Year 2000 and a promise I made to myself..Never again.

Never again will I be sucked into taking care and loving like this. Never again will I invest so much of my time in this. Never again will I open my heart, my home, my everything like this. Never again will I allow myself to be so heartbroken. Never again will I allow myself to miss someone so badly.

Here I just have to say “Cut to” (we are in the heart of Bollywood after all) 18 years later. The year I succumbed and how. Yielded to all the pressure from the family. Invited trouble again and how..

A little 7 week old teeeny tiny bundle of furry cuteness.

My baby Meredith.

Now baby Meredith was super cute when she arrived but she went on to be the stuff of all moms’ worst nightmares about their adolescent children.

In short that bundle of helpless cuteness morphed into a little alpha female brat. Running around the whole house, terrorising every human in her way. All of us trying to avoid the very sharp little baby teeth in what became her favourite game. It was called ‘Let’s taste the humans’ and all of us were fair game. She was the boss and everyone at home was slowly getting more and more frightened. The dichotomy was that she was a real Jekyll & Hyde, very affectionate but very snappy at the same time. That was seriously confusing to us.

5 months down the line and I was truly fed up and distraught. I was also horrified that I felt this way. I had always thought of myself as a dog person and I was deeply disappointed in myself. How is it possible, I asked myself. How is it possible that I am struggling? What am I doing wrong?

I also found myself constantly comparing her to my mild tempered little Floozie, whose devastating death in 2000 is the reason I made that promise to myself.

I asked all my doggie parent friends but no one could really solve my problem. My increasing anxiety got transmitted to her and made the problem worse. When she was good she was very cute but when she went crazy there was no way to avoid the nips & bites. I just couldn’t see the way forward.

Then one day we met someone. A miracle worker I would say. The details too long to go into here but let’s just say it was a transformation for both Meredith & us.

As they say in self awareness classes, Meredith realised her true potential and her real character was unveiled. Somewhere along the way of her doing that, our roles also got reversed, and I became the alpha in her life.

My baby turned into this adorable little bundle of love. Her snaps turned into licks and her tail hasn’t stopped wagging.

A dog is really the most marvellous creation on earth. Their love is at a level that can never be matched by any human. No one is quite as happy to see us when we come home as Meredith is. She definitely has her favourites, but she doles out her love and licks quite equitably so that none of us get too jealous.

I swear to you, sometimes I feel like she understands English and Hindi and knows when we are talking about her.

She hates it when we spend too much time on our phones, making it clear that her soul is from a time before technology.

If it’s bedtime and we have the tv on too loud or are still talking, she sighs loudly and sighs again even louder, in case we didn’t hear it the first time. Eventually stalking off the bed in a sulk when we don’t acquiescence.

She also has this wonderful ability to read time, I’m not kidding you, it’s true. She rouses herself from deep dead to the world sleep at exactly 5:30pm every evening & finds her way to the front door for her walk. She can be found unerringly outside the kitchen door at all her meal times like clockwork, on the dot. Now if that’s not reading time, tell me what is.

She’s also a mind reader. She knows when we’re in the mood to play or when we’re in the mood to cuddle and adjusts her behaviour accordingly.

Meredith is the only dog I know who loves her doctor, most of the credit there to our vet but a little bit also to her because she is a real people “person/doggo”.

She wants to meet and greet everyone and is sometimes perplexed by the occasional non dog person who comes to our house. She’s always trying to win them over.

Madam is the belle of the ball with the neighbourhood pets and strays. She’s quite the liberal and loves both equally, with no discrimination between the haves and the have nots. In fact if you ask me she has a slight soft spot for the little indies.

In short, Meredith is literally the wind beneath our wings.

The collective reason we all wake up every morning being happily licked clean of all our worries & stress. Our days start and end with her.

There was a time before Meredith and there’s now. Now is infinitely indescribably better!