It began like any other day of her little 150 day old life….the first grey light of dawn peeped in to find her snuggled against my neck, gentle nibbling of my ear lobe “hey, its morning and we cant waste a single moment sleeping now! time to scratch my tummy before the bladder bursts!’. I fondled her, rubbed her tummy and thought what a lucky soul I was, to live in this quiet place, with two doggies to wake me up to another joyous day.
We had to move fast after the tummy tickling, ( little toilet accidents can happen with little, 5 month young puppies, you know), and in ten minutes, Luchi bursts out of the apartment door, flings herself on her beloved Bruni Masi, licks and wags off her tail for Madan Unka, and trots off to do her morning business.
We returned inside to have the 6 am breakfast meal for all doggies, watched a dawn cloud-burst take away the chances of a morning walk, and spent a good hour of doggy cuddles and nibbles.
I missed the chance of taking her for that last morning walk. I went to the market instead, and Aahna was the lucky human who walked with Luchi to get the milk packets.
It was Wednesday morning and all the knitters trooped in at 9 am. Luchi was delighted to get lots of biscuit treats, cuddles, squeals and some nice juicy, plump arms to nip at! She romped amidst the knitted garments, attacked stray wool balls, stalked painted toes and generally made sure that none of us saw the morning fly past.
We had finished lunch, Hema left for home with her customary “byeee”, and the two dogs and two humans settled down to some afternoon snoozing.Luchi did not like the clicking camera, so she curled up on the couch with Aahna and Pepper, and that was the way her last afternoon slipped by.
This is her last picture, taken today at 2 pm, when she curled up, exhausted after all that madness and motion of the morning .
Evening visitors, evening walk, evening farewells to visitors was in progress when, in a matter of 2 minutes, Luchi slipped away from us. A fast car and a tiny brush with the rear wheel, 2 quick noiseless tremors, and she was gone. Not a whimper, not a grimace, just a sudden end to all that joy, glory, warmth, long-brown-tail, loving-nips-with-evil-look, adoration…All that made up Luchi became a thing of the past, in just a fleeting minute. I was left with her mortal remains in my arms, unbelieving shock and devastation in my heart, and no air in my lungs.
I was also left with all those feelings which people have to feel, or stop feeling, when they loose a loved one suddenly and completely. A minute ago, an hour ago….good heavens, just now, she was jumping all around me…she was being cuddled in my arms while she tried to take off my nose…she must be breathing, I can feel her heartbeat ( but its my pulse which is thudding on her still chest-cage), this cant be happening.
It happened….and Luchi happened and unhappened. She has gone to find her place in my memories and till she settles there, she will make my eyes prick with caustic tears, my voice falter into painful silence, my appetite and sleep go on a long trip. And in the background of disbelief and despair, I have to live another day, find things to be grateful about, learn lessons and make choices.
We buried her while the sun buried itself in an amazing orchestra of oranges, purple and grey. A magenta bougainvillea sapling has been planted on the grave, and I know it will have abundant flowers which will dance and glow like Luchi did.
Not even a hundred days of Luchi were allotted by The Provider for us. In less than three months she had doubled her size, trebled her mischief cells and collected adoring fans with every breath of every day. She had made me believe in dogs and the love they bring with them, she had made my daughters and their friends love every minute of their holidays, and she had made Pepper believe that there was a lot of fun in chasing a mad puppy all over the house.
Go and jump and frolic wherever you are , Luchi… You know you gave us all your love and joy and madness and spirit and bites and nips. I know that you had a happy time with us, cherished and adored every day, loved unconditionally and totally, wrapped in gratitude and delight.
And then, we all know, that to be able to give all the possible love and happiness to a transiting soul, is the biggest blessing ever.
I am broken today, but I am blessed too.