For someone who doesn't believe in 'happily ever afters' and binding people to 'relationship slavery' for life, a dog is the closest sense of permanence as a concept. And when time runs out on the canine child, it's a turmoil of emotions that find themselves as lashing waves in the human mind of the parent.
Honestly, i have never bothered much about humans. I probably am incapable of doing so. Or maybe I connect way more to animals than I ever can to humans and the human connection just seems too frail compared to the animal one. In a life full of constant changes an unpredictability, Diego, my dog son was the only constant. And now he's gone. Thankfully, in his sleep and painlessly. And after having been with me one last time. But it still hurts. It still reaches beyond my logical self and Into the side I avoid acknowledging.
He was a tiny, welping, soft little puppy when I had got him - happy to eat up everything in my room, from paintings to CDs to books to pillows. His tiny paws finding their way into my shirt to sleep at night. Diego grew up into a life of adventure - being kidnapped and found again by a miracle, having lived through many homes and 3 cities and finally having lived in an open jungle home that would be a dream for any city dog. Diego was the calmest and most composed dog I have ever known. He taught me whatever little I know of peace and calm. It is Diego that made me realise that what attracts me most even among humans, is nothing materially gauageable, but a sense of peace and calm. He taught me a lot many things as he grew up as my child and out grew me in maturity much much faster into a wise old man who was still always a child to me.
The last time I met him, it was certain that he didn't have long. So I had the opportunity to pet him and feed him and love him as much as I possibly could. We cuddled and took pictures together, shot portraits of him and pet him all day long. I had arranged for him to be brought back to Mumbai so that he could live under constant medical surveillance, but he passed away before that - which in a way is good. He is now buried in my village backyard with my fav childhood dog. And all I can do is hope that he was happy to have been my son and hope that I was a good dad to him. He's the first and probably the only son I will ever have... Which is why it's no surprise that it takes no genius to tell that the one picture of our last cuddle together is not beautiful for any photographic quality, but It is what it is because it is full of love. The only true and genuine love as I have ever known. It's all there, poured in, deep into that one last cuddle.