Monday, January 16, 2012

fur and fang

Jerry's about to go back to his owners. My sis will be back to collect him in another 2-3 days. I was convinced that my sister's family do not treat him well in that he's not allowed much in the house though he has his own space. They don't pet and touch him much and he's not allowed to meet other dogs. Therefore when they decided to leave Jerry at our place while they were to go to Chennai for my niece's operation, I was overjoyed. I felt like Jerry was gonna be "home", will be well looked after and will get a loving family for two odd weeks. I wasn't completely wrong. Jerry is an adorable two year old cocker spaniel. He even won my father's heart (well almost; my dad is not very fond of dogs).

Initially the problem in handling Jerry was to walk him. My sister's house is bigger than ours, it is on the ground floor unlike ours on the first floor, and there's ample space for Jerry to run around and be happy being a dog. Here, Jerry has to be leashed and taken out to answer his nature's call. Couple that to the facts that he goes berserk on seeing other dogs and wishes to meet them, something I can't allow with stray dogs and other dogs on leash. Jerry is not a big dog but when he pulls, it feels like you're being yanked by a truck. I tried choke chain but stopped using it as I realized he'd pull even if gagged and might eventually strangulate himself unconscious. I learnt how to leash-train dogs and have been mildly successful. It's no longer impossible to walk him around, though it still gets difficult and the sporadic jerks have caused a backache that's not leaving me.

Initially I walked Jerry twice in the morning and twice in the evening and dad took him out once in the afternoon. This wasn't working out with me. I normally wake up at 8:00 am and after Jerry, I was waking up at 4:00am. Jerry was way too playful for my liking after a hard day and to top it all things between dad and I have been a bit sour. The walks were gradually restricted to once in the morning and night and once in the afternoon.

 One night when I was carrying his bedding, he pounced on it, I lost my temper and whacked my hand out hit him, it hit him on the snout and his right eye and he went flying a short distance. Jerry doesn't whine even when hurt but this time a squeak came out of him and he went and sat in a corner. When I calmed down in a few minutes, I felt extremely remorseful of my act. I took Jerry in my arms and he licked my hands (heck! only a dog can be so nice). I checked his eye and his right pupil had shrunk unlike the left one. I freaked out at the thought of hurting the animal. I was almost in tears. I made his bed and watched over him for a long time and hoped that his eye would be ok in the morning. Thankfully it was and I vowed never to hit him again. Since then I've hit him only twice and I made sure that I never hit him hard. I don't have to, he understands when I get angry at his unending silly antics.

Jerry' not an unarmed angel, he's got his arsenal in place. This is the mouth that I put my hand into and the fella holds it very gently.
Another problem was that he wasn't getting much exercise so I had to think of ways for doing it. I play fetch with him, playfully wrestle with him, let him take my hand in his mouth (which he loves doing), feed him, ensure he has clean water to drink at all times and his bed is next to mine. In the morning when he wakes up, he jumps up and licks me out of my dreamworld (which, of late, mostly comprises nightmares). I brush his coat everyday, give him lots of kisses and ensure that he doesn't feel unloved but I also have to ensure that he doesn't start to dominate me so playful wrestling matches generally end with me winning (of course without hurting him in anyway). My room is filled with Jerry's hair everywhere, the bed, the carpet, my clothes. No matter how much you clean, they return in greater number in a matter of an hour or two. My room smells of Jerry and even I smell of Jerry; Jerry doesn't smell so nice.
Jerry: I like covering his eyes with his ears when he's sleepy

Gosh! Jerry gave me a sneak peek into what responsibility of this kind means, he loves me, my parents and my fiance and we all love him being around. Dear Jerry, you will be missed.

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