(This is a long, rambling conversation with the notorious big, bad wolf. Dive-in if you’re not the faint-hearted)
Nis: Hey Noah! (Whistles)… Hello…. What’s up?
Noah: (Bushy tail swishing side to side)…. Kee.. Kee…Kee… (I’m happy to see you but don’t expect me to act like a goddamn Lab)
(transitioning away from dogspeak)
Nis: How was your day?
Noah: Well, you know. I took a nap after you left me behind. Then I shifted to a new spot, and took another nap. And both these were on your bed. Well, my bed now. Looking out, I barked at some hapless dog and went back to sleep. I dreamed of chasing somebody and getting a grip on his calf muscle! That was exciting. Sadly, you don’t let me do that anymore. Humans have no sense of humour.
Nis: Do you have time for an interview?
Noah: Me?! In dogspeak?
Nis: Can we get started? Phew!
Noah: NO!! Stupid human, I want a belly rub first
(lies down paws up in the air..)
…. After a few minutes..
Nis: Let’s get started now!
Noah: Aye aye captain!
Nis: Now, where did you learn that from?
Noah: From a sailor I met a long-time ago. We shared some rum and he also gave me an eye-patch.
Nis: Old Monk must be
Noah: No! Old Man sucks. Captain Morgan’s it was
Nis:Let’s start with your puppyhood. Tell me something…
Noah: You know it all. I must have been the bastard son of a German Shepherd and a Belgian Shepherd, and ended up in the wrong place like that wasn’t enough! You don’t know what the view is like from within the small cage, no space to move around, watching my own limbs grow weak from lack of exercise, being wobbly on legs when let out. There was little I did apart from watch the small world and growl when I was bothered by sticks and stones. I came to hate people, and kids. I couldn’t trust them.
Nis: Oh boy.. That’s rough. I didn’t know the details except for a vague past. I had made up my mind that I wanted to adopt a dog when I landed at the shelter. After a round of interrogation, my only request was that I needed a dog that I could go on long walks with or who would run alongside. And then Sanjana said she had one in mind. Asked me to be careful and led me to the place where you were hangin’ out with your pals. Like a lil’ gang of members from rough backgrounds.
Nis: Why did you trust me at the shelter?
Noah: Did I have a choice? My shot at a free life. I wanted to be out of there. I had trusted others as well, before you came along. But they put me back.
Nis: Do you like it here now?
Noah: Wish I could follow you around, everywhere, but yeah, life is alright. This is my place now. Who are you??…… I like your friends except when they hug me too tight, and wish I had earplugs for everytime you picked up the guitar. My floppy ear partly helps. My favourites though are those road-trips – to your river, to the rainforest. To that other place where the couple who lived with cats always wanted us gone. They said we were a threat to wildlife, despite living with cats! It really riled you up. That must have been hard for you for you used to like the place.
Nis: I’ll get over it. There are better people in this world. And better places maybe.
Noah: That long road-trip to the beach. You and your friends wanted me to see a real beach, an expanse of sand and surf, and I got sick drinking sea water. Boy! I had a blast sticking my head out of the window, wind in my face, barking at every hapless cow, dog, person, ….. And the other time I jumped out of a moving car to chase after a monkey. Exciting times those were!
*******COFFEE BREAK + TREAT TIME*********
Nis: How did you like your treat?
Noah: T’was alright, but I’ve seen better ones at the shop. Heard they come all the way from the EU.
Nis: But that’s just too much (and shiny) packaging! And so much fuel burnt getting it all the way here, plus they are expensive.
Noah: Well, so is your coffee – fancy packaging and fancy labels. Plus they cut down large trees to plant small, crooked shrubs! Doesn’t taste good either – I took a quick sip when you’re were looking the other way, the other day!
Nis: Sigh! Wish there weren’t so many books lying around. Look, I left a comics-for-dogs lying on that coffee table. The real books are for cool people like me.
Noah: It’s been a rough life for you as well, innit?
Nis: Yes. But we are both doing well now.
Noah: I’ve seen you popping all those pills every morning, every night for as long as I’ve been with you.
Nis: Yeah, they help me deal with some misfiring neuro-transmitters. I keep saying I’m now a supercharged Lithium battery. Think Elon Musk will give us a Tesla instead of sending them to space?
You make all the difference though.
Noah: I’m tempted to say something similar but it would help to have another treat.
Noah: Tell me. Who is Alexa? You seemed fascinated by her for a while. I’ve seen the lights go all excited on the speaker. Is she, like, human?
Nis: Yes, she lives inside that. I’m over her now though.
Nis: What do you miss the most, Noah?
Noah: I miss those good, ole days. Days when I could sink my canines into calf muscles of unsuspecting humans, and suspecting ones too, sometimes.
Nis: So, it’s fair to say you were the only source of man-animal conflict in Sahakaranagar? Shucks! People pay to volunteer to study these things. They raise tens of thousands (dollars) I’ve heard to understand what people think about such incidents.
Noah: Sigh…. Everybody loves me now. I only did that when I perceived a threat to you. You know how the world is! I was raised like that. But now, things have changed. I trust your friends, I trust most people we meet on our walks but it is boring to trust everybody. There are enough assholes though and we both know that (and them). Nothing like a human calf-muscle!
Noah: Shifting gears now. Was it a ploy that you’ve always introduced me to loads and loads of people? I smell something in it.
Noah: (continuing)…I still remember that day you left for the river. Your head was lost in those dark clouds that were gathering for a while, and I was afraid you wouldn’t come back. Or another day when you locked yourself up with the camping stove. I was sitting on the other side of the door waiting. I was very happy to see you make it through those tumultuous times. There’s a reason I follow you around.
Nis: Yes….. that was a long time back and those were difficult times. A floppy-eared monster pulled me straight out of it. Our simple routine – belly-rubs, food, walks, runs, time spent lying around doing nothing, meaningless dogspeak – has kept me going.
Noah: (tail wagging vigorously)
Noah: Difficult question again, but, have you thought of what you’ll do when I’m gone? You must have noticed my frosty muzzle by now. That day will surely come though…..
Nis: I’ll prolly miss being rudely woken up, slapped in my face, stepped upon and licked. Or waking up to find my space on the bed having shrunk by more than half…. I can go on….
But, yeah…. That thought’s crossed my mind. The world as I know it, will completely collapse when that day finally comes. Nothing can prepare me for it.
Nis: But what would you do if I beat you to it? 😛
Noah: Well.. it’s simple.. I would find somebody to walk me, feed me and give me more belly-rubs than I ever received from you. .. Ha ha! Kiddin’… You know the answer.