Yesterday, while going for a quick visit to friends in neighboring town, I saw many people out walking their dogs. All walked/trotted peacefully with their human companions.
I remember that all my walks with my canine companion were disastrous, just like tug of war with both of us vying to win the top post. Exceptions to this were the first few months when 'Buddy' was still a clumsy puppy. I had an upper hand then and could lead him where I wished to go with just a slight tug of my wrist.
Within a few months, things dramatically changed and the balance of power tipped on his side. In spite of being a superior(That is what I was made to believe) being with two arms to perform any complex task, I was unable to be the ultimate victor in this war. His powerful neck was capable of dragging me in any-which direction as he wanted.
Our walks used to start off fairly routine with me walking and talking calmly as a rational human being, belying the sudden dramatic change in events to happen in the very next moments. The minute we stepped out of the parking lot onto the road, a sudden dose of adrenalin would gush into his being and I was dragged along in the flow of action. Most of the times I used to be half asleep in the mornings and used to be easily coaxed into running helter-skelter behind him. We fought most of these battles during my conscious moments which were during the evening walks.
The war used to start of akin to dialogues between India and Pakistan about 'Kasab'. Both of us would maintain decorum in the beginning with me giving slight tugs to his leash to maintain control and him pulling with only a bit of force. Just like these dialogues, things would deteriorate at a very high speed with both of us trying to maintain our stands.
To walk your dog in India means, everyone in your neighbourhood would know that the fun has begun. Its an activity in which you will always have spectators around and people just waiting to see you embarrass yourself. At first you give polite apologetic smile to passersby and shopkeepers and try to ignore their looks.
Slowly as 'Buddy' would get more determined (just like Pakistan, still demanding for proof and vehemently denying everything) his nose would be stuck to the ground and he would just plow on without thinking of his mistress and best friend supposedly, still attached to the end of his leash. I, in spite of my considerable bulk (to make you understand the gravity of the situation, no snigger's please) used to practically half jog and half walk behind him screaming epithets in a language you would not want to hear now.
He would give me one look of sheer joy and his tongue lolling out of his mouth always used to make me feel he did all that 'Tamasha' on purpose. As if, he was secretly in cohorts with my neighbors and other dog owners and has to win the bet he placed on me to see 'how fast he can make me look like a raving lunatic'.
Other dog owners would give me a look of pity and took their dogs as far away from 'Buddy' as not to have a bad influence on their 'Best Friends'. Some courageous ones did befriend me and we became members of a club called 'Our dogs rule and we bite dust'.
Yesterday watching those pooches walking serenely besides their masters brought a smile to my lips. I miss 'Buddy' and my crazy walks with him. Hold on with the tissues and tears. 'Buddy' - The crazy brown Labrador is hale and hearty and is now waging this war with his adoptive parents in Nagpur. Someone else has now become the victim of his shenanigans. He is ruling the roost strong as ever with a whip of his neck and the swish of his tail and those laughing green eyes.