When a pet dies, the family gathers around and sheds tears, when a stray animal passes away, the whole community mourns.
With a heavy heart I announce the passing of our very dear Bobby, our cherubic, ‘not-so-little’ sweet dog, who left for her heavenly abode on September 17, 2022.
She came into our lives in December 2015, when we were walking aimlessly around Dadar Parsi Colony, Mumbai pausing to pet any friendly street dog we could find, offering them biscuits along with our love. Most dogs would eat, share some affection and then walk away, but two of these dogs got very friendly with us and started following us as we walked away. I thought they would give up sooner or later, but not these two as they happily followed us, eyes gleaming, tails wagging, all the way home!
We were of course delighted to have them and took them inside and offered them some food. They ran around excitedly checking out the place and then decided to settle down. Every time we would go out of the house they would happily follow us out to the street and then back home when we came back. After a day or two of the same pattern, one decided that outdoors was a much better space to be in and stayed there, while this cute little, white with brown patches dog decided to stay with us.
We named her BOBBY. Not sure where or how that came from but it definitely stayed.
Bobby was the most docile, gentle, loving and forgiving dog I have ever known. She would eat moderately, never beg for food, would be around us and offer us her calm presence. She would go happily back to the street when we had to go out and would wait for us nearby till we came back home. She did that throughout that Christmas break till it was time for us to go back to Hong Kong. I thought I’d never see her again, as I looked at her through the car window craning my neck till the car turned a corner and I couldn’t see her anymore.
We enquired about her in the months that followed and family did spot her here and there in the vicinity. We were happy to know that she was ok. The next summer when we back we were pleasantly surprised to see Bobby again! We had to go looking for her of course but the minute she heard us calling her name, she came bounding up the street looking so happy. She didn’t think twice before following us once again all the way home and we were so happy that she would accept us even after our long separation. We spent 6 exciting weeks in Mumbai proud and delighted to have our own dog!
I have grown up with dogs and you can read that from some of my past blogs about the big impression that they have made in my life. I always missed having a dog in HK, so when this little but plump looking munchkin adopted us I was more than happy! Specially for my boys as I wanted them to experience what it was like to have a pet. With our crazy travel the only pets we could keep in HK were a goldfish, two turtles and a borrowed Guinea pig and while they had their own joys, there is nothing compared to the unconditional love offered by man’s best friend.
Bobby became a part of every holiday we had in India. We even started leaving her alone at home when she looked reluctant to step out. She was naturally potty trained and would just stand near the main door if she wanted to go out. She soon started spending nights with us and sometimes during the day she would go for a short jaunt, maybe to meet her furry friends and tell them about some entertaining “human” stories!
Soon Bobby adopted the street we were on and stopped going to her usual territory. She slowly started making friends with our neighbours, with other families who started treating her with more respect and a variety of food than what one offers a street dog. There were other dogs who came and went while Bobby was with us. She would never get into a fight with them or cause any trouble so we continued our dedicated walks of finding and feeding other stray dogs while Bobby would happily walk along with us.
Over the years she became portly and slowed down quite a bit. We had to make a lot of effort to get her to run. As my nieces and nephews grew older they all started playing more with Bobby. She was the safest dog a child could cuddle and for that every time we visited Mumbai, giving her a good bath was the top item on my list! Bobby loved sleeping and resting and as time went on she rested and slept even more. We used to joke about her taking turns sleeping in the ‘Winter and Summer Palace’ which were two separate balconies where she loved taking a sun bath. Her routine was a short walk every morning to do her business followed by a bowl of milk for breakfast and then sleep time until evening or until someone woke her up! We did not know her actual age so had no idea if it was age or health related but she carried on like this for years.
The last three years have been quite tough though as we could not travel to Mumbai and would see Bobby only through photographs and videos sent by family. One loss here and another gain there, as we finally decided to get a dog for ourselves during the crazy covid home bound years and life has become more meaningful and less lonesome after that.
We were meant to travel mid 2022, however covid caught us in its claws again as we cancelled our trip to India. We were really looking forward to our visit and my boys specially were looking forward to spending time with Bobby, however fate had other plans.
It seems that Bobby started keeping unwell and spent more and more time in our building. From a street dog she became our building dog as everyone fed her and looked after her. A really good friend who is passionate about stray animals was also treating her. On September 17, when they could not locate her anywhere, my 9 year old niece who was extremely fond of Bobby knew just where to look for her. And she did find her, except that she had already passed on to the other world.
Bobby, a stray dog by birth, was given a proper burial in the same spot where she was found dead. It seems she had chosen the spot and used to sleep there for hours out in the open in a corner of the garden.
Rest in peace my dear Bobby. I wish I could’ve met you once again before you left us, but knowing that you lived a full life, happy in the company of those who loved you and being buried right where you felt belonged, gives my mind a lot of peace. Thank you for being a part of our lives.
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