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For years I have argued with mum and dad in vain. I have a vested interest in going for long walks to Worli Sea face and Five Gardens. I rush to my aunt’s house only for one reason. Dogs - I love them.
For the longest time, I can remember I have never wanted anything as much as I have wanted a pet dog. Stray dogs, strangers’ dogs or any random dogs, are as much important. If I happen to spot one, I will go up to the owner, strike-up a conversation or I’d cross the road to pet it or walk faster to catch up with the dog and his walker or do something to go up to it and give it a friendly pat.
I am happy to sit down on footpaths, to scratch an ear or part with tummy rubs to lonesome yet lovable strays. I have read everything I could get my hands on - about dogs. I listen and participate in every conversation about dogs too. In fact, much to my hubby’s chagrin, dinner conversations at my father’s is all about dogs!
However, I had never ventured into a pet shop before. Why you may ask, only because it would break my heart walking out of there empty-handed. Hence, I stayed away.
But last Saturday I decided I was matured enough to go take a look. So I set out, casually scanning the market first, trying to make the most of the 15 minutes I had before my hubby got done with his haircut.
Once near the pet store, I saw many cages piled on top of the other. These contained white mice and beautiful yet sad, lovebirds or exotic birds. One even had some hummingbirds in it. While it seemed they flitted around, twittering happily, they somehow seemed lost. Call it my imagination, but they looked so lost. So much so that they wouldn’t know what to do if their cage was opened and they could fly away! No wonder these beautiful birds with clipped wings fall prey to animals if they happen to escape or are set free.
I can’t say much about the mice though. With food and water around them, they continued to sleep.
This pet store is set up in the basement while a few cages are kept outside to attract customers. I could hear a few people trying to get a bird to talk to them. As I stepped into the store I saw a cockatoo perched in its cage, eyes tightly shut as if trying to avoid the annoying customers surrounding its enclosure. It wouldn’t move, and the three idiots around it wouldn’t budge too.
They kept on pestering the bird, asking, “Are you sad Mithoo?”
“Say something na!” and so on. After a few minutes, disappointed, they decided to leave it alone. But because the bird did not talk, they reprimanded the store boy. “Tu ne toh kaha tha who bolta hai! Magar yeh toh goonga hai…ullu mat bana!”
I wanted to interrupt and say, “Chalo jee, let’s put you all in the cage and let me ask you if you are sad or not!” But I decided against it. No point in talking sense or reasoning with such duds. They just saw the bird as a plaything. Locked in a cage, the bird or any animal is not much, is it? Also, who said each exotic bird was to be addressed as 'Mithoo'?
Anyways, I moved on. I was scanning the store for some dogs. Having spotted five cuddly lab puppies, I took off! Fortunately, they let me play with them. As I took out the black pup (sleepy bugger), the little beige girl started to whine. So while she was eager to play, small blackie wanted to sleep. So be it.
I played with her while I chatted up with the storekeeper. They were just 40 days old. I was totally enamoured with a few licks, nips and scratches! I wanted to take her home! But couldn’t for a variety of reasons. Dragged hubby back from the salon to show him the pups and luckily he showed some enthusiasm too. We left promising ourselves to get a doggy home once we were thoroughly settled.
P.S: If I happen to get a little girly home (lab of course) I am going to name her Zoey. If it’s a boy, then he shall be called Peeku! :D