CHENNAI: My whole life, I’ve grown up with animals. Till the age of 12, I’ve had cats, hamsters, birds, turtles, and a fish tank that was never empty. I’d always wanted a dog, but my family stayed in a small apartment so we knew it wouldn’t be feasible.
A few months before my 13th birthday, we moved to a new house, and because I was in a boarding school, I never saw the home until it was time for our Diwali break, which was around the time I became a year older. Not only did I have a new bedroom waiting for me, but after years of pleading, my parents finally gave in and decided it would be nice if I had a puppy waiting at home for me too.
The happiness I felt that day when I got home and was met with a tiny Dachshund that fit in the palms of my hands cannot compare to any other happy moment in my life. It wasn’t the day I got a new pet. It was the day I got a sister.
Being an only child, I’ve always felt a little left out, especially having friends who had siblings. It was the reason I had always wanted pets in the house. When we got our Dachshund, Fifi, I no longer felt alone. She would curl up on my lap and keep me company while I studied or watched a movie. She would snuggle under the covers with me if I was feeling down or scared in the night.
As we both grew older, so did the bond between us. Of course, there are days when I might think she only stays by my side because she thinks she’ll get some food off of my plate, but those moments aside, since she entered my life, I have never felt loneliness. When things got rough, she was always there for comfort, even if it was just her sleeping presence beside me.
It’s been seven years and Fifi no longer fits on my lap — though that doesn’t stop her from trying to sit there. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had seven wonderful years with my dog, and I would consider myself the luckiest person alive to share as many more years with her as I can.