Monday, October 5, 2015

Perils of Pet Ownership

It all started with a dream.  A dream of a lifestyle, a picture perfect family with two children and a dog!  A family that would play together, take vacations together, go for long drives on the beach into the sunset blah! blah! blah!...............

Stanley came into our lives to fulfill that dream. When this little bundle of joy came into our home, a burst of motherly instinct took over and I welcomed it as my third child.  The unbridled joy and amazement on Rahul's face was totally worth the effort and price we paid for Stanley, a pure-bred English Beagle.  From the moment Stanley entered our household, our lives changed forever! 
Our honeymoon with Stanley lasted a mere six days before the amount of care and attention that this little being demanded, started taking a serious toll on me.   Beagles are extremely intelligent, hyper active and mischievous.  Living in an apartment, maintaining a hyper dog with furniture and many delicate artifacts which were never meant for either children or dogs, brings new adventure everyday.  Our household stuff have survived a move across continents and two boys, but could not withstand the single minded determination of a naughty beagle .

The major crisis came when Stanley had a serious tick infestation which involved fumigating the house and the dog and everything it came in contact with.  I plunged headlong into the world of tick and flea control and now am the resident expert on maintaining a tick-free dog! 

I have wanted to get my head examined many times.  What was I thinking?  How did I not realise the amount of 'care' involved??  Maybe because I wasn't responsible for providing the care when we were children and had dogs!  Five months down the road, vacillating between frustration, anger, amusement and love, the Giridhar household was still reeling with how to solve a problem like Stanley.  Should we give him away, find another owner. The devastated look on Rahul's face ensured that we did not entertain this thought for more than a day. 

Rahul's poignant question during those trying times puts things in perspective:  'Mom, why are we not having as much fun as the commercials make it out to be.  Why do they keep saying get your child a dog and he will be happy'  .  And I have to resort to the standard response., "Que + sera, my son.  What will be will be.  Stanley is just like a pesky toddler who is a gigantic pain in the butt, but will grow to be a loving companion. "

Well, dear reader, you will be happy to note that we have survived the first year with Stanley.  He has gotten better and is now very much a member of the Giridhar household.  Is he the docile, easy going, mild-mannered house pet?  Not by any stretch of the imagination.  But in a curious turnaround, the Giridhars have risen to the challenge.   We have even managed to teach the dog some tricks.  Make sure to ask for demonstration next time you visit. 
These days my routine involves long walks with Stanley, daily efforts to socialize him  and my friends circle includes  a new set of like-minded 'pet owners'. The saga continues and as a nice by product, I hope to regain my slim and trim figure by the end of the year.....

So long, folks.  Please reach out if you want expert free advice on pet management......