KC’s Doctor!

KC and Roshan

The unhygienic surroundings around our house had caused KC a health issue. He had constant stomach upsets and bouts of diarrhea. His appetite had reduced and he ate a lot of grass (people laugh at this but eating grass is an instinctive defense mechanism amongst all dogs). Vet after Vet came to treat him but none could set it right for KC.

One day I read about one Dr. Yatiraj, Professor and Head, Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine and soon to be the Dean of Veterinary College. His credentials were quite impressive – presented 60 research papers, 80 scientific papers at seminars and workshops in the USA, Australia, Bangkok, Sri Lanka, etc. We decided that this was the Vet KC needed to see.

He had his clinic in Banashankari and one evening we took KC there. The clinic was in the basement of a building and we had a tough time since our friend pulled and pulled; he wanted to get down the stairs as soon as possible because there were so many dogs in the clinic and he just wanted to mingle with his ilk. He’d be all excited each occasion a trip to the Vet was being contemplated.

When KC’s turn came, we had to carry this 30-odd kg, 4-legged fellow on to the examination table and phew, that was quite something. A few tests later, the Doc told us that KC had what is know as Pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas which affects the flow of enzymes into the digestive tract. Besides giving him an injection, he prescribed ‘Pancreoflat’, a tablet that KC would have one a day for the rest of his life.

KC was fine ever since that visit. A couple of occasions the pancreas problem did occur but once the tablets started having effect KC was absolutely in fine shape.

In 2005, we moved to a bigger house just 2 blocks away from our #349 home in Koramangala.

KC loved the place. It was an independent house, 2 floors and 2 staircases – one from inside the house and one on the outside. We had our office in one room on the first floor which overlooked the street; a vantage point for KC. He got to watch who came or went and if any dogs were found lingering around, he’d charge down the staircase and bark them till they were out of sight. Once that was done, he’d drink lots of water and come up again, sit at the top of the steps and continue his vigil.

In the evenings after we’d shut shop for the day, I would sit out in the portico and coax KC to have his dinner. He wouldn’t eat unless he had some entertainment and an audience. There was a brown coloured stray who lived in the street. KC would look out the gate and if he found her in the vicinity, he’d come up to me to tell me that I must get some bread. I had to keep throwing small bits of bread or chapatti to ‘Browny’ and that would prompt KC to eat.

KC was just like any other kid. He was delirious with excitement about going for walks, going to the doctor, for a ride in the car, or whenever I came home a after a trip or even if one of the boys got back after work. KC’s vigorously wagging tail was his way of telling us how happy he was.

Petting KC was a daily routine. How we miss that; and I’m sure he does too.

Filed under: Ranting — Birbal at 12:24 am on Wednesday, August 24, 2011

KC, Time for a Bath!

KC, Time for a Bath!

In house #349, space was a constraint. Bath in the front portico was avoided because the drinking water sump was located there. So, bath was organized in the rather narrow, rear portion of the house where we had the benefit of a tap.

A Sunday a month – weather permitting - was usually KC’s bath day. Sitting on the sofa he’d watch my movements with great attention. The minute he saw me carrying two buckets, a mug and shampoo out the back door, he sensed what was up. I’m sure I heard him grunt a few times which I presume was equivalent to his saying, “Oh, shit!”

He wasn’t too huge then, so bathing him wasn’t too taxing as it did in the years to come. The strenuous part was to drag him out from the sofa, his favorite hiding place. A few growls and snarling of teeth later, we’d manage to get him around.

His fur was thick and therefore, the first few mugs of water (diluted with Dettol) had to be rubbed into his body. Then came the shampoo; again scrubbed in through his hair to reach the skin. And finally, a bucket or two emptied on him to remove remnants of the soap. In between of course, he’d shake away the water vigorously a few times and spray it all on me soaking me to the skin.

A quick wipe with the towel to remove excess water, and KC was all ready to charge to the portico through the living room for his customary 4 or 5 laps running round and round the limited space with intense joy. We made sure he remained outside for a while so that he was quite dry especially his underbelly portion.

A sumptuous lunch later, our friend would slide under the sofa, snuggle himself for a good siesta and in no time he’d be in dreamland. In the years to come as we moved houses, we had bit more space for his bath. But by then, he’d have grown up, become lot stronger and lot more difficult to handle.

Meanwhile, KC would pray to the Gods for inclement weather every Sunday. Most times his prayers got answered and it would be months before the shampoo was next used.

Filed under: Ranting — Birbal at 1:00 am on Thursday, August 11, 2011

KC Goes to ‘School’

Basavaraj knocked on the gate at 6.15 in the morning. Not our normal waking up time, but we got up anyway. It was KC’s first day at training school and like any other parent, we were all excited. No lunch box, no water sipper, and no school uniform – just the leash clipped on to his strap and KC was off. We watched him reluctantly walk down the street as he kept looking back wondering what this was all about.

Nearby our house in Koramangala 8th Block was the Police Training ground. Basavaraj lived in the adjoining quarters and besides being a constable on duty, he was also an experienced dog trainer. For 1500 rupees a month, 3 times a week we couldn’t have asked for more.

And KC was quick to pick up. In a few months he was responding to the trainer’s commands. “Roll over” and he’d roll over; “Sit” and he’d sit on his rear; “Lie down” and he’d be full stretch on the floor. Opposite our house was a park with a few benches. The trainer had taught KC to jump over and he did it with the elegance of a trapeze artist.

KC was 8 months old when his training started. But long before that, we’d take him out for long walks around the park, at least 5-6 times a day. This is when he learnt to do all his natural business outside and never inside the house.

KC SchoolHis ‘after school’ time was spent playing, eating and sleeping. He was very, very mischievous. My younger son had this habit of leaving his socks in his shoes. KC would sneak into his room, pick up a sock in his mouth and dart under the bed and chew, chew and chew. It was a lesson for all of us never to leave socks around. He had enough toys to play with but his all-time favorite was to chew up plastic bottles.

There were dozens of street dogs in the neighborhood and that kept KC rather busy. None dared wander around our gate. KC would literally fly out of the house and chase the stray away. No encroachment into his territory. First time visitors were in for a rude shock watching those snarling teeth waiting for an opportunity to dig into something fleshy and those loud barks that thundered from the house. In due course he understood who was who and familiar friends were welcomed with a wag of his tail. But, his aggression never waned.

We ensured that his diet was never compromised on. Initially it was milk and milk and then we started him on cornflakes and oats, and at times a piece of mashed banana added to his breakfast. Gradually, and in small doses we got him to eat a rice broth of fresh vegetables, and some mutton soup. We avoided bones since his teeth were still sharp and delicate. Later, as he grew his dinner had lots of flesh and once in a while, a marrow bone to chew on.

KC’s training lasted for one and half years. He was now very strong, extremely athletic, very, very alert, highly obedient and very, very lovable. Whenever he was being discussed his ears would stand erect. He understood every word that was talked in the house.

But there’s just one thing he detested – having a bath!

Filed under: Ranting — Birbal at 12:35 am on Thursday, August 4, 2011