perhaps he is in tune with the Drifters:

… On the roof, it’s peaceful as can be
And there, the world below can’t bother me
Let me tell you now …

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Turn around please.  Can I get a full face view and not just your derrière Image result for emoticons

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Aaah  … nice thank you 🙂   Now can you come down please,  you are damaging the tiles

Oh … you like it up there ?   Say that again …

When this old world starts getting me down
And people are just too much for me to face 
I climb way up to the top of the stairs
And all my cares just drift right into space (Up on the roof)

OK  OK  …  I agree.  As long as you are not referring to me ??

When I  come home feeling tired and beat
I too like to go up where the air is fresh and sweet (Up on the roof)
I get away from the hustling crowds
And all that rat race noise down in the street (Up on the roof)

So stay there as long as you like  … and as long as you don’t fall over!! I will join you soon. Broken tiles are small price indeed for the joy of being UP ON THE ROOF 🙂

The Drifters sure got it right    I’ll be up there soon as I post this to Jithin.

 

 

Je t’aime Monster – King of the Road!


This post was in my draft box whilst I waited to get a video of Monster.  Sadly he passed away in December when I was overseas. The neighbours videoed the funeral service but I have not been able to look at it.  Too sad. 

I also feel sad that I have let him down by not telling his story and although it still hurts when I think about him, I feel he deserves to be introduced even though he is not with us. 

This post is thus in the present tense as originally written.  

Rest in peace Mon … I love you so  ~♥~

November, 2014

“Yesterday for the first time I thought I had given you a wrong name.  You are so loyal, faithful and loving … how can I keep calling you Monster?

True, it is shortened to ‘Mon’ most of the time … and Monster is only a name of love … but still it is not an endearment of love. So what shall I call you from now on for  I do love you so.

And I realised how much you love me too yesterday when you came running to me from your wanderings on the road the minute you heard my car start up.  You followed me from Romy’s home to my home, waited outside whilst I did some work, and then started to follow me back.  When I called to you that I had forgotten something and turned back, you turned back too – and waited patiently outside.  Then you saw me safely into Romany’s home and went back to your wanderings on the road.   Oh Monster … can anyone have a ‘road dog’ who is so loving and concerned, so loyal and faithful, so protective of me !!   You are the best, the very very best.   And I want all the world to know about you so here is your story.

Monster’s mother was a road dog.  When she littered near my garage,  I fed the little family but a monitor lizard devoured all but one little pup … so I took Mother and son into my garage for safety.  When the pup was big, he joined his mother on the road.

They looked after the neighbourhood. Everybody fed them. I would get the mobile vet for vaccines or treatment. Mother dog was so easy to manage – meek and patient. The little one … he was terrified and gave us such a difficult time with howls and yelps.  I think that was perhaps when I started calling him ‘Monster’.

The mother was run over one day and Monster was on his own so I started paying him more attention, talking to him whenever I saw him. He had an incredible attachment to me.  He would come running from wherever he was the minute he heard my gate click and follow me whether on foot or car. .  If I went to my sisters a few doors away, he’d follow me there.  If I went to a neighbour’s, Monster would come there too.

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Monster waiting for me outside my neighbours home.

If I went to church at the end of the road, he’d come there and join the congregation.

This was OK whilst the church was being built and we had no formal arrangement downstairs. But when we completed our beautiful chapel upstairs, Monster would still join the congregation and sit under my pew. We could never get him to leave as long as I was there. I decided tough measures were called for when he came right into the sanctuary one day and sat there right next to me whilst I was making an announcement!  Nobody was listening to me; all eyes were on him!!  Our priest  took it in good spirits saying he was the only Catholic dog he has seen. But after that, I would try to inveigle Monster into the house and lock him in before we left for Church.

Not an easy task – and still achieved only 50% of the time for Monster knows without a doubt when Sunday evening draws near.  Nothing we can do will persuade him to enter the house.

Suspicious Sunday - steering clear of you today look. Also is the vet nearby look !!

Suspicious Sunday – steering clear of you today look. Also is the vet nearby look !!

He knows all our tricks now so it is difficult to trick him indoors.  If by chance we succeed, he hangs by the door and rushes  past us my mum when she steps out. There is high drama each Sunday for he has to go to church. There are people there who love him, talk to him and even buy him food.  The only good thing now is that he does not come inside the church (the new priest did not allow him) so he joins the fellowship outside after Mass.

Monster still leads us a dance when we have to get the vet.  He is not well now. He has got injured in a fight and has a touch of mange. I look at him and say “Mon will you let me get the vet?”  But unless we have a many pairs of strong hands and prepare ourselves for days, it is going to be really difficult.  He hates the vet or even mention of the name.  We have to resort to code language like “Canine caretaker”  or speak in Sinhalese  (the local language which he does not understand !) for on countless occasions, the vet has turned up, after we have secured Monster indoors, but has not been able to treat him. Somehow, Monster manages to escape. Once we had the whole neighbourhood looking for him because the Vet had drawn the injection.  We ended up paying for treatment not administered.

Now, we have to give him sleeping tablets before the Vet arrives.  It is not good for him, that’s why I hesitate and delay. The first time we gave him one tablet, he woke up when the vet touched him and ran away.  The next time, tablet plus muzzle.  He still jumped up and ran away.  The third time, tablet, plus muzzle plus both legs secured when he was drowsy. I hated such drastic treatment but felt the end justified the means.  He needed medical treatment. He still struggled so vet gave him a fast acting injection. He took so long to come out I was terrified it had gone wrong.

But Monster is a strong dog.

I think with wonder and undiluted thanks of the day that I ran over him.  Yes, I who loved him so, ran over him.

He had run out in front of the car for his usual ‘advance party’  but suddenly decided to roll over and scratch his body.  I was just inching the car forward when I heard a yelp and froze wondering which way to move. Monster dragged himself out from under the tire where I had run over his lower belly.  He was grumbling and whining and would not allow me to touch him.  I cried profusely, Monster I am sorry but he was in too much pain to heed my tears  and only grumbled at me – you had to hear it to believe!  Honest. That dog could almost speak.  He allowed my mum to hep him and this was only time we had no difficulty with the Vet for Monster knew he needed help.  Later, he allowed me to take care of him till he recovered.

I am still very nervous when Monster is on the road as he expects vehicles to move out of his way!   Just look at him below !! 

t nervous when driving home as Monster  takes over the whole road and forms a welcome brigade for me, prancing from side to side, till I reach my house. Many times, I just wait till the road is clear before driving on.

Monster… thank you for all the happiness you have brought me/us, and all who love you: your road friends (the ‘walkers’ 🙂 your church friends and your many admirers, including the baker who brings a bun for you each day.  Thank you for being so faithful and loyal and watching over me wherever I go.

I thank God for you and pray that I can keep you healthy and safe into your old age.

I love you Mon. ”

Postscript.

Sadly it was not to be.  But Monster taught me how to love unconditionally, faithfully and without expectation of anything in return.

“Love me for a reason and let the reason be love.”