Year 2005 was rather hectic. In June, our older son, Deepak got married; our UK associate wanted me to set up their India operations in Chennai and that meant increased travel; in October, we went to the UK for 2 weeks.
KC wondered at what was happening. In all his 5 years with us, he’d never seen bags go in and out so frequently. It was the UK trip that saddened me and KC too. Two weeks? How would he manage without us? KC was used to one of us being around, so when he saw large suitcases rolling out that morning it probably dawned on his that these two are off somewhere for a long period of time.
We were flying by Jetairways from Bangalore to Mumbai and then to London. That day, I could sense a sort of sadness in his eyes and his body language reflected that as well. We petted him and as was usual with him, he wagged his tail and looked up at me as if to say, ‘don’t take too long’. At the corner of the street I looked back and noticed his long nose sticking out of the gate and I really felt very sad.
However, the consolation was in the fact that our domestic help and her family would be his interim care-takers, and since both our boys and daughter-in-law worked shifts, one of them would be at home at any given point in time. I think KC too realized that and from what we gathered whenever we called from London, he seemed fine and went about his usual routine. But I’m pretty sure that he’d look down the street every day in anticipation of our return.
As Directors of the company we had formed in Chennai, our trip to UK was a mix of holiday and business. On our sightseeing visits we’d pick up souvenirs always on the look out for something for KC. It was on our trip to Warwickshire we stumbled upon this Pet Store. Oh, man, the stuff they have for pets was unbelievable. That showed the immense value they attached towards pets. We ended up buying quite a few bagfuls of stuff for our dearest KC. As a matter of fact I almost added a toothbrush and toothpaste specifically meant for dogs, but the wife advised me not to. ‘He’ll get used to the taste of toothpaste and will want the same flavor which may not be available back home. So, you’ll keep coming to London each time he needs toothpaste?’ is what I think she said. Made sense!
We returned after 2 weeks and when the cab parked in front of the gate, KC saw us. He went wild with excitement and as I opened the gate, he was all over us – climbing, licking, muttering something which in doggy-talk must have meant ‘I’m so, so happy’.
We were too. The first thing I did after lugging our bulging suitcases to our bedroom on the top floor was to open the one which had KC’s presents. He was lying on the bed watching me curiously as I removed things one by one. “This is for KC,” I said and he jumped up instantly, his ears standing erect like an antenna, grabbing all that belonged to him and wagging his tail in delight and appreciation. I was so happy to see him happy.
We humans need to learn is that even animals have feelings and they say ‘thank you’ too.