‘Puppy’ Love – When Dogs Make up for Absence of Children…


Udupi: You may have seen some committed, no-nonsense kind of dog-lovers.  You forget to notice that when the owners happen to carry their pets, they are not just dogs for them; they are more than their own children.
You may have observed the logo of Syndicate Bank which vouches for ‘dog-like loyalty’. It may sound strange but it often happens that when the parents are deprived of the love of their children, the place is taken by the canines. The dogs can also in course of time sense the owners’ thoughts and attitude and can learn to respond in the same language that the owners may try to teach them.

They carry home newspaper in the morning holding it with their teeth, keep the towel ready for bath, keep the mobile or key of the vehicle ready. They meditate with the owner when he meditates, listen to harmonium with all their ears when their owner plays harmonium.

Basavaraj and his wife Parvati hail from Nittur in Udupi. They earn a living by selling bangles on Car Street in Udupi. When Car Street was declared a vehicle-free and trade-free zone, the couple had to roam far and wide, to places near and far, where annual fairs, festivals, car festivals and the like, with a lot of hardships involved.

Basavaraj and Parvati, despite 27 years of marriage, did not beget any children. They are from Hassan and had come to the land of Shri Krishna 35 years before. Despite their meagre income of, say, Rs 200-300 earned during ‘jatre’ or ‘habba’, they would prefer to eat less, and, instead, feed their 2 and 3 Pomeranian dogs more. They do so because the dogs are more than dogs, more or less akin to their children.      
This Pomeranian dog couple has a baby without its forelegs, but the handicap did not make the pup less lovable to the middle-aged Basavaraj-Parvati couple. They shower all their love on the pup just as their own baby!
The pups never eat for themselves, they need to be fed by Parvati, almost a mother to them!  When there was no food, they starved for 3 days uncomplainingly. But finally they ate only when fed by their ‘mother’ i.e. Parvati. Such is their mutual attachment. Something unbelievable!

The childless couple showered all their human love on a 20-day-old Pomeranian and another male Pomeranian pup. They render all the tender care that parents give their children, starting from bathing and washing them, feeding, putting them to sleep etc.  The dogs too respond so much to their human love that  both the dogs forgot their canine behaviour and mended their ways. Today nobody can perhaps dare call them dogs? simply because they are more than human in behaviour in more than 100 ways.
Once it so happened that Parvati had gone selling her bangles in a fair in a distant town and could not reach home for 3 days. The dogs did not touch any food offered by Basavaraj in his wife?s absence. They ate only after their ‘mother’ Parvati returned from her bangle-selling mission after 3 days. That too when she fed the puppies with her own hands in the likeness of her children being fed!

When love cuts their purse…
The Basavaraj-Paravati couple has to keep aside Rs 60-70 in a day for their dogs, nay, children towards food such as biscuits, milk and the like. In between Basavaraj had a light heart attack twice and is bedridden. Now Parvati?s responsibilities are twofold that she has to tend the dogs as well as themselves in addition to her aged mother-in-law.

Furthermore the Basavaraj-Parvati couple feeds the dogs first and decides to eat or starve. They would never get the dogs to starve, and instead they would starve themselves. How can they let their dogs starve, when they treat them like their own children?

If anyone is interested in meeting or helping this this family, they can contact the address given below:

C H Basavaraj
Kodankoor New Colony
Nittur Post
Udupi District

Author: Michael Rodrigues