Benji, the Labrador

He doesn’t talk to you back.

He doesn’t understand what you speak.

So, how can a dog be man’s best friend?

 

The questions I had in my mind before being answered by my first 4-legged friend.

I have always wanted a dog since I was very young, just because dogs look cute and they are fun to play with. But I was not allowed to get one, until lately.

 

  • Getting a dog:

College was getting over, I had plenty of time to spend at home with nothing much to do. I slept for most parts of the day and when I was awake, I ate. So, I had an idea to bring home a dog and grow him up. Why be alone, when you can get a dog and both of you can be together, alone. I asked my parents if I can get a dog and this time, they said they’ll let me get one – only if I take the responsibility of solely taking care of the dog. I knew it’d be hard but the excitement of getting my very own dog overwhelmed this. So, without looking back, I agreed to the terms and conditions. I knew I could convince them otherwise later.

With the help of my dog-expert friends, I zeroed in on buying a Labrador. The pup was 46 days old when I brought it home. A lot of names for him were suggested (the suggestions included names such as somebody, nobody and other uniquely weird names). But finally with the help of some intellects, we named him dude. He was so cute, little & innocent and just weighed 2.7 kgs.

 

 

  • The first day:

It was colourful, the very first day (literally). We went to a friend’s place where there were people celebrating the colour festival, Holi. We had our own celebration with the colours and the pup wasn’t spared either. I brought him home with different colours all over him. Since he was toy-like small, we gave him a shower in the wash basin. He was whining and shouting with his feeble voice, scared of the water that was poured on him. He came out of the bath shivering before being dried clean with a towel and a dryer.

 

I took him to my room and placed him in the corner, in a basket that was big for him. After feeding him his dog food, we both fell asleep. It was a very tiring day and I knew I had to get a day’s sleep if I wanted to get through the next day. But in an hour or so, I woke up to his whining. He wanted to get outside the basket and was scared to jump. So, I took him out and placed him on the floor. Now I don’t know what he had in his mind, but he started chasing me. We played run and catch around the basket at 1 a.m, midnight. I knew by then, I just hadn’t brought home a dog, I had brought home a furball which liked to play all day, every day.

 

  • The hyperactive pup:

Out of all the difficulties I faced, the one I couldn’t bear with, was his irregular sleeping pattern. Puppies get tired easily and fall asleep quickly Unlike us, fully grown human beings who have anxiety issues. But their sleep lasts for only a short while before they pick themselves up and start playing again. This hyperactive little pup didn’t let me sleep for weeks. With this little guy around me, I could only afford naps and not sleep. I was half dead throughout the days, but still I couldn’t ask help from anyone from my family because of the promise I made (Nope, mostly it was because of my ego issues). They say you have to sleep to dream. But for me, my dream was to sleep.

 

  • Growing up:

This Labrador pup was growing very fast so much that you could see a difference in his size with every week. He grew bigger each passing day. He wasn’t afraid to jump out of the basket anymore. He used to cramp himself under the bed because he felt safe and secure for whatever reasons. The best thing about him is his beautiful pretty eyes. I promise you; his eyes mesmerize. You can see all the love he has for you in his cute little eyes. We later started calling him Benji, in reminiscence of a dog my father had when he was my age. ‘Benji’ suited him the best.

 

People and internet had given me an idea of how the aggression in dogs reduces as they grow up. But Benji proved them wrong. Benji started growling at a very young age. He always had a curiosity of what was in the socks and shoes, although they were empty. He always carried them around whenever he finds them. He started getting more active everyday and always wanted to do something. Benji had a small tummy but a large appetite. He was enormously fond of treats. So, I thought I’ll teach him some skills and commands. I taught him a few and he learned them all within a span of few minutes, that’s when I knew he was not just some stupid hyperactive dog, he was an intellectual being. He has his own skill set now and can entertain you with his wide range of moves. He can even stage a dramatic death if you shoot him with your finger gun. But for all of this, he demands a box of biscuits, because if you are good at something, why do it for free? 😛

 

  • The lord of mischiefs:

Benji and his mischiefs go hand in hand. If you ever thought that a dog will just cost you its food, you are never more wrong. Anything that is soft and spongy will not be spared. There are a countless number of things that was destroyed completely by Benji, just because they intimidated him. A normal dog will either be active or exhausted. But Benji wasn’t a normal dog. Benji was either active or hyperactive. He has looks of a dog but is actually possessed by a spirit of cheetah. Play with him the whole day and he shows little sign of tiredness but by then, you are already in bed – exhausted. Okay I admit, I wanted a dog that was active so that he could keep me occupied all day. But Benji wasn’t just active, he was hyper-hyperactive. Eat, play, sleep and repeat – Benji’s life has always been this and he is very much content with it. All he expects is some belly rub and a pack of treats.

 

  • Buddying up:

Just as I said, Benji loves to play. He barks until you come and play with him. He doesn’t just growl now, he roars. Once he starts barking, there is no stopping him until you come out and take out his favourite toy. He loves his toys and is very fond of them. The one thing he hates and the one thing you shouldn’t probably do is fake-throw his toy. If you do, just hope that he doesn’t find out, because when he does, you’ll surely get his teeth marks on your hand. He hates being fooled. Even then, his anger doesn’t last long. Once he regains his trust in you and gets his toy back, he’ll come and sit next to you, with lots of licking and kissing. For me, Benji is my bud. But for Benji, I am his everything.

Sometimes when I feel low, I spend time with Benji. He consoles me by climbing up on my lap and by lying there. Just being there with a dog helps you. It gives you hope and a secure feeling. When you have a dog, you can never feel lonely, because he doesn’t let you to. A dog’s love knows no bound.

Benji has come a long way now. Benji has been with me for almost 18 months now and he understands me better every day. Now he’s my best bud and my go-to person. He has taught me many little but vital things that has made me a better human today. To be unconditionally loved by someone is rare and Benji is precious.

 

After all, Benji has taught me one important thing.

A dog’s love has no adultery. Just some plain, straight love.

And that’s exactly how, love is meant to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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