A Cheetah at home

A Cheetah at home

Since endangered species cannot be domesticated in flats, it was decided that this darling pet be named Cheetah.

All those hilarious imaginary conversations are finally coming out into my world..

“Who is this?”…

Me—”This is Cheetah”…

”That’s not a Cheetah, its a dog!?”….

Me—“Yes, but she is Cheetah!”…

At times like this, I can feel exasperation flowing towards me, but I have the last laugh as Cheetah drags me down the road towards her favourite romping area—the golf course.This misty green expanse of grass must be a far cry from the places she has been in the last six months of her life.

Abandoned at 5 months, with a big mehendi tikka smeared on her innocent forehead, she was lucky to have been rescued and sheltered by a passionate dog lover and founder of Leela’s Place Foundation. Shreela Debi takes care of each abandoned dog ( 11 devoted staff for 55 happy dogs) with love, and is very finicky about the credentials and abilities of adopting homes. A detailed questionnaire, a careful interview ( do you have lots of decorative items strewn all over the house, which might be broken by a happy tail?), and a home visit happens before a dog leaves her loving care.

Luckily for me, the blog with its dog stories and the forest pictures, convinced Shreela that I would be a good parent for this abandoned puppy. I met Cheetah, happy in the midst of this group of friendly playful dogs, and fell in love instantly. She was Lisa those days, but her name became Cheetah within a minute of meeting. She didn’t mind, she was busy licking my face and wagging her strong tail.

We drove up to Ranikhet with my cousin for moral and physical support. Her children had grown up with a Dalmation and she knew all about their affectionate nature, gangly limbs and melting eyes. While we humans chatted and laughed through the drive, Cheetah was a model passenger for those 10 hours. She slept, sat on the gear box, climbed onto the front seat, licked us and then slept some more. On arrival, Mili took to her instantly, as did Bruni and Sher Singh.

Its six weeks since Cheetah has been with us, and I am so glad that she is family now. Mad playing sessions, snoring sessions, (and yes, some farting sessions too), cuddling sessions–our days and weeks are full of happy doggy times.

Its a far cry from those times of biding farewell to those four beloved spaniels who moved over to the other realm, which left me shaken to the core. I did see a morose Mili in solitary sadness, but the possibility of another loss was scary. Adopting an abandoned puppy gave me a sense of purpose, which put my fears to rest.

I insist on leashing myself to Cheetah, when we go for walks.. She pulls me forward, while Mili stalks scooters and bikes on the other side. Once we reach the forest, I love watching Cheetah streaking through the pine trees, scaring the wits out of birds and jungle fowl, sniffing out mushrooms and bones, and chasing Mili over slopes and pits. She has huge energy reserves which would have been destructive, if not for these daily romps in the forest and the golf course.

Cheetah has huge reserves of affection and love, bordering on wild jealousy. Just touching another dog was reason enough for hurling herself at me and licking every bit of available skin. Its taken some stern words from me, snarls from Mili and growls from Sher Singh, before she got the big picture of family and no favourites! Daily reminders from Mili have been helping, but I cannot complain about this big, bony, beautiful bundle of doggy affection who follows me around from dawn to night.

Its not even been two months of Cheetah cuteness, but she sure knows how to take up residence in a large part of my heart. Those ginger eyes, those white eyelashes, that strong tail with that cute tuft, the pink paws and jaws….there, I sound like a besotted doggy Mom alright!







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