The Stray Dog that Touched My Life

By Rutuja Bhagwat - January 14, 2018

An adorable stray dog. PS This is not Sheru

As I near my house, still feeling a little unsafe as it is 11:00 at night, I feel the emptiness, I try to find Sheru, but he is not around...

I have always loved animals and dogs being my favourite, I often begged my parents for adopting a dog. However, 23 years of my life, and I still don’t have a furry friend wagging his tail when I get home after work, though for about a month, back in my junior college days, my friend had asked me to take care of her puppy Snowy. He was such a sweetheart and now is living an adult life with his partner Maggie and their three puppies. 

That was it. That was the only dog that was a part of my life (and maybe that puny dog — on my Industrial Visit to Udaipur — who came out of nowhere and bit me because he was bored). But then, a stray dog entered our lives...

“Sheru”, named by an old uncle who was living in my building on rent with his family, adopted Sheru. He used to feed him biscuits and pamper him. It was a lovely sight to see the master and his dog playing. Eventually, the uncle and his family moved away from the building. Sheru became miserable and missed his master. He missed the Parle G biscuits and his master’s stern voice that always called him, “Sheru!”

The uncle often visited our building with Sheru’s favourite biscuits and the happiness on their faces was beyond explanation. Then gradually, the uncle stopped coming to the building; I assumed he passed away due to old age because Sheru worsened after that. This was the lowest point in Sheru’s life. 

The residents of the building would shoo Sheru away and be envious of his and the uncle’s bond. Since the uncle was staying on a lease, he didn’t have a much say.

However, things changed and people started accepting Sheru as a society dog. He lived around the building and guarded our gates at night. He started spreading his territory and lived as if he was the king of the area. Such a mighty dog Sheru was! Full of vigour. 

He became a major part of my brother’s life and no wonder my brother cried when Sheru passed away. When my brother returned from London after his studies, he was working hard to invent a product and build his company. When the society pointed fingers at him for not earning money and not following the societal norms, my brother often hit his low. Whenever he came home late at nights, questioning whether he was really a burden and a failure, Sheru always made sure my brother was fine. As the day broke into the night, Sheru became more active and whenever he saw my brother, he always jumped on him while wagging his tail. My brother used to spend a good amount of time with Sheru, sometimes talking to him and sometimes being grateful to have him in his life. When the whole world seemed like his enemies, Sheru was his only friend. 

I had not seen Sheru in a long time but I thought he had disappeared like he sometimes did. But, one night, my brother came home and broke the news: Sheru was no more. He had passed away about a month back. Rumours were he died due to a pill forced into him. My brother’s eyes were moist and I couldn’t digest the fact. This happened around two weeks ago and even today, whenever I walk home, my eyes search for him...

My dear Sheru, I miss you...I wish I could hug you for one last time.

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