The lovable stray

Day 23: Fur babies

It was a dark, cold December night

Made colder by the incessant rain

Shivering and bedraggled, barely three weeks old

He walked into our lives, following my eldest sibling.

We were floored by his chocolate eyes

And his dappled, shiny coat

Mom, a stickler for cleanliness, was wary

We begged her to keep him for one night

Reluctantly she allowed us to keep him in a box.

“Just one night, mind you!” she warned!

Next morning saw him pawing the door

To go out and do his business!

Needless to say mom’s heart melted in a trice

He became the fifth sibling.

He came without a manual

We had never been owned by a pet

But his easygoing manner and fierce loyalty

Made going easy for all of us.

He was our playmate, our bodyguard

Participating in all our conversations

Sitting on his favourite chair

And generally having a blast scaring others!

Panting under our beds on hot summer nights

Snuggling at our feet on cold winter ones

He became an integral part of us.

He grew up to be a handsome dog

Loved by everyone, feared by strangers

His devotion saw him running behind our car

to movie theatre as well as my siblings’ college

Waiting patiently and then following back!

But perhaps mom commanded the most respect

One stern look from her and he would quietly slink away

He loved playing with dad,

who would feed him tidbits under the table.

Almost thirteen years he was with us

Never ill for a single day

So when his heart just gave way one November evening

It broke our family’s collective heart

Even after so many years

We haven’t had the heart to give it to another pet.

(Written for OctPoWriMo)

Poetry form: Ode

43 thoughts on “The lovable stray

  1. This one had me in tears. I had Maxi a stray for 14 years. She crossed to the other side on Aug. 2012. After she passed away I didn’t have the heart to adopt one more. Ironically, within one year of her passing away, the present black one, Ginu, who was just a few weeks old and was literally dying in the November rains after a cyclone adopted us in 2013. And just after 6 months, the white fella Laddu captured our hearts. Both are rescued dogs. Life is difficult without them. Your Ode brought back some old memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sunita, thank you so much for sharing this. It is so wonderful that you have not one but two to fill the void. Their presence certainly is a blessing. This ode was long overdue.

      Like

  2. Wow, what a wonderful story of LOVE, tribute to both dog and family; and clearly a significant loss, for which I’m sorry…you all have great memories for hearts’ keepsake box. Are you familiar with the true story of Hachiko, loyal dog to a Japanese man–“Hachi” went to the station to meet his master each day after work…and continued to do so, sadly waiting, after the man had died.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You have just melted my heart entirely with this tale of your furry sibling. I loved this:
    β€œWe had never been owned by a pet”

    That line in itself says so much ❀️❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We still have the chair, with a gnawed armrest, which was his domain and he wouldn’t let anyone sit on it! Thank you so much, Rachel. It feels good to finally pay tribute to him. ❀️❀️

      Liked by 1 person

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