By Saurav

Back when I used to stay in Mumbai, Café Universal in Fort, Mumbai was one of my favourite eating and drinking joints and whenever I happen to be town side, I always drop in here. Once you enter Cafe Universal, you have an old world feeling. High ceilings, beams running across, wrought-iron windows, the wooden furniture, all just adds to its charm.

 This Cafe is run by an old couple, who generally do not mix with the folks who visit their place and tend to manage accounts and the shop from behind their high desks. It’s generally the waiters who interact and manage customers. During one of my visits, I saw a new member and a new expression in the Old Man who owns this Cafe. In all my previous visits, I had hardly seen the old man smile or look happy. He always seemed to be a man who had seen a lot in life and did not expect much from it.

 But this new member had added a smile and care in his eyes, which I had never seen before. As I walked in and sat at the table next to the counter, I saw him walk in with this cute furry four-legged fellow, who seemed to be just having fun. The next thing he does is ties the adorable pup next to my table and goes towards the counter. This new guy was a cute, adorable Labrador pup who did not seem more than 2–3 months old. Once the old man had tied this guy, he started munching on chairs. The furniture in this restaurant is expensive and more so feels expensive, but the old man just did not care that this pup was biting it. Instead, I saw kindness and love that you see in a person who is in love with his child. He bought in a bowl full of toys to chew for this fellow, but the pup seemed only to like the leg of the chair, and the old man never fussed.

 Here, I was seeing a man transformed, a man who seemed to be happy only because of this pup and it made me realize that a Dog is really a man’s best friend. Of all the other animals that you can keep as a pet, only a dog can become your true companion. You can play with him, fight with him, talk to him, hug him, and cry with him, as if he were another human being. He is always there by your side, like your best friend.

Initially, when you get a dog, you teach him how to react and behave, but we seldom realize that as the pup grows older, he is the one who is teaching you. You learn the meaning of friendship, of loyalty, and the most important thing that he teaches you is the value of companionship. Most often than not, it is the presence of someone dear that gives you comfort rather than the topic of discussion.

 Dog can be your true everyday companion and friend in all the things that you go about in your daily life. A dog can fetch paper for you, he can warn you about intruders, he can even be a guide for the blind, and he can assist you with most of your daily task and would never fret about it. He always seems to enjoy doing tasks just because you asked him to and all he wants in return is your love, a small pat on his head, a little scratch behind the ears or a neck rub. He loves you and teaches you how to love. And as you get to know each other, you realize that he understands you and without saying anything (except the different ways of barking) he answers all your questions. Now you have a reason to smile for silly things he does, to go for a walk, and to be more energetic with all the play time that you spend with him. A small amount of play time with your dog relieves you of your stress and makes you feel at peace. With a dog, even grown-ups act like kids and they don’t seem to mind that.

 But with great love also comes great sadness; when the time comes to say goodbye to this friend, it is the hardest thing in the world. My grandfather holed himself up in the doghouse for almost 3 days after he lost his furry friend – Beena. I could not eat or drink for almost a week, when I lost Sheru and after that I just could not muster the courage to get another, being afraid that I might not be able to bear another emotional loss. I still remember and miss the bloke! However, the thing to remember is that life shouldn’t stop with one; you cannot just stop if you have lost one because you are scared to lose them again. Think about all the love, fun, joy, and happiness that you got from your pet; don’t you want those feelings again?? I always believe that the love from your pet is pure and we humans cannot get enough of it. For pet parents out there, I humbly request that we should adopt and rescue animals that need our love as much as we need theirs.

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