He was as soft as rainwater - the day he came to our house. He came in our car, snuggled between my mom's arms. Just a little over 2 months. The most incredible deep dark brown flesh, peering through greenish brown eyes. We called him Rusty, the same day.
It was monsoon of 2001, I remember. His jittery paws were hesitant on the gravel and his little body jerked a little every time a new pair of legs approached him. "Surprise Sherry. We got someone for you," my mom's mischevious grin got me on the driveway. That's how I met him. He found the middle of my arm as his anchor and looked at me expactantly that he was home. Was I his new mumma, sister, brother, master??? He was pulled out of a pile of puppies, nestled next to his mom. In alien, non-furry, distinctly two legged environment; this was his first moment.
He didn't like the car at all. Especially when it moved. Movement to him was four kegs or maybe two. He had not yet invented the wheel. He would lay behind my neck in stoneage despiar, not rigid, but heavy, as his bladder would empty each time even later, and the black leather seatd were puddled under puppy rain. He would always stagger out the same way, as though it were the hold of a slave ship and hm left aboard for six months or more. And it still is a task to pull him in. His size may not be manageable, but in mind he's still two months old.
The tug of war and the reverse fetch is still his favourite sport. Mariah Carrey is his favourite singer. She sings him to sleep even today. He sleeps outside my room even though I am not there. He hates being left alone and tears up his world apart in protest, finding the naked floor his sleeping companion often. Storms and Diwali nights are distinctly hated. He loves to whistle and he is amazingly good at it. If I'd known better, I could swear he's a Janis Joplin incarnate. He rebels, growls and has the most guttural barks. But he loves endearingly. He still meets, greets, awaits everybody the same way. Gravity, head down, feet up and Rusty on top - always. He still snuggles under our legs, one at a time, after taking three customary rounds under them. He slumps, slouches when he doesn't want to eat or walk and maybe sit in the green a little longer. He still shies away at eye contact or if you kiss his nose. He still calls you traitor if another dog smells or takes a fancy to my hand. He's smell, investigate and sulk till you hug his frame and say, "Sorry Rusty!"
But at the heart, he knows he's grown older. His limbs crack a little, everytime he tries to move a little more enthusiastically. He's still a crazy diamond. His face is greying and the corners of his mouth are drooping. But call cat, good ole' friend Brutus just once and he comes running straight for the leash yearning to be lead out. Rusty will be eight this April and its been six months he's grown apart from me, instead of together. This time, I'll let him lead me out the door for our walk to water the greens. I hope it's monsoon again. Rusty loves the rain. We ponder and prolong the rain in our heart and have let the floodgates open together.
... In every life, some puppy rain must fall.