This story is about Roger, a black Labrador who belonged to my friend Neha.

For my seventeenth birthday, I received a basket as a gift from my friends. I thought it must be consisting of chocolates and some trinkets, it was placed on a table top adorned with a lot of decorations. Consumed by a lot of curiosity and excitement I approach the basket and I am frightened by seeing some movement happening in the basket. From the fur blanket emerges a petite black face having the softest eye I had ever seen.  Tears well up in my eyes and I finally have a pet.

As soon as Roger entered our household, tasks were distributed among me and my cousins. Demarcations were done, where Roger couldn’t enter- particularly my aunt’s room and the kitchen. The task of his bathing and defecation, unfortunately fell into mine department. I remember how he used to trip while we used to make him walk, how he salivated when he was given boiled eggs or chicken curry. I vividly recall, how being just a couple of inches tall he used to growl at the stray dogs or pets at least triple his stature, and how we used to chant all the hymns we could recall, that those bunch of dogs don’t give us a hard time. He always had a habit of urinating in aunt’s room and how I used to mop the urine.

Soon Roger was 4 months and we decided it was time for his training. In my sector there wasn’t any trainer and it was a tedious task to carry him to a different sector every day for his training. So I, along with my cousins decided to train him by ourselves. Google and Youtube became our advisors. We trained him quite well, but the only problem with him was in times of excitement he was unable to control his bladder. I remember returning from tuitions and being greeted by a wagging tail and such an affectionate face; no matter how miserable I felt that greeting acted as the solace for me, that face was home for me. How strange it is that someone’s silence is much more therapeutic that someone else’s thousand words!

When Roger became eleven months old, our family was going through a rough time. Roger was being blamed for all the fights and irritations. His misdemeanour was sometimes exaggerated but I never anticipated that my family could do such a deed. I returned from school and it was just a dull afternoon. I discovered that Roger wasn’t present to greet me, on inquiry I was informed he was taken to the vet. The reason was quite justified for his absence but my instincts told me something was out of place. I pacified myself with the fact that maybe I was at discomfort due to my over-thinking. The afternoon transformed into night and Roger was nowhere to be seen. I was agitated and I started pestering where was he? Finally the news was broken to me that as maintaining him was becoming a bit too tedious, he was sent off to the animal farm.

I was so devastated. Tears didn’t stop pouring from my eyes, I still can’t find the right bunch of words to portray my agony. I was so furious at my family for doing such a horrendous sin. It was a gift to me and more than that it was a part of my life. My family finally discovered how sad I was, so my elder brother finally brought Roger back. It was a week without him, but those days were the darkest days of my life. They rightly say we realise the importance of a person when we lose him. So true in my case, I realised how much he mattered to me. Since then I always make it a point to take some time out from my busy schedule to be with him because he is my life.

Related Story: What the World Would Be Like If Dogs Didn’t Exist

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Akshyata Ray

I am an engineering student, a voracious reader, an enthusiast of life and an ardent zoophilist.

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