My Dear Lhea
Lhea came into my life precisely on March 5, 2018. She was my son’s pet and came to Ahmedabad when he shifted to Ahmedabad. Since he stayed with me before setting up his own home, Lhea also came to stay with us. Frankly speaking, I was not ready to have a pet at home because they are a huge responsibility and I did not want to compromise on my freedom.
But Lhea has won everyone’s heart with her eyes, so full of pure love and innocence. Before she came, we were skeptical about her moving in the whole apartment. We thought of confining her into the living room only. I was worried about “hair nuisance” which is a perpetual problem in homes with pets. At the back of my mind, I was worried about my maid’s reaction due to this extra work load of cleaning. Thankfully, it worked.
My son travelled from Bengaluru to Ahmedabad by train only to keep Lhea with him. In air travel, they keep the pets in cargo. While on a train journey, in first class, the pet can stay with their humans in their coupe. He was allotted a two berth coupe. Lhea came very comfortably with him and his wife travelling almost 1500 km in a journey spread over 2 nights and 1 day. She was in shock due to this change of city. As we came home, we offered her food and water and she felt comfortable and at home. The moment, we looked into her eyes, our plans of restricting her movement went for a toss. Her kohl lined eyes were so beautiful and full of love. At that moment, I felt so ashamed of myself. This little girl has accepted us with such open heart and how judgemental I had been for her. I embraced her with all my heart !
Lhea was a rescued little girl by a Bengluru based organisation, where my son was volunteering. She was thrown from a running car on a pile of garbage. The guard of a nearby society found her and informed this organisation. The veterinary doctor who treated her told that she is emotionally stressed and it’s advisable that she does not change homes. Vaibhav adopted her. This was how she became part of our family. As per doctor’s assessment, she might be around 5-6 years of age. It was 2013.
RB has taken full responsibility for Lhea. She became his morning walk motivator first and then companion. I have never seen him getting up at 5.30 – 6 am, but for this little girl, he used to get up early and both used to go for a long round. In no time, she became the most loved little baby of the family.
Lhea’s Food Story:
When she came, she used to eat everything which was offered to her or put in her bowel. Slowly, she became very expressive of her food choices. Let me share her daily meal plan. As soon as she and RB came back from their morning outings, RB used to have his morning tea. He started giving her milk and she loved this new routine. If by any chance, she had not served her morning milk, she used to nudge RB with her wetty nose, as if asking– “hey buddy, where is my milk or how come you are drinking your own tea and not offered me my milk. 🙂 Her expressions and rightfully asking for her milk were priceless. She became more open and expressive with her choices as she felt more at home with us. Now she does not like any of her meals to be repeated. Some of her favourite veggies were – pumpkin, carrot, boiled potatoes. In fruits, she loved mangoes, apples, bananas etc. Talking about breads, she preferred puris over rotis and Britannia bread over any other bread. Britannia cakes were her favourites. She was a food connoisseur. I used to order a new brand of readymade food for her everytime and she used to love the change. All three of her meals had to be different, otherwise she wont eat and show tantrums like babies. While we used to have our tea, she demands her share of biscuits. She had matched her meal timings with us. I always used to serve her before I sat down to have my food. No, I am not complaining. She used to show her gratitude and happiness when she liked her food by coming and nudging whoever has served her meals. She was very open in expressing her feelings.
She came to us almost 9–10 years of age. Lhea was Springers Spaniel, a medium size species with expected age of 12-14 years. Slowly, age started catching on. She was arthritic. Doctor prescribed two tablets, one for joint health and one for general well being, which we gave her till her last days. As she was getting old, we could see the reduction in her time spent on her outings. She used to get tired faster. Her running changed into walks which became slower in speed and lesser in distance. The spring in her gait was going away. She had lost control of her urine. We trained her to relieve herself in the balcony. As she found it difficult to walk outside the society to clear her bowls, we drove her out in the car, so that she does not have to walk long distances. She was losing control over her muscles too, though very slowly but was visible to us. It was 19th March and on her night outing , she was very happy and there appeared a visible improvement in her. We were happy at her recovery. It was around midnight, we were just having our routine after dinner fun games, and we observed there was some abnormality in her breathing. The same night we observed that she was unable to get up on her hind legs.
On 20th March, we took her to her vet doctor in the morning as soon as it had opened. She did a blood test and told us that she will wait for the blood report and then plan for the line of treatment. Around evening, she called again for a drip session. We took her again in the evening, holding her in arms as by this time, she was unable to get up and hold herself. One and half hours’ session of drip was too hectic for our little Lhea. She came totally drained out. She was weak , rather very weak but did not sleep at all. We did not leave her alone even for a second. My younger son kept awake with her for most of the night, patting her and comforting her. We knew, there was not much time left. Her breath became somewhat abnormal around 3 am and after that we all were by her side. She was a little uneasy around 4.30 am and by 4.55, she had the last hiccup and we could see the blankness in her eyes. She has gone to meet her creator.
Being Hindus, we did a shanti havan for our little girl. According to Gita, every living being is a soul and there is no difference between the souls.
Later, I was told by few friends that some residents were making fun of this. Not that I care but I really feel sad at the bankruptcy of their thoughts and basic decency of respecting feelings of fellow residents. Even Lhea was better than such people who have the wisdom of appreciating feelings and giving back unconditional love.
Om Shanti Lhea !
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