of trouble on four legs

I woke up startled at 2:00 am with a parched throat and a head ringing like church bells. It was just another Friday night in Hyderabad, except for the loud squeal that had just woken me up.

Groggy, I stepped out of my bedroom, leaving the lights off and D sleeping. I walked into AP’s room and found him and N busy playing a Monopoly. N was bent over the board, displaying her substantial assets. Awake so soon?

It took me a few seconds to recover from the daze.

Yeah, I thought I heard a dog yelp.

I heard it too. Maybe a dog got run over or something.

Where’s Ben, I asked, concerned, though I still maintain that the dog was trouble on four legs.

He was right here! AP called out loudly: Ben!

His voice was drowned out by the sound of thunder, and a sudden gust of wind slammed the balcony door shut. I hadn’t even noticed that it was raining, or that the door had been open all day. And then, I heard a soft, mellow squeak.

Ben!

We ran to the balcony, looked down, and there he was, two floors below, lying on the cold, hard ground at the bottom of our building.

Oh Ben! AP screamed and nearly jumped off the balcony. We ran down, and his tail started wagging even as blood oozed out of his mouth. He tried to get up but couldn’t.

All three of us had tears in our eyes. God, Ben! What were you doing out in the balcony this late? How did you even manage to get past the railing?

We woke D up and made frantic calls to all the vets in the nearby area, but it was really late in the night, and nothing could be done. One doctor was kind enough to agree to seeing us, but when we reached, he said that since Ben couldn’t stand up, the fall had likely broken his spine, and he may have to be put down, but we can’t be sure until we x-ray him.

He gave Ben some painkillers, and sent us packing, asking us to return in the morning for an x-ray.

We spent the night cursing ourselves (yet blaming each other) for not checking whether the balcony door was latched.

Ben lay on AP’s chest all night, barely moving except to lick off the tears that were streaming down his face. Dogs can sense your grief, the doctor had warned us. Don’t look too upset, or he will know something’s wrong.

I was mad at AP for so shamelessly grieving, but couldn’t blame him. I spent the rest of the night tossing and turning, too, thinking of all the times that I had jokingly said that this dog was probably a minion on loan from an evil witch.

In the morning, the x-ray revealed that the spine was okay, but two of Ben’s legs (the ones in front) had been badly bruised. Since he was young (no more than a couple months), the bones were still soft, and therefore, didn’t break.

Ben spent a month in a small cage with his legs bandaged because like I said, he was trouble on four legs and would not sit down in one place for too long.

When he got better, we celebrated by giving him some rum and coke to drink. He had grown fond of that particular concoction. He drank his share, then passed out flat on the mattress in the living room, as the rest of us proceeded to create an excel file with who spent how much this month on Ben.

There I was, sitting in front of the excel file that nearly messed up my finances for the next two months, wondering if getting a dog was worth the trouble.

It totally was.

Until he jumped (the kids downstairs witnessed it) from the balcony again and broke the same legs. Then I wanted to kill him.

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anawnimiss

Blogger. Crazy bitch. Stalkee. Weirdo magnet. Wannabe housewife. Corporate Slave. Find me at anawnimiss.wordpress.com!

16 thoughts on “of trouble on four legs”

  1. This may sound cruel but that was just the trailer for the opera that having a baby is. There’ll be times when you’ll think that it was all worth it but there’ll be times when you want to run away.

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    1. I don’t actually know where Ben is right now, Vishal. But he survived both times, and was hale and hearty when I last saw him. After we all moved back to Delhi, N apparently sent him to live with her parents, and I haven’t heard from her since. I’m not even in touch with AP anymore.

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  2. OH MY! I get what you mean now. Poor Ben. And poor you guys! Because they can’t talk, we often easily forget that animals feel all the same emotions we do, don’t we?

    Ironic that it was YOU who woke up and realized first, huh?

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    1. I used to be a light sleeper, N didn’t care much for the dog (except she wanted to be the one to name him coz she ‘owned’ him) and AP was busy staring at N’s boobs while pretending to play monopoly. D was drunk and fast asleep. So it wasn’t that surprising that I was the one to notice! 😉

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  3. Ben is such a badass :).. !!
    Hope is busy exploring new stairs, places, balconies and in generally just chilling..

    I am hooked to this blog. Wait, I have already told you that..

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      1. I don’t know about dogs, never had one at home, but we had cats for a bit. One fine day came back home to find out that one of them had drank oil from a kadai which was left open by mistake. He got all sluggish and quiet. Had to take him to the vet the next day because he looked worse! Crazy little things they were!

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