From my father to Tintin
When he came home he was barely an armful
Used to snuck into the tiniest space
The sound of a spoon in his favourite saucer
Prompted him to run a private race.
He frisked about and explored at will
Soon there wasn’t a corner unknown to him
He kept a tab on where everyone was
Lively and frolicsome right to the brim.
Biscuit time was just after dinner
And he’d long for just a tiny treat
Squatting while we were having a snack
Quite often tripping our feet.
He travelled with us wherever we went
And adapted joyfully to each new place
Just to watch him explore around
Was enough to light up our face.
He was convinced that any packet that crackled
Contained biscuits of his very own
Every container that was opened
Would miraculously produce a bone.
Occasionally he would want to be pampered
And refuse to eat till fed by hand
Once I had knelt to feed him
He would gobble the food as if at a pizza stand.
He loved being scratched on the head
And would close his eyes during a tummy rub
Enjoyed getting wet and having a bath
Whether under a shower or in the tub.
When we returned from even the local store
He used to go mad and jump from place to place
And at the height of his ecstasy
His wet tongue would, by turns, slobber our face.
All in the neighbourhood asked about Tintin
And for the local kids, he was a walking talking toy
Everyone knew him by name, sight and sound
He was a celebrity, the area’s blue-eyed boy.
The doorbell was his signal for going crazy
He welcomed every visitor with a rare elan
Anyone who met him fell in love with him
Whether another pet, woman, child, or man.
Running on the streets or garden
Was the pastime at which he excelled
Or pulling at a shoelace, running off with a sock
Or simply yanking at a leaf that we held.
He was very scared of loud noises
People shouting upset him too
He cowered and barked alternately
But in a jiffy was as good as new.
Wary of car rides when he was a baby
Preferred to stay in the comfort of home
But soon he became a veteran traveler
His adventures could easily fill a tome.
He’d amble upto me with loving eyes
Knowing exactly when I was upset or such
He’d gently nudge me with his paw
And that felt like no other healing touch.
He trusted me blindly and implicitly
Because his Bauji could never be wrong
Thunder and crackers terrified him
But he’d venture anywhere fearlessly if I went along.
Sometimes, when he was feeling low,
He would just come and stare
And as if our gazes were speaking
He told us what was wrong and where.
He lived a loving and carefree life
And knew the meaning of everything we said
The mention of some of his favourite things
Would make him sit up and cock his head.
He never left my side for nine years
Did anything that I asked him to
I never believed such a companion could exist
I was lucky to have a friend so true.
Happy with just a twig or a piece of string
He just gave and gave to all his everything
Total faith and companionship he knew best
Right until he opted for his final rest.
Funny how he always understood my every gesture
On my every command he would devotedly dwell
Except on that last fateful visit to the vet
When I asked him to return quickly and well.
The bushy tail wagging and thumping
Golden mane blowing in the breeze
Eyes staring adoringly at his loved ones
These are etched on my mind like a frieze.
One day he fell sick, but not a whine
Quietly accepting all that the medics would do
Just a moment ago he peeped in at my door
It’s sad that was his final adieu.
When he died I felt as if I had died too
For he treated me as if I was his father
And my two sons and wife he doted on
Just as they were his brothers and mother.
He made us know the meaning of love
And then said a silent goodbye
In so short a time he stole our hearts
And left us forever to remember and cry.
Little did I know till he was no more
What that noble soul meant to me
He lived in style and died in style
Everyone who knew him will agree.
Oh! I’d give anything just to hear his pant again
Or just smell his heady odour like an evergreen tree
Oh! To feel him cuddle up against my leg
To once more see his eyes gazing at me.
Never made a demand or even a fuss
Was loving and caring when even in pain
He was just a dog, but when men do the same
They are called saints or even Jesus by name.
Now his memory lives on in my heart
I wish him well in that new world of his
That tiny soul touched me like no-one else could
His friendship felt like the most wonderful kiss.
Goodbye, my friend – I’ll always love you
We’ll meet soon, I promise from my heart,
When you see me just bark and wag your tail
That day no one will ever make us part.
Till then, take care, Tintin darling
And rest in peace knowing that I’ll always be your friend
Till then, play with the Lord and make him happy too
I’ll join you soon and we’ll chase each other again.