Tuffy, that was his name. My first pet. I was so young at that time, that even a small puppy used to frighten me. But it was fun. Me and my brothers used to play a lot with him. He used to run after us and we used to run to save our asses. Though, the only time he used to stay at home was when my dad used to be away. He hated dogs, still does. And if he used to see him, he used to toss him out of the house.

Tuffy was just a street dog, born in our house. After his Mother left him and his brothers/sister, we decided to adopt him. He used to play outside our house and we used to catch him somehow and bring him in. When we started giving him food, he started relaxing and used to come everyday at the same time.

I can not exactly say that he was our pet. We let him loose on the streets. But he was there, every evening, to have his dinner and play with us. Every morning when someone from home used to come to school to hand us our lunch box, he used to come with them. We used to see them and felt proud. Everyone noted that this dog comes with our mom or aunt, and knew that he was our pet.

Things were going great, unless and until some other kids noted him on the street. They visited our home and said that he was their dog. I asked them to leave, they didn’t listen to me. I challenged them to make the dog come with them. They called him with various names, but the dog never moved. He was still there, near my legs, hiding from them. I got angry by the sight of my pet in such a condition and asked them to leave.

Few days later, Tuffy went missing. We didn’t see him for long. Once after a month or two, he reappeared from nowhere. During recess time, when we were waiting for our lunch box at the gate of the school, we saw him and he responded. We knew it was him. Few days later, we passed along a house. And all of a sudden heard a dog bark. It sounded familiar. Very familiar. Me and my brother decided to go inside the house, and were shocked at what we saw. Tuffy was there, tied in shackles, trying to escape, but he couldn’t.

I rang the bell to talk to the owner of the house. There I saw the same children who accused us of stealing their dog. They asked us to leave and said that this was their dog. I knew it wasn’t. I called him by his name, and he tried coming to me. He was happy watching me there. I requested them to allow me to take my pet back, and they pushed us out. We left. Few days later, they buried the dog. I felt bad. Very bad. Since then we have had 2 dogs and a cat as pets, but Tuffy had a special place in our heart. He was the first one.

I still miss him. The way he used to make us run. The way he used to run as soon as dad came home. I am missing him very much today, maybe because there is a pet nearby who is as lovely as mine was……….


About Manish Jain

I'm a wanderer in search of solace which has long eluded me.
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