Relationships are tricky. And that with a dog is even more testing. Al (as in Al Pacino) came in our lives in February, 2019. This 50-52 days young fur-ball puppy was to change our lives, forever. He’s the first Indie-pup in our family, our first adopted dog of the seven we’ve had so far, and definitely the most challenging one. Indie dogs have a mind of their own, a survival instinct of sorts, and aren’t tameable like a breeded one. He’s been a pain in the arse. But, he was taken in like a champion. Al has been trained to be a gentleman.
AL IS A BIRDIE
Relationship with Al became further challenging when he decided to turn into a bird. On 9th December 2019, precisely a week before his first birthday, he took a flight from the rooftop, three stories high. He was convinced he was meant to fly. Little did he know that assumption is a tool of a fool. He flew. The 20-kilo little birdie did fly for two seconds, before gravity failed him. Daunting as it may seem, his landing was a study in perfection. It left him with not even a single scratch, no internal injuries either. However, he broke both his front legs.
AL TAKES THE FLIGHT
The rooftop isn’t in a rural condition. It’s meant to be safe for Al to go crazy at. However, our brave-hearted boy was to prove all architectural principles wrong. He must’ve run and taken a massive leap. I’ve tried imagining how that two seconds’ flight must’ve been, what’d he be feeling, what’d he be thinking, how would he have felt in the first 2-3 seconds after landing?
All I can picture is his giant-sized ears flapping like mad, unsynchronised, and the wind pulling his cheeks back. His ears have always been bigger and disproportionate to his body. He’s cute.
More imposing than this picture is that of when I followed his cry and looked down from the rooftop. There he lay, a blindingly white-hued doggie, against a grey, black, and green background of the floor, crying in pain, looking up at me, and wagging his tail in shock, embarrassment, fear, or joy of being found. No matter how much I try, I can’t delete that sight from my mind.
This moment was to change the life of this pseudo birdie, and mine too.
BRINGING AL TO HIS DOG-NEST
I ran to him, the fastest I have in the longest of times. The closer I moved, the calmer he became. Standing besides him, a brief moment before I could pick him up, I started to panic. His legs were broken in a way I’ve not seen before. As he saw me, he wasn’t crying anymore, but the tail wagged full throttle. It wasn’t him, but my insides that were yelling now. I felt shattered. I picked the blood-stained, milky-white, broken Al, and ran back home. He must’ve been in utter pain, but he made not a single noise.
A NEW REALTIONSHIP
To the doctors, x-ray clinics, back to the doctors, the night in pain, drive to a new hospital, more x-rays, new bandages, more painkillers and sedatives, assisted eating, sleeping, peeing, pooping, and even turning in the bed was a test for us both. I didn’t care about anything that was to come. My work, my travels, the monies, the stress, the two months house-arrest, nothing! All I was concerned with was how to bring him back to normal. Wouldn’t that be your thought too?
He had broken one leg into three parts, the other leg’s joint had crushed in to 17 pieces. Al’s has now been operated upon, and has permanent plates, screws, and pins to have him stand, let alone walk. Doctors are confident that he will be fine in 5-6 months, which doesn’t seem like a long time for an accident of this magnitude, right? But hey, they said the same for my broken tendon, it took about a year.
TEST YOUR RELATIONSHIP
It’s been nearly a month now, a challenging one. I’ve managed it all alone. Al doesn’t want to be taken care of by anyone else. At times receiving a courier, taking a shower, cooking a meal, taking a dump, or just going to pee becomes a daunting task. He cries each time I leave his sight. And of course he would, wouldn’t your one-year-old be the same? He’s peed, pooped, and puked in the car, on the sofas, in the bed, repeatedly. I washed more bedsheets, blankets, mattresses, protectors, and clothes in the first ten days than I had in that entire year.
He wouldn’t eat his meals, let alone the mix of seven tablets for lunch and dinner. Getting him six injections twice day was challenging. He wouldn’t settle in the car, and driving him by myself was in no way easy. Al would get nervous and defecate in the car. He wouldn’t want to be handled at the hospital either, unless I be his personal nurse. Heavy antioxidants have left his skin in a mess. His pee is darker than the shades of South Indian gold jewellery. His poop stinks bad enough to put an elephant to sleep. And let’s not even talk about the layer of hair he has put everything under. And now, he has developed urinal infection too. All this may sound like a lot, but in reality, it’s just skimming the surface of the situation.
RELATIONSHIP + REALISATION
What has come out of this accident is a realisation.
Al has taught me, the defining principles of any relationship. That of faith, belief, unspoken communication, and of trust. Al has surrendered himself to me. He has trusted me with everything. Al has made me aware that he trusts that whatever I’ll do for him it’ll be to the best of my abilities. His treatments, meals, his daily schedules, each time I pick him up, turn him in the bed, put ointments on his itchy skin, and much more. He’s taught me to have more belief in the significant other than in self. He can’t speak, but he communicates. And yes, he does get pampered too.
Our relationships are crippled. Due to a new shift in our lives, a new cloud of expectations, a new setting, and the failure of our communication. Of course there’s much more than just that behind the cracks. But, so what if our relationships has plates, screws, and pins in them now, and it would have troubles walking for a few months? What difference does it make if others make fun of it, and have sympathy for it at the same time? No one knows the misery but us. Phew, there’s just so much to communicate… Yet, above all there’s to say, I just wish to tell them how much I loved them.
ALL RELATIONSHIPS BE ‘AL’ RELATIONSHIPS
There’s a lot this one-year old boy has taught me in the past month. His strength is inspirational. His belief is bigger than I’ve ever seen or possessed. And his trust in me is intimidating. I’ve never dared trusting someone as he trusts me. And, his will to run carefree again is like a mountain, it won’t shake.
If I create a new relationship hereon, they’ll have to be like that of Al and mine. Surrendering and trusting is the way. If not this, it’s a waste.