love shows itself in the tiniest ways. poochi places his paw on sumo’s while they lie next to each other
poochi is a character right out of a hilarious comic book. i say this because his antics are so unique that i end up laughing every single time. nevertheless, poochi is, a regular pug. he has every characteristic of a pug, unlike sumo. i had been meaning to take this video for the longest time- of poochi’s involuntary reflex when he get’s touched at a spot ( a nipple, actually)- and finally, i did. it’s a tad bit cruel, annoying the poor puppy as he enters a deep slumber, but it’s ridiculously funny, and it had to be done. so enjoy._
on sumo’s birthday(April 4) last year, i managed a blogpost. since i’m deleting the older blog, i thought it appropriate to share the old post here.
the one on the right- that’s poochi. at 35 days old, the day we went to get him, poochi was dirty, still spotty, and rather ugly. from the litter of seven, the two pugs in this picture are the only ones who look anything close to sumo.
choosing a pug puppy is incredibly hard. the signs of a good pug are the large squarish face, plenty of wrinkles on the forehead and a lovely tight double curled tail. Unfortunately, pug puppies have plain, small tiny heads with no wrinkles, and a tail that lies flat. thus the key to picking a pug puppy is to go by instinct. and that’s what we did.
we took the grimy, hungry puppy covered in ticks and went home. my mom took one look at him, and refused to touch him until i got rid of them all. so i sat on the balcony, put him on a towel, and spent an hour combing through his fur for non-desirable entities- both living and non-living. eventually he was clean but for a bit, the bugs kept recurring.
we didn’t have as much trouble naming poochi, as we did with sumo. mum suggested it very easily- “poochi” being the tamil word for “bugs”; clever, since he came covered in bugs. The name latched on as easily as the ticks did, and he’s been called poochi, ever since.
our little bug.
The thing about animal lovers is how they treat animals like babies. You see the same goggle-eyed love in their eyes, you hear the same cooing gurgles, the same over-zealous protective streak. It’s incredibly endearing how some people really put themselves out there for animals and it’s not restricted to their own. Any stray pup, lost kitten, injured bird or pariah has a place in their heart, on their laps, in their lives. It’s a love that never leaves them, even when sometimes their beloved babies do.
Vaishnavi Prasad is one of these people. This is her tangible memory.
“What is the most significant, memory-laden, gushingly sentimental object currently in your possession?” - Andrew Kaufman
1. Tell me a little about yourself. Something that gives me a sense of what you’re about:
Fighter. I’m not supposed to be here, but I am. Having had multiple chances at living, has taught me that all you need , is a LOT of passion, and a little bit compassion. And that it never hurts to give someone a fifth chance.
My soul is free of all bonds to norm. I ride my bike with the wind in my hair, sit on the pavement and cuddle the dogs on the road. I dream of the day I have my own shelter for abandoned and injured animals. I am 23.
2. What is the most significant, memory-laden gushingly sentimental object currently in your possession? (It could be ANYTHING. Try to think of the first thing that comes to your mind. That’s usually it.
I’m not much of a collector. My memories are in my head- not in photos, memorabilia or souvenirs, but if I have to pick a prized possession, it is both this picture, and the dog in it- Sumo.
3. What’s the story behind it? (Don’t worry about being judged or about what anyone will think. This is YOUR memory and it’s precious.)
November 2nd 2001, our 3 month old Boxer puppy, Rambo, died. It was that day that mum swore never to own a dog again. It took Dad and me seven years. Seven long and painful years to convince her, and in the summer of 2008, she finally gave in. Weeks and weeks of searching, and finally we found a number, on an online forum. We decided to take a chance. It was a hot April afternoon when we drove to the more crowded, dirty part of Chennai. It took us almost two hours to find the place- a dark, dingy apartment, on a narrow bustling road in Kodambakkam, squeezed between a wine shop and a temple.
This couldn’t be it. But, you know how these things work.It was.We climbed the gutka stained staircase to a house with pink and purple walls and yellow curtains. Not a single dog in sight. Just a fish tank with a lone Arowana swimming in it. Just when I thought we were in the wrong place, suddenly, out of nowhere, 6 tiny pugs came running out of a door, tripping over each other. My heart was beating wildly. The connection had been made. It didn’t take me more than a minute to pick the right puppy. He was round. Rounder than the rest. A biter. With a single white nail on each paw standing out. Bumbling around. Got tired easily. He was Sumo. MY Sumo.It was a great disappointment when I learned that we couldn’t take him home immediately. Several tears and a tantrum later, the man agreed to handover Sumo 2 weeks later. Believe me when I say I counted every single second of that week. Finally that day came, when we drove back to the dingy lanes, armed with nothing but a couple of towels and a retired beer carton lined with a blue dupatta from mum’s old Lucknowi suit.I spotted him almost instantly, with his white nails. We played for a while, he peed once on my mom, then we put him in the cardboard box, and he fell asleep almost instantly. As I put the box in the backseat of the car, I HAD to take a picture. This is that picture.Sumo is now 4 years old, has a son named Poochi (who lives with us as well) and heals autistic children- he made a girl who hasn’t smiled in years, laugh. He calms violent children and provides joy to the aged. Sometimes I believe he isn’t just a gift to me. He is a gift to every person he meets. He is happiness and love, unadulterated. I know Sumo’s presence on earth - however long it may be in our lives- is limited to a decade more, at the most.Eventually as with everything in life, he too will fade away; but this memory of him will never fade.
physical contact. pugs have an incessant need for it. that’s why sumo is not exactly a “real” pug. he doesn’t exhibit some of the tendencies that pugs have, and physical contact, is one of them. poochi, that way, is typical. from late night arm cuddles on the bed, to just having his bum rested against your leg while you cook in the kitchen, poochi will follow you to the ends of the earth, just to maintain physical contact with you. but above all of us -mom, dad and me- he craves for the contact of sumo.
sumo - for the last year- has been dominated by poochi. curious, energetic and tiny enough (for the first six months) to go under sumo and nip him where it hurts, poochi was sumo’s nightmare. until then sumo had been king of the castle, his reign unharmed. then came along this little squirt, who terrorized sumo to the point where we could see fear in his eyes.
eventually sumo began to learn, that poochi was an inevitable menace that would be around, whether he liked it or not. poochi on the other hand, being the fitter of the two, made sure sumo learned every thing- the hard way. be it snatching up sumo’s food when he wasn’t looking, or shoving him aside to reach the toy first, poochi kept winning, until sumo began to learn.
but no matter all the fights, stealing, and chasing, poochi loves sumo to death. in fact mum and i often remark how poochi wouldn’t cope a day without sumo. at the end of the day, poochi has to cuddle up with sumo, making sure some part of him is touching some part of sumo. and sumo, hates it. He hates it, but he’ll put up with it.
Because he is a gentleman.
the head tilt. most dogs do it, i know, but the pugs totally own it. and if you don’t believe me, watch this to prove my point. why do pugs own the head tilt, you ask? because that is their dominant form of understanding. if a pug tilts its head, you know you have its attention and it understands you. it’s all about sounds. pugs hear something that amuses them, intrigues them, or catches their attention, they won’t bark- they’ll tilt their head.
of my two pugs, sumo is more responsive to sound. maybe this is because he’s partially blind, but i know this because sumo responds to my voice over, say, the phone or skype. because i now live away from home, when i miss my bundles of joy, i skype with them. this mostly involves me talking, sumo tilting his head in amazement and whining cause he is unable to find me, and poochi ignoring me.
it is fantastic that sumo communicates so beautifully with me. makes me feel important, and missed. and it is not just my voice. sumo recognises voices he hasn’t heard in months- like my brother or my cousin- and responds accordingly. makes me cry sometimes.