Ever since I was a puppy, I have been told every stray dog on the street is ‘Woof’.
Mummy would point them out to me and say, ‘Look, Ginger. Woof!.
So I grew up believing they all are called by the one and the same name for some weird reason.
(A few Woofs we had met on our walks)When Buddy came home to us, I taught him this, in addition to other things. So that, by now, he too believes they are all called ‘Woof’!
It was alright till ‘Our Woof’ was on the street. We just thought he was one of our friendlier, handsomer and smarter Woofs.
But things are no longer the same now.
He is now our little brother and isn’t just one of the many Woofs we know.
So Lola and Aunt Janice, you know now what we mean when we say we need to give him a new name.
We never imagined a little family debate about our puppy brother’s name would turn out to be like one of those parliamentary ones - a week long affair without a consensus!
So finally, on Sunday morning, as soon as Mummy sat down for breakfast, we put our paws down.
We MUST decide today.
Mummy was all for ‘CADBURY’.
Is it because he wears a white vest and a black tail-coat?
So you see, Bookerman and Asa, we had to let these names go.
Khyra had suggested ‘Wali’ because he came on Diwali day. Daddy liked this name a lot too. He thought we could modify it to ‘Wall E’ like this very cute fellow here.
But we had to let that go too because we of a silly little fact.
‘Wali’, when added as a suffix after a common noun in Hindi (the commonest language spoken in India) means a lady daily-help, a maid.
It wouldn’t do if some mean doggy called him names later on, would it?
So, there it was. ‘Wali’ was struck off the list too.
(Sorry, Khyra about that. We know you think of him as Wali. You can go on calling him that if you want to. We wouldn’t mind because you will always remind us then of the special Diwali day.)
Mayzie had suggested Boone after Daniel Boone, the great American Explorer.
Oh! This is so embarrassing!
Now I have to tell you why we can’t call our brother Boone.
Well, Mummy has totally, totally distorted my smart and cute name ‘Buddy’ to Boomba, Booo, Boodiee Boy and every B-boy word you can think of!
And Boone will definitely make everyone around confused because it can just mean Buddy if you go by Mummy’s track-record of changing names!
So we had to drop this name too.
We chewed our nails over Leo, Lux, Lucky,Oliver and Luke, some other suggestions from our friends.
Wolverine was another name we contemplated upon.
Mummy was very enthusiastic about this name because she thinks our little brother resembles our illustrious ancestor more than either of us does.
But we have a sneaking suspicion she was more interested because she rather likes this Wolverine.
Anyway, this name was dropped too.
Because we were reliving all we know about our little brother, about how he came to live with us.
The first time we came to know about him was one evening when Mummy came home rather excited that a cute little puppy had followed her home.
She had gone to feed some left-overs to some Woofs nearby.
That was just day one.
Our would-be puppy brother, as you all know, just learnt to follow Mummy’s car and come home for his breakfast, evening snacks and dinner.
There were days when Mummy would take a detour to avoid him.
This was because she wanted to take us for our evening walk first, so that we wouldn’t bring back ticks & fleas from him. She would then hurry us inside and go feed him,feeling rather guilty.
But it didn’t take him long to see through Mummy’s little trick!
Like a smart secret service agent he would sniff her out and shadow her!
He has been her shadow ever since. He had taken to following her just about everywhere during the first few days at home too.
For some days now, he has shifted his loyalties to me, Ginger. He follows me everywhere around the house, even closure than my own shadow, I feel!
It is very annoying at times.
And then, on our walks outside, he immediately shifts to following Buddy.
It is rather funny to watch him.
He is inseparable from Buddy.
Buddy walks in a ‘S’, he tracks the ‘S’, Buddy turns right, he turns right; left- left, Buddy stops and sniffs, he stops and sniffs; Buddy runs ahead, he trots along; Stop and scratch, he stops and scratches!
Well, alright! The last one was an exaggeration, but you get the idea.
And of course, the fact remains that he has the pawfect camouflage fur and fades away beautifully into the shadows.
Maggie & Mitch, Ciara, Phantom & Thunder, you had already said it.
Yes, Our little puppy-brother is henceforth to be known as ‘SHADOW’.
And even though you are monopolising our lives right now and are making us lose a lot of sleep, We LOVE you heaps.
Buddy & Ginger