It looks like a duck, walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, chances are it is a duck, is an old Christian proverb. Teddy looked like a dog, walked like a dog, sounded like a dog but behaved like a human being…
Teddy was my pet, friend and family all rolled into one. My husband Udi, and he had a love hate relationship; they loved to hate each other. Teddy thought Uday was a bully and Uday thought Teddy was getting too much attention from me, it was pure Male jealousy!!
Teddy was a gift from Udi. One morning, in August 1990, Udi came home from Mangalore, with a puppy in a hand bag and a feeding bottle. It was the most beautiful puppy I’d ever seen, he was white as snow, a cuddly fur ball, a cute pink belly, a wet nose and soulful squint eyes, we named him Teddy. I was working and pregnant and didn’t want a Dog. We had a possessive and ferocious kitty who hated Dogs. We decided to find a home for the puppy, but the little puppy won our hearts in no time, no house in fact, was good enough for Teddy!! As a Javan proverb says – “Fate decides who comes into our lives and the heart determines who stays”.
Teddy, without doubt, was the devils incarnation, during one of his adventures, he fell into the toilet bottom first, he could not come out, he yelped loudly and my mother rushed to pull him out. While giving him a bath, if the water was either too hot or cold, he used to express his displeasure by howling. My neighbours had good reason to believe we were torturing him.
In fact, when he was teething, I stopped buying leather shoes; he’s chewed at least half a dozen of my shoes. One night I left my new leather sandals near him, the next morning, to be sure, only the sole was available, Teddy had chewed up the soft leather straps.
Our daily walks were always adventurous, one day he picked a cigarette stub in his mouth, my scolding and shouting fell on deaf ears, he just wouldn’t let go of it. He was drooling with the effort of holding it in his mouth. When we reached home, I complained to Udi about it and Udi like a Hero said, “see now, I’ll make him spit it out”, then he bent down and just tapped Teddy on his bums. With lightening speed, Teddy jumped and bit Udi’s nose, then what followed was a wild chase, Teddy running for his life and Udi chasing him. Teddy got a nice spanking that day, and Udi ended up with a Black nose, Udi washed the cut and placed Dettol directly over his nose. From then on Udi called him “Katte” – a Donkey and Teddy would immediately acknowledge it with a growl.
Another day, Teddy caught a Frog, the frog urinated in his mouth, and that was the last he ever went anywhere close to a Frog.
He was 4 months old when our first son, Mayur was born, we expected Teddy to be jealous and hurt the baby. It did not have to worry, Teddy took it upon himself to be Mayur’s protector. Mayur was his personal toy, if any visitor even lifted the baby and took him near the door, Teddy would start growling threateningly.
Teddy loved coffee, if I drank coffee in his presence, without giving him, he would keep staring and drooling till I felt guilty. After a while, he will pick his feeding bowl and bang it on the floor, demanding that I share it with him. Teaching my kids with Teddy close by was fun, I just had to shout to my son, “baby Sit up” and both my son and Teddy will sit up. We just had to bring out the Camera and Teddy was ready for the Photograph, posing away, with his bushy tail up in the air. I can go on and on writing about his pranks!
Teddy grew up to be absolutely handsome, he was a cross between a mongrel and a Pomeranian. He was about 2 feet high, with busy tail and floppy ears. He had light brown patches on his back and ears.
Teddy was more than a pet, we had the pleasure of his company and his unconditional love for 11 years. One day 13 years back, he went for a walk and never came back and we searched the neighbourhood for many days. I still regret that I did not try hard enough, that I did not place an advertisement.
I could not bear to take another pet and resisted taking a pet for nearly 8 years, till another cute puppy came into our lives. A ginger coloured Labrador, I will write about her in another post.