Friday, 9 September 2016

Who will nudge me now

Two years ago
I wrote on behalf of Elfo
"I have entered my teens—a time for celebration
But for dogs like me—it is a time for realisation

Which we all fear" (click to browse full poem)

Little did I realise then
that the end would come so soon.

Elfo, our Cairn Terrier
who was opposite of terror
passed away yesterday.
Elfo 4.6.2001 - 8.9.2016.

He came as a pup
from Bangalore
in Neeta's palm.
Passengers in the aircraft
mistook him
for a kitten.

He continued to be Neeta's baby.

Though he had lost his eyesight
as well as hearing
yet he found his bearing.
Once he located 
the first of the three steps
he would climb the remaining two
with spring in his aged legs.

Though without eyesight
he would still find me
while doing Yoga
and come to lick me.
Excerpts from a poem
twenty months ago:

"I know you don’t like to be disturbed while doing yoga. But that is 
the only time I can lick you.
I also know, even though you may try and hide your face, but you 
let me do it.
Every morning. Day after day."

Sadly, Elfo is no longer there 
to lick my face on the yoga mat or
to bump into a chair.
I ask
Who will nudge me now?

He was loved by all.
Neeta, Mom and me.
Our children and grand children.
Our friends, neighbours
and their children.
See the pictures below.

Even a tiny kitten
was so fond of Elfo.
He is still searching
for Elfo.
See a recent picture below.

On hearing the news of Elfo's death, here is what Nikhil our nine year old grandson wrote before he broke down:

Ankush has summed up the feelings of all of us in his post on Facebook yesterday:

"Elfo lived a long life. 15.5 years is like a 100 man years. I almost thought he was immortal. I 
recollect he ate up the anti-cockroach krazy lines poison as a pup and nothing happened. Fought off a snake in Secunderabad. And then lived the last few years with his sixth senses taking over his inability to see or hear. Rest in peace Elfo."

We thank all our friends and well wishers who came forward to 

share our loss. Special thanks are also due to Col VP D'Souza, who 

was Elfo's veterinarian for last 13 years. Thank you Doc.

With Elfo's passing away
we feel that
old dogs don't die
they just become invisible.
Their smell
and our conversation with them
seems to echo 
in our ears forever. 
Their unused leash
and the collar
hanging on the railing
seem to say
"Don't cry buddy, I loved you".

As they say the dog has a premonition of his/her death. In Elfo's case, he gave up solids for three days. He gave three loud shrieks while in Neeta's lap. As she continued petting him, he pulled through the night. At 4.30 in the morning, a muted moan woke me up. As I held him in my lap and petted him, he took few deep breaths and passed away peacefully. As if he was waiting for my body touch.

For all the pet lovers-- here is wishing your pet a long life so that you are not haunted by the question-- Who will nudge me now?

    -Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/ 9th September 2016

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