TIMMY A sudden sense of awe filled me as I held a small pup in my hands that bright winter morning when Nikku bhayia handed me the pup who would be called ‘Timmy’ .I could see Akshit and Anshika were not happy with a sense of departing in their eyes .As I had not made any kennel for the pup I had to adjust him in a carton with some old clothes as rags.
The next morning ,I went to the barn and brought as many rice-straw bundles I could bring .Dad brought a leather leash from the market .Our house had dismantled bunker-beds ,I used them to make a comfortable kennel for the pup .The ‘Famous Five’ had a dog called ‘Timmy’ and this is how my pup got his name ‘Timmy’.
Timmy was blessed with canine ferocity. He would follow me where ever I would go .I would leash him in the morning and go to college. He would bark and whine(= utter a high-pitched distressed cry) but nobody would unchain him. This was to bring out canine ferocity in him as all the dog owners advised me .He was indeed my darling. Rearing a puppy is like rearing a child .Parenting Timmy was a terrific experience. I felt like a sure(=male parent of a domestic animal).Where other dog owners did not dare to disturb their dogs while eating ,here I would sit on him, cuddle him ,even take food out of his mouth. This is how I trained him to be from a whelp (=any of the young of various carnivorous mammals and esp. of the dog) to a dog. I would feed him on my palms so that he would associate my presence with the food. To me he was the finest and best dog ever barked on earth .He grew up to be a trundle tail (=a curly tailed dog), the mask (=the head of an animal like dog or a fox) was indeed very impressive, his jet black shiny muzzle remained moist all the time except when he was sick. I would play with the whiskers on the flew (=the pendulous part of the dog’s upper lip) he would just gnarl to show disapproval.
Timmy knew the rooms he was allowed to enter. Kitchen was out of his bounds. Seeing neither of us around he would sneak into the kitchen. At times he would sleep under dad’s bed. How he would snore! As he was a housebroken(=trained to excretory habits acceptable to indoor living-used of a household pet) dog , on my command he would go out urinate, drink water and come back .He knew stale(=urine domestic animal) meant severe rate(=a reproof to a dog ).He was good at playing ‘I spy’. I would hold him in my arms like a baby.
One evening his loud bark seemed eccentric .I hurried to the courtyard and what I saw was really surprising. I saw my nine months’ old pup barking at the corpse of the dead cobra. What? Yes , a cobra !That day onwards he continued to be a cobra slayer who held a remarkable record of killing 150 cobras where as mine was a humble 50.Except for monkey and cat any crow ,mole, frog, toad or even any squirrel who foolishly barged or sneaked in never lived to go out his realm alive.
One night he gave tongue (=began to bark on the scent).To my surprise, he was barking at a cobra with its hood expanded in anger. Seeing the sight I was terrified. One wrong move and Timmy would be breathing his last. Before I could realize what was actually happening, Timmy had made the move. Before the cobra could fix its eyes on him it was in his mouth and dead the next moment! What agility! This was the feat that separated him from his neighbours Bruno ,Jackie ,Peggy and Suzi.
Many of my friends who visited me daily would not dare to step in without confirming Timmy was really leashed. Everybody believed that he had become a venomous dog. When relatives would come to stay I would have to tell him to behave like a good dog and not to trouble them, and he would comply. Nineteen ninety-seven came and the same February I had to leave for M.Sc. in Zoology. St. John’s College let out (=concluded a session) in June and I was back home. The presence of a lump on his brisket (=breast or lower chest of a quadruped) troubled me. Meeting the local vet wasn’t a fruitful one. Timmy was referred to IVRI, Bareilly. At Diwali I took his photos to the IVRI and it came to me a shock that nothing could be done. I was worried about Timmy. Gradually the keeper (=a domestic animal considered with respect to how easy it is to care for) was to be put down(= to do away with as in injured sick or aged animal) .No, never! I could never think of leaving Timmy.
Timmy was advancing in age day by day and was decrepit (=wasted and weakened as if by the infirmities of age).His body systems were slowly shutting down, also developed cataract in both eyes. One morning in 2004 Dad called up and told that Timmy was found dead in the courtyard. He was given a humble funeral, and was buried in a nearby field .There was not even a tumulus (=an artificial mound as over a grave) to show where laid my doggy. Now when I enjoy the real fatherhood and when my son, seeing cute puppies, asks me to get him a pup, a glint (=a trace of emotion expressed through eyes) reminds me of the life lived so well.
DEEPAK DAVID G.D.BIRLA MEMORIAL SCHOOL RANIKHET