We love the word ‘clutch’. It has a very ‘clutchy-gulpy’ sound to it, quite like our (well, Zaza’s actually) saliva when we slurp and lick. So we had to use it somewhere. Dad and then Mom’s bro, our uncle, were in the mood all of last week of digging through old albums. Coincidence or not, we were suddenly flooded with nostalgia and tales and memories and laughter and sighs from two different parts of the country. We could barely recognise Big Sis and Big Bro – we wouldn’t have had it not been for our love, our connection with them. We can sniff them out, you know spot them, anywhere – even in faded photographs put up by Dad. And when uncle sent pictures of the family dogs down the years, we had the breath knocked out of us.
Not to be outdone, we also went down memory lane and sighed over our puppyhood – more so because as Big Sis points out, we are ‘grown up’ now. For the second time in our lives, our Folks are making us wear diapers. I guess for humans diapers are a badge of maturity. So we have amble around awkwardly for certain days, for certain hours, and are made to sit on blankets when we don’t have them on and those blankets are then washed. We understand when Mom says she’s not in favour of diapers, but not wearing them means we are not allowed on beds and sofas. So, for us it is rock and hard place.
Anyway, our memory lane… Boy oh boy! did our Folks go berserk in taking our pics. We know we are adorable and pretty, but come on – already over 200 hundred pics of ours? We could muzzle through barely our first four months here before getting bored of ourselves. Too much of a good thing and all that, you know.
So there we are – duped into believing we were sisters in love until we discovered that we were enemies out to kill each other at the drop of a hat; the way Mom used to find Nanny Bro in the mornings after a night with us; why Snuggles got her name, all the time snuggling in arms, laps – and palms.; waiting for Mom to finish work, very patiently, until it was clear patience will never pay and it is better to paw, whine, jump on chairs, nose the laptop, emit low growls, drop a ball at her feet again and again and again (even if you lose it on the way 😋 – scroll to the bottom!)
So used to being superstars that we are, we quite forgot that today is the day not of a pair but of a ‘clutch’ of pooches. Mom and her bro have grown up with dogs – although we find it difficult to accept that others have known her lap, her cuddles, her kisses, her hugs before us. We feel jealous when she reminisces about the comfort of a lick from her old favourite, Trinket, after whose name she still maintains her email account. Our pride at our intelligence is a deflated balloon when she describes how Richie knew exactly when Nani finished her kitchen routine or was on the last line of her whispered prayers, on the verge of standing up ( I mean, it was Snuggles who had that crown of super-intelligence, knowing by what Mom picks up in the kitchen whether she is going to dump things in the compost bin, or put the milk bottle outside, or lock the balcony doors and in which order). Our hearts crinkle when Mom absently calls out ‘Frida’ to Zaza ever so often, not only because of the black but also because bladders of both were / are the perfect weapon to establish proprietary right over Mom’s lap and other territories. Then there was Charm (any resemblance to Zaza is only coincidental and Zaza’s luck – otherwise as similar as charming gentleness and a wild volcano). And what can we say about Samson, the boxer, and the older Trinket (it was quite regal, the naming – Trinket the First and Trinket the Second)? After hearing about how handsome they were, we cannot believe our Folks when they say that we are the most beautiful dogs on earth. Still, we are good, kindly souls and, unlike humans, able to rise above petty jealousies. A dog is a dog is a dog, with all the love and warmth and adoration and beauty and comfort and strength we add to life. So here is the ‘clutch’:
Sigh! We truly belong to a family of great canines. How we wish we could have rubbed noses with them and they hadn’t gone to the happy hunting grounds. We suspect the Folks still weep a little over them; we can tell because suddenly Mom will call out ‘Frida’ or ‘Richie’ to us or Big Bro II Bisquit, and then recollect herself.
Let’s sign off on a note of celebration. Celebration of life, of those of us who are around to share Folks’ lives and spread joy and cheer and fun and delight (we’d rather not consider the exasperation and exhaustion). A toast to our cousins and Big Bro II Bisquit:
And, for the last word, which has to be ours, our Oh Oh! moment, the story of our pickle-y lives….