Three evenings ago, there was a cold brown wind whipping up the dust into freezing needles and pins. The evening sunshine looked weak and wintery and it was the right time to don a thick sweater and a cowl and a hat, and drink hot tea.
And that is precisely what we were doing. My niece had just arrived for a holiday, a couple of friends had just dropped in to check out the knitted products, the evening was coming to a close, and it was time to get cosy with the heaters, throws, hot liquids and the rest of winter paraphernalia.
In the midst of our evening activity, a tiny white pup punctuated our conversation with a wag of a tiny, thread-like tail, a vigorous fit of shivering which would shake the entire fragile packet of skin, bones and two bright eyes, and that totally lost look which only a rejected tiny puppy can have.
I tried hard to look the other way, remind myself that no new puppy was coming into our winter home just when we had got new rugs, and cursed those nasty humans who had just thrown out this little pup into the freezing winter air. I was still mourning the sudden demise of Luchi, and there is ageing Peppu and our gang of apartment dogs to keep me happy.
But how does one leave a little soul out in the cold? How do I turn my back on those pleading eyes of a shivering, terrified dog and go inside a warm house, eat to my heart’s content and have a good night’s sleep?
Though I was dead certain that I was totally content to just have the great snoring senile sweety-pie ( Pepper) for the winter, though I was determined to spend all my time with the online shop and the work which that needed, I scooped up the puppy and got her inside.
Its two days of Mili now. She has been dewormed, dusted and brushed with anti-flea medication, fed every 3 hours, given her own little “super-dog cape” ( a swatch piece which has been fashioned into her first coat), and taken for a visit to the vet.
And Mili has walked straight into our quilts, our hearts and our conversations. She has decided that she has to follow my daughter all the time, curl up and sleep on her shoulder and lap, burrow inside her quilt and sleep the long winter night away. Pepper is being nonchalant about Mili and giving her a few snarls and growls, which do not faze our little brave-heart at all. Right now, the two of them are sleeping next to each other…a few more days and they will be a strange pair of best friends.
There is a new lilt to the day, a festive feel to the house and a delightful flavour in my heart–the fact that there is a little soul who will live her life in comfort and warmth, with love and food and madness– The fact that there is one less tiny, helpless, shivering soul lost and dying in the winter night.
That is reason enough to throw all my firm, determined decisions out of the windows of my mind.
That is reason enough to open my heart to this new family member, Madam Mili