Brownie, The Apple of my Eye

From Beethoven’s 2nd to Tintin comics, dogs have always been a big part of human life. From the Saint Bernard to the Chihuahua, these furry bundles of joy always love us with all their heart. It is Brownie who made me register myself with numerous animal welfare associations like PETA and Petnopolis. I used to go to dog shows arranged by the Calcutta Kennel Club every year with my mom to see dogs from around the country perform.

Brownie was almost a year old when I first saw her. It is a stray dog and used to be the pet of a tea-stall owner in our locality. Once when they went to their village in the monsoons and my building was under construction, my care-taker adopted her temporarily. But after a month she never went back to the tea-stall again. Thence, Brownie has become a part of our family. Brownie had a uniformcoat of  brown colour small fur, and her twinkling eyes and poky nose made her look very curious. She made noises as if she could talk.

Initially I used to wonder how long this dog would remain in our car parking. But Brownie had long term plans in her mind. In winter 2007 Brownie gave birth to three puppies— one male and two female. They were so adorable. We made a space in our car parking & filled it with hay to keep it warm. The pups grew with each passing day and the possessive mother in Brownie came out in the open. She used to sit with her pups all day, feed them milk and protect them from any other cat or dog that accidentally came inside.

Brownie used to think the entire world is hers. In the evening she used to gracefully go out and follow anyone she knew to the stationary shop. Her method of taking biscuits was similar to that of taking toll tax. Nobody can cross that corner of the pavement without giving her a packet of biscuits. She would run to the shop, run back to you and run to the shop again. Some people of our locality who casually went out for a stroll started buying biscuits on credit, courtesy Miss Brownie.

In the winter of 2008 there struck a major crisis. Brownie’s two female pups had conceived that year and we were gifted with 18 pups. One day the corporation van came like a bolt from the blue and took away the two mothers. The puppies were left back alone and it was Brownie who fed milk and took care of all of them. Her caring eyes would bring tears to mine. Brownie fell ill yet she didn’t stop giving milk to all the pups until their hunger was gone.

Gradually the number of puppies reduced. Some people from round the locality adopted few and some died. I noticed how copiously Brownie used to cry when a pup died. My grandmother was the only person in the house who had first objected to let a stray dog be inside the premises but later it was she who enquired everyday if Brownie had her food properly. It is very true that pets teach you how to love unconditionally. At times she used to mischievously climb up the stairs of our building and get scolded badly. At times she used to walk with someone to the market and then forget her way back. And oh yes, Brownie found herself a new husband every year. A female with a great calibre I must say.

It has been almost two years that I haven’t seen Brownie regularly as I am out of the city for career purposes. But I still get to hear all the news about her. She still runs to me when I get down from the cab with my luggage when I go home on vacations. Last week I got to hear that Brownie has, as usual, chosen a new boyfriend, this time much younger than her age (no pun intended to all you ladies who have younger husbands) and she is still running around with her

“16 till I die” attitude. Voila! What a fantasy to watch she is.

Aryani Banerjee


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