“I’m not a vet ! I’m a dermatologist!” my doctor dad used to thunder, any time he was asked to take a look at the Admiral’s dog . Coming from a service where the boss’ word was law, my father flatly refused to oblige the four legged wards of his Senior Officers . In fact he had nothing to do with the treatment of canines till one day when something just had to be done with our family dog, Theta
She was boisterous and a thoroughly badly brought up Labrador-of-sorts who was well known in the colony for her loud bark. She was known for a lot of other shenanigans too like jumping into someone’s house and hiding under the bed during Diwali time, chewing up the nevar of our beds etc .
But more than anything else,she was an exuberant Meeter and Greeter who would bark like a maniac, leap on the guest and slobber him/her with the wettest of kisses, all the while wagging her tail like a whiplash. Needless to say, no one appreciated this welcome , least of all my mother who was already mortified and embarrassed at being called ‘ Kale Kutte ki Ma’ by one and all. While this moniker sounds obscene , it is quite harmless really, identifying my mom as the “mother of the black dog”. But this did not go down well at all! Because the dog was mine and not hers to begin with.
Today I’d like to share a story where my dad the doctor actually played doctor to the dog.
It all started with the windfall of the Snowball my father won in the Sunday Tombola at the Club. My father being my father thought that the best way to put to use this unexpected money was to have a party . And so the invitations were sent out quite recklessly till there was a sizable number of people who were to attend.
A week before ‘the party’ my dad received a call from another officer who was visiting the city as the Liaising Officer of the Chief of the Guyanese Army . He was free for a night and wanted to meet his old friend on his evening off.
But the Chief had other plans as it turned out . He wanted to see how an Indian Officer lived. And what could be a better indication of a man’s lifestyle than seeing how the Officer partied ?
My dad had no option but to invite the Chief as well. So the Military Police came and inspected our house to make sure there were no security breaches . This is when we realised that something HAD to be done about Theta ( our dog ) . It just wouldn’t do to have my brother and me pulling the dog by the chain while she barked and barked .
Daddy of course, thought the best way out was to mildly sedate Theta . So he administered her the pediatric dose of Phenargan . Unfortunately, the medication made Theta even more Hyperactive and that night my brother and I spent the entire evening cosseted with a dog who was ready to jump out of the room dragging the bed behind her . ( We had to secure her chain to the bed and sit on it just so that she couldn’t escape) .
And how she barked and whimpered and whined that night !
Luckily our guests outside were inebriated and the noise level drowned her barks and whimpers.
The minute the last guest left , we heaved a sigh of relief as we let Theta loose. Without waiting a minute, she shot out of the room. Her party time had begun . She went straight for the leftovers and polished them off before we could even see what she was doing. She burped her satisfaction and returned dopey eyed but triumphant to her place under my father’s bed. She licked her paws clean, closed her eyes and slept.
The medication had finally kicked in!
This is my story for #WritingWednesday hosted by Corinne of WriteTribe where we’ve decided to share our animal tales to honour St Francis’ birthday . Many of you dog lovers will possibly be horrified by this story. But honestly we loved our dog and didn’t mean to treat her badly.
BTW I’m sure my family will have their own version of this story and I will possibly get a lot of flack for this, but this is how I remember it.
p.s. Nevar is a woven thick cotton tape used to weave the bed on a wooden frame