It was a night of torrential downpour. I was in my house, enjoying the rain from a cosy corner. I had a boxer named Kanni who passed away after suffering from illness. Her death had left a huge void in my heart. Not a day had gone by without thinking of him. It was during this heavy downpour when one of the dogs from the neighbourhood came to seek shelter at my door.
I placed a mat just inside my front entrance and invited him inside so that he might find cover there. He approached with reluctance. After waiting for a while, eventually got comfortable enough to eat some of the food I offered him, and then went to check out the house. After a quick inspection of the house, he went away to his usual place and by then the rain had stopped too.
The next morning he (Simba, aged three to four) came with two of his friends, Bindu, aged ten to twelve, and Champi, aged four to five. After a few settings and conversations, the three of them decided that this is their home, and they have not left since.
A few months later, Champi moved in with her partner, Prince, and a few months after that, Prince moved in with his friend, Blacky. And today, I have five indies who have made me and my house their home.
It doesn’t matter what you call them—gate crashers, unwelcome guests, brats and hooligans, bandit queens and coward warriors—they are all mine, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The neighbourhood has become accustomed to them and has grown to enjoy them as well. Every single one of them is a free-range dog. When I go to work, they remain in the building, which also includes the two houses they visit. They come over to my house for dinner, sleep in the enormous bed I got them, eat breakfast and then leave for the day along with me.
They are given regular baths, medication, vaccinations, grooming, play, conversations, and complaints much like any other house dog, regardless of the breed of dog.
That’s the way our tale goes.