Here a Dobie There a Dobie, Everywhere a Dobie.

                  

What does a Dobie need? The same thing any other dog needs.
       Room to run.

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Other dogs to play with. And since they are Dobies…everybody is Alpha.

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A blatant show of athleticism.

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A few humans to pet and love on them.

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Some kids to lick.

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A water tank.

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People who sweat to find them a home.

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Get adopted- adjust in new homes with new friends.

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Interact with other species

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Get cleaned up.

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When all is said and done and everybody has played their part. There is just one important thing left to do……..
……Take naps.

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Doberfest- what doberfest? Everyday is a festival of life for us.

 

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I Wish I were a Cloud

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I wish I were a cloud,
Floating in the sky up above.
I’d follow you wherever you’d go,
I’d protect you from the sun with my shadow.
And if I ever see you lonely down below,
I‘d come down in a raindrop on your hand-
And say ‘Hello’

SUCH IS THE BALLAD OF MY LOVE

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A rose, a generous heart or a bracelet,
The question is; what’s in my wallet?
To be the only one that comes between her and her Calvin’s do I have to be wealthy?
Or did I just waste a tenner at the corner of Happy and Healthy?
I bought balloons, ribbed for her pleasure she will like, I bet
My chin is smooth, the best a woman can get.
I smoke a cigarette; it’s a quick picker-upper.
I nervously toe a mile to her house to get a camel post supper.
She opens the door and swoons, Manly, but I like it too.
I rip open my shirt, Madam, what can brown do for you?
You positively absolutely have to be here overnight. She gives my hair a twirl.
Surely I croon. My easy, breezy, beautiful, covergirl.
She touches my fly, Can you take a licking and keep on ticking? She asks
Yes, Yes, Can you hear me now?…Good That’s my task.
Her dress falls to the floor, You’re now free to move about the country.
I unzip. Help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up. My penis says to me.
Come on big boy, Do it. Just do it. She starts to parrot.
Big boy? But my five dollar footlong still a baby carrot.
She gives me a blue pill, Father tested, Mother approved.
Suddenly I’m lovin’ it. It just moved.
Then it keeps going and going and going. All along.
I think I’ll still be ready when the moment is right, come and gone.
My Ballad of Love doesn’t give me wings, if passion is a factor,
For erections lasting longer than four hours, you should consult a doctor.

With Malice Toward One and All

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          The Author, Khushwant Singh passed at 99 years of age today. It is with mixed feelings that I write this.
           A truly brilliant mind that often came in his own way to becoming a literary legend. A plethora of his brilliant work lost amidst the profanity and the senseless levity he sprinkled in his writing.

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          His book Delhi, is a masterpiece and a lesson in writing from multiple points of view. He takes us through a 1000 year history of Delhi seen through the eyes of the most relevant person in that era. The narrator is a Senapati (Minister of War) or a Badshah (King) in the times of treachery to take over India. He’s a Sufi poet in the times when poetry and music is banned in Delhi. He’s a contractor in times of the city going through modernization. He’s a part of the gang scoping out Mahatma Gandhi for the purpose of assassinating him (thus looking at the Mahatma’s perspective and the perspective of people who hated his policies). Occasionally, he brings us out of the story to modern times where he is in love with an ugly hermaphrodite prostitute (who he compares to Delhi- The ugly side of Delhi that he still is in love with despite hating it). The mark of true genius; A reader’s delight. But then he has to be in his own way with a 3 page in-depth description of the various types of farts and their classification. Come on Mr. Singh—let us love you for Christ’s sake.

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          Amongst many other books is the extremely heartfelt, The Train to Pakistan. It depicts the senseless violence, looting, murder and rape that accompanied the India Pakistan partition of 1947. Amidst all the greed and lust there is hope and love of a village belle and a hardened criminal. The cast-off of society is committed to saving lives.
         Khushwant Singh was a columnist who took on politicians and social issues with gusto and directness. His column depicted his mindset and attitude in life. A writer with a bottle of booze and a copy of an adult magazine sitting inside a bulb and writing away to glory- and right into our hearts.
         Thank you for all your works, Mr Khuswant Singh. May you rest in peace and wreak more havoc in heaven; or hell.khushwant 4

Holi- The Festival of Colors

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            Nothing depicts the harmony and brotherhood in the Indian society like the festival of Holi. It’s one of the most joyous occasions for Indians. It signifies the victory of good over evil. The story comes from an evil king who tried killing his son by burning him alive for not worshipping him. God saved the child and the king and his evil sister were killed in the process. 

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           We celebrate Holi with colours. We drench everybody on the street in blue, purple, green and yellow. It’s like a big happy family and nobody’s a stranger. People forget about their personal squabbles and differences, playing Holi with great fervour.

            Loading our Holi ammunition into a Jeep, we were almost out the big metal gate when the gangly Doberman puppy, Speed blocked our way. He was wagging his tail and as usual excited about nothing in particular. Stuti picked him up, “Let’s take him with us.”

            “Where’ll he fit? We have plans. He’ll be in the way.” I said.

            “He’ll be in my lap.” She introduced him to the group. They pet him and he took turns licking everyone.

            Her friend started, “He’s so–”

            “–cute, I know.”

           At the Punjab University the girls of Sarojini Hall hostel, who would run away from our rowdy group, now surrounded our Jeep, playing Holi with Speed.

           My friend nudged me with his elbow, “Dude, can I borrow this babe magnet for a day?”

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          I made it a point letting everybody know that the puppy was my “loving brother”.

            We took Speed to every friend’s house. We coloured their families, were fed hearty snacks, sought blessings from elders; then we moved onto the next house.  It seemed like an extension of how Speed lived his life every day. The entire neigbourhood was his home and the inhabitants including the strays, his family.

           Now our equation had to morph into that of two bickering brothers; quarreling, arguing, fighting, complaining and wing-men at the end of the day.

            The measure of how much fun we have playing Holi is determined by how many days it takes in washing the colour off our skin. Nobody minds when we show up at work on the day following Holi with monkey-like faces.

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            Speed’s coat had been covered with silver coloured oil paint. Our friends had spared his eyes. The black hair around his eyes and the silver paint on the rest of his body gave him the appearance of the Lone Ranger. His body looked like that of his own horse, “Silver”.

          “Hi-ho Silver, away,” Dad said.

            “Who is that masked dog anyway?” Mom asked.

           Hey Tonto, I’m your Kee-mo Do-bee.

            We three brothers weren’t allowed in the house post our “Holi romp”, our “Toofani gaeda” (whirlwind tour). We bathed in the yard, rinsing colour off each other, prancing, frolicking, playing, to mark the end of the joyous day.

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To Kill a Mocking Lizard

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To kill a Mocking Lizard

 

           Speed took his new role of Protector and Sentinel of the family a little too seriously. His job was ensuring that everyone was home at night, safe and sound. He kept patrolling the yard.
         In his deranged mind, his job included protecting his precious castle. Strange looking enemies, especially those evil, creepy- looking lizards needed to be warded off.

         How dare that lizard sit on my wall, contemplating his next move? He could be plotting taking over my castle, kidnapping everyone and stealing my food.
Must catch lizard…must kill lizard… must destroy lizard…don’t let it live…kill ..ravage…annihilate…Hey what’s that? Another one? So they have an army?
OK creepy long tailed fellows … deal with the one, the only; the truculent short tailed Colonel Speed; the one-dog army.

      He charged at the lizards full steam, head-butting the wall in an effort of dislodging them. The lizards just sat there on the thirteen inch thick brick wall, amused by this lunatic.

      Head hurts…don’t care… ice ‘em, rub ‘em out, waste ‘em …let ‘em sleep with the fishes…everyone’s life…in danger…must protect…I’m the undisputed mafioso…all hail Don Speedoni…you never go against the family…feeling woozy… sooooo light headed…sinking ..sinking…pfffffft.

       His charade didn’t affect the lizard rebellion. One of them may have left the scene of its own volition. Speed must’ve taken this as a definitive victory, to be duplicated with every head-butt. Disoriented, he desisted from learning his lesson.
       “Why do you do it, Speedy, you can’t hurt those lizards,” I asked him.

         Same reason I do most of what I do– because I like to. Its a dog’s life, man. If you can’t eat it or screw it– Piss on it.

 

Da’ Coopster ……. Continued….

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           I’d been sitting in the parking lot with Cooper’s head in my lap when my phone rang.
           I wore the blue-tooth around my ear. “How much time does the Vet give him?” This couldn’t be happening to my Cooper, my favorite playmate at the shelter, my reason for joining this Rescue. I bit my quivering lip.
           “A few weeks. The cancer has spread. We’ve decided to put him to sleep. It’s the only…”
          Her words faded into mumbo jumbo. Put him to sleep? He’s so full of energy. He’s my running buddy. I squinted the harsh Arizona sun out of my eyes. “When?”
“Today. We’re taking him to the dog park and then feeding him some burgers. Then we will take him to the vet and–”
          “–Don’t say it.” If I don’t hear it, then it didn’t happen. Right?
           “I know you love Cooper.” Her voice softened. “It’s time to say goodbye.”
           I clasp myself tighter. “I…err…you see…umm…I can’t…don’t have the ability of saying goodbye.”
         “That’s okay. We’ve called Tina from HomeFurGood Rescue. She’ll be with him till the very end. Till his eyes–”
          “–you called someone else? Someone that doesn’t even know our Coopster?” I splayed my arms.
          “She’s the one we call when any of our dogs are euthanized. She has a way of comforting the animals in their final moments.”
          “What a horribly depressing job. She must be a dark, gloomy soul.” I clasped two fistfuls of my hair.
                                                ****************
            Two days later. I’m walking into the HomeFurGood shelter for picking up Coopers ashes. The receptionist directs me to Tina’s desk. “She’s helping a dog that’s being put to sleep right now. Take a seat, she’ll be in soon.” She motions to a wooden chair.
          I take a seat, cross my legs and rap my fingers on her desk. A short haired woman stares into my eyes from a picture frame. She’s holding a handicapped dog in the picture close to her chest. Her nametag reads Tina. N. She has a warm smile that makes even the crow’s feet around her eyes appealing.”
        OK so she’s young and pretty…and happy. But she must be a depressed ‘in the closet’ lesbian. I pick up a plastic clip from her desk with a small tube attached to it.
“Mr. Sandhu. I see that you found my special Euthanasia tube.” She flashes her pearly whites and extends her long fingers towards me.
       I drop the tube and rub my hands clean. The tube falls to the floor with the yellow smiley face tag facing up. I shake her warm and soft hand. Then I rub my palm on my shirt.
     “I see that death bothers you.”
     “I love dogs way too much and don’t have the heart of watching them die.”
      “So you close your eyes. Did you ever consider Cooper’s passing from his point of view? You refused to be with him–”
     “–You don’t know Cooper. He was my favorite dog.” I touch my heart. “You see hundreds of dogs die every day. They’re all the same to you. You don’t know the first thing about Cooper–”
      “–I don’t know the first thing about him. But I know the last.” She crosses her arms. “I snuggled next to him on the soft Sherpa blanket. He ate a Frosty Paws ice-cream I brought him. Then he nuzzled my hand so I gave him a second one. I kissed him between his eyes and whispered stories about how when he gets to heaven he should look out for Speedy, the Dobie who is the keeper of the gates. To seek out Mi Corazon and Sarge; the one’s I couldn’t save. I held Cooper, speaking softly until he drifted off.”
       My shoulders droop. The chair is just aIMAG0980bout ready to swallow me.
She walks up to me and sits on her desk. “Cooper would’ve been a little happier in death if you had been with him when he passed on.”
I rest my elbows on my knee. “I was- was- scared.” I manage a whisper.
She touches my shoulder. “I know fear, Mr. Sandhu . Every Friday, I find a list of dogs at Animal control those are going to be put down. I drive to the pound paralyzed with fear. Knowing those dogs are missing their chance at life are the darkest moments of my week.”
“How do you do it, Tina?”
She sighs. “I’ve encompassed the world of rescue. I’ve brought the love of animals into my heart. My love for the animals does not fill some void in my life left by a bad relationship, a dog that passed or some sociological issue I had in my childhood.” She taps the picture of a black and tan Doberman wearing a red collar that reads ‘Speed’.IMAG0978
              I raise my eyebrows. “Why do you–”
“–Because nobody else will. They’ve gone through life without love or understanding.They are at the Animal Shelter because a human chose to abandon them. Because they think the dog’s life wasn’t worthwhile anymore. Now at the end of their life and in the final moments I share my heart and my love with them. These last comforting moments are all I can give them.”
       I tug my earlobe. That explains her picture with five handicapped dogs. “Do you think you make a difference in their lives?”
      “Absolutely. The human touch and love is all an animal needs. That love is all that Cooper needed to make the most difficult journey he ever made.” She places an urn of his ashes on the table.
      The urn rattles. I place my trembling hand on it. I haven’t encompassed rescue like her. After having done this for seven years I feel today that I’m on the outside looking in. I haven’t encompassed compassion. I still judge people based on appearance or sexuality or my preconceived notions. “Thank you, Tina.” I stumble out the door.
     She calls out behind me. “Peace be with you.”
     I stop in my tracks. If I were a marginally better person, I’d be friends with her- because if a person like her is not in my life. The loss will be entirely and completely mine.DSC00660

Da’ Coopster

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The life of a rescue worker; try our best to win a fight for a dog’s life from the abuse and indifference of man. Every once in a while we’re tested by god’s ultimate plan.

I was excited at the prospect of reaching the top of Squaw peak again. It was an idle Sunday morning and I was hiking in the pristine Valley of the Sun, accompanied by the zealot Doberman from the Desert Doberman Rescue Group (http://azdoberescue.org/). His soft rust colored coat reminded me of butter melting on overdone toast.
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The now five year old powerhouse, Cooper was abandoned in the desert as a six month old puppy. In the desert, filial instincts gave way to survival techniques. He’d been abused and maltreated and left for dead.

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I shook my head. Who would be so vile to abuse this kind dog? He wants to please people, to the point of being servile. He craves attention, but is never in the way. He always turns around to make sure I’m not out of sight, as he prances to the top of the mountain. That day he seemed a little off his game. He was taking too many breaks. The Vet was concerned about his recent lack of appetite and had wanted to do a few tests. His results were due anytime–

Burrrzzzzz. I peeled my cellphone out of my pocket. A closed envelope flew across the screen. Text message from Sidney flashed on the blue screen.

I paused mid-step. Cooper stopped and turned.

“It’s cancer,” announced my phone. I blinked hard. It still said the same thing.

The world had collectively punched me in the gut. It can’t be. He’s so healthy and strong. I fumbled a few lines on the phone and finally types. They’ve made a mistake. It can’t be.

I tried pressing the send button send a few times. Dingggg. The message floated into cyberspace.

Squaw peak must’ve been as high Mt. Everest because we were the only ones at the peak. The world below was so far. The oxygen. What happened to all the oxygen?

Burzzz. I squinted at my phone. So sorry, Inder. The report is clear… I shut my eyes.

No way, God … This can’t be happening. Why Cooper? Why? Hasn’t he been through enough already? This is so unfair. So…I flung my phone, shut my eyes and held my face in my hands.

My grandfather’s face flashed before my eyes. Don’t you fucking try and give me some sage advice here, old man. Your wisdom is not—

–Cooper pawed my hand. I opened my eyes. He had my phone in his mouth. I rubbed the skin between his eyes. “Coop, why did you have to come into my life and make me love you so darn much?”

He dropped the phone in my lap. My grandpa smiled back at me on the screensaver. His words rang in my ears. A couplet from the Guru Granth Sahib; the holy book of the Sikh religion of Northern India.

Teriyan beparwahiyan O rabba Ki Ki khed rachawein

(Your carelessness O Lord, plays weird games with humans)

Ikk nu bhejen is duniya te, Ikk nu kol bulayein.
(You send one new one in this world and call one back to you)

 

Darn it…I should’ve taken him to the Vet sooner. Maybe when he had the first symptom. If only I was a more regular volunteer, I would’ve noticed something sooner. Maybe—

Burzzzz. My thoughts returned to the present. The Vet’s given him a few weeks.

I held his face in my hands and kissed his forehead. “Please don’t leave me, Cooper. Please, buddy.”

                                                                                          ………………..To be continued

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