The Day KC Came Home!

KC Puppy

If memory serves me right, it was sometime towards end-November 2001 that KC was bundled out of my Maruti van. He was about the size of a roll of cotton.

We were in #349, 8th Block, Koramangala and just weeks before our Pomeranian, Poksy, had died due to a Vet’s negligence. We had only Bruno, the mongrel we’d picked up from Russell Market when we first came to Bangalore in the year 2000.

So, we were on the look out for a good breed and one fine day my older son called me to say there was this German Shepherd pup available and he’s just about a month old. “Buy him,” I said unable to conceal my excitement.

Half an hour later, KC came into our lives.

The Vet who gave us KC said he was 33-days old; which put him as being born somewhere around end-October, but no precise date was mentioned. We wanted to him to have a birth date and for want of any memorable day, we decided 12th December would be remembered, because that’s my wife’s birthday. A month or two this way that way wouldn’t classify as a criminal offence; I mean people fudge birth certificates by years just to be eligible for school admissions.

Anyway, now that we had a new addition to the family, firstly, we needed to make suitable living arrangements. Secondly, Bruno was a ferocious fellow and a bit jealous too. Therefore, KC couldn’t be kept outside. The decision was unanimous – KC would stay inside and with Poksy no more, Bruno would do night guard duty.

Most importantly, we needed to give him a name; something we could identify with. I wasn’t for names like ‘Tiger’, ‘Pebbles’, ‘Jackie’ – so boring and uninteresting. This fella must have something different. The wife came up with KC, an abbreviation of Koramangala.com.

That settled, the next question was, where will he sleep? He was really so small and just about crawling. We couldn’t just tuck him away somewhere. I got hold of a sturdy corrugated box, cut open one side, made a nice cardboard roof to keep the light out, but is some woolen rags and that became his room. We’d feed him milk from a plate and put him in the box. The warmth of his make-shift bed gave him a good many hours of sleep.

Those were the days when we had many flower and gift deliveries to execute for the orders we received on the website. When our housemaid was around, we’d leave him in her care. On other days, we’d carry him in the box in our van and take him along with us.

Winter went by and KC had outgrown the box. A bigger carton would have been ideal, but I had a better idea. Why not in the bedroom, on the bed? My wife wasn’t so sure; what if he peed in bed?

That’s another thing about KC which many don’t know. He did wet the bed on a few occasions. To have him housebreak, I’d take him for walks and get him used to the idea. In no time he was house-trained. When he had the urge, he’d whine to tell us he wanted to go out and ease himself. He never dirtied inside the house ever again.

As a pup KC’s hair was mostly black. But as he grew, the distinctive German Shepherd colours gradually started to appear, the pug-like, small nose face changed, the nose got longer and KC looked taller. He was almost 8 months old and needed lots of exercise, but importantly, he needed professional training.

I called Basavaraj, a police dog trainer, who was referred to me by the Vet.

Filed under: Ranting — Birbal at 11:25 pm on Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thank You for Your Comforting Words!

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“When the Music’s over, Turn out the Lights”

Condolence messages on KC’s death have been pouring in since Monday. We’ve had emails from US, London, calls from friends in the US, and emails and SMSes from lots of friends and even from people who never met or knew KC.

KC’s passing away hit us like a thunderbolt and while we are still trying to come to terms with reality, each of these messages have been a huge consolation and immensely comforting, with so many of you sharing our grief.

KC had lots of friends indeed.

However, some who regularly enquired, “How’s KC?” didn’t bother to offer one word of condolence. Perhaps they thought, ‘After all it’s just a dog’, so why bother?’

KC was laid to rest in our backyard and a ‘Green Memorial’ is work in progress. Hopefully, it should be done in the next 4-5 days. The Memorial will remind us of the love and affection, the joy KC gave us all these years. We will miss his physical presence but his memory will linger on for ever.

My new blog series, “Memorable Moments with KC” – a recollection of the joyous and happy moments, some unforgettable memories with our darling son, KC – will commence soon. I sincerely hope you will read these blogs.

Once again, thanks to all for sharing our grief.

Filed under: Ranting — Birbal at 3:46 am on Thursday, July 21, 2011

KC, You’ll Always Remain in our Hearts!

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“When the Music’s over, Turn out the Lights”

KC passed away on Saturday night at 10.30. He died of a cardiac arrest, just minutes after he’d come back from his late evening walk, and which would be his last.

I was in Mysore that night when I got the call. I checked out and drove back in the early hours of Sunday morning to find my KC wrapped up in a rug, sleeping in peace. I was heartbroken and tears swelled my eyes.

Under normal circumstances he’d be at the door, wagging his tail to express his joy at my having returned. I’d go to the bedroom to keep my bags and he’d jump onto the bed, lie fully stretched and unless I petted him for 3-4 minutes, he wouldn’t let go off me.

He had been unwell the last month or so. It all started with a severe attack of arthritis. Then he developed kidney infection and later he contracted tick fever, though he never had ticks. We made frequent trips to the Vet and each time he showed signs of recovery, he’d be down again.

He was in obvious pain throughout. He had become so weak that he hadn’t the energy to chase the monkeys from our back yard something he’d do with alarming speed. He was a good eater, but in that one month he hardly had any appetite. Somehow we’d coax him and most times hand feed him so that he got some food into his system. In no time he’d lost 6-8 kgs of weight.

But off-late there were signs of improvement. His appetite had improved. He ate a bit more food and on his own, and was keen to go on short walks.

The last visit to the Vet was on Wednesday the 13th. The doctor examined him and said that his health was showing remarkable improvement. Based on that reassurance, I left for Mysore on Friday morning for a 3-day trip.

On Saturday, he had eaten well through out the day and after his walk at about 10.15 pm, he sat in the kitchen in his customary position watching his mummy - my wife - make chapattis. Suddenly, his eyes began to bloat and his gaze fixed at her. My wife dropped what she was doing and rushed to him, “KC, what’s the matter? Why are you looking like that?” He raised his head one last time and collapsed.

KC’s favorite spot in our back yard, where he would always sit when we had our morning and evening tea was chosen as his final resting place.

At 10.30 - 12 hours after he died - he was laid to rest, in the presence of half-a-dozen of friends from the layout, who had their share of love and affection from KC.

KC gave us 10 years of joy and happiness and his passing away has plunged us into grief. He was family to us. He went through bouts of excruciating pain these few weeks and in one way, he’s out of that agony.

Tears are rolling down my eyes even as I write this. While it’ll take us a while to get over the loss, KC will always be in the hearts of his Mummy, Daddy, two Brothers, his Sister-in-Law, and his 2 and half-year old niece Sagarika, whom he was so very fond off.

Sleep in peace, my son!

Filed under: KC — Birbal at 10:56 pm on Sunday, July 17, 2011