Author : Binoy S
Company: Trivand Technologies
He knew his name was “Rocky”. He could tell it was his name, although it took a while for him to understand it. There were times when he thought his name was “Come here” or “No”. Good times. He always saw the world in shades of grey. He had never seen any colors, yet the world he lived in was beautiful once.
He was loved when his human family brought him to their house the first time. The family that raised him consisted of 4 members – a man, his wife and their son and daughter. The man was the head of the family. He had a scar on his left cheek which could have been from an accident. He especially liked their daughter. Her name was Tina. She cared more about him than the others. She fed him on time and was kinder to him than others. He was innocent and happy then. He gave everyone lots of love as every other puppy. As he grew up, he began to understand the rules of the house. He knew his humans didn’t like to be disturbed when they stared at a box in the living room, sometimes for hours at a time. Humans especially didn’t like me
All he ever wanted was attention. He loved to play fetch and he was always loyal and protective of his humans. He would alert them if anyone came to visit or if there were any intruders. More than once, he had risked his own life to protect the humans that raised him. They were all he had.
But despite all that, the humans often chained him to a pole, restricting him. Or sometimes, put him in a cage. It became worse once the daughter was married and moved out to her husband’s house. When he was depressed, he had no one to turn to. He was always lonely. He was “taught” tricks, with punishments if resisted, that would amuse other humans. Certain small humans outside the wall often threw stones at him. Despite knowing fully well that he didn’t mean as much to the humans as the humans meant to him, he still loved and adored his humans unconditionally. He was their guardian and saw to it that no one came to the house without everybody else knowing about it.
But then, things slowly began to change. He started to notice that he couldn’t run as fast as he could and got tired easily. He started to notice his fur falling off too. As time went on, his health deteriorated. The family that once fed him and petted him kept their distance, with an expression of disgust. It hurt him. He had given them everything! Yet, he was being treated like vermin now that he is old and vulnerable. The house was off bounds for him now. He was always chained to the pole now. Now, there were talks of dumping him in the streets or euthanizing him. He couldn’t stand it. He shed silent tears that nobody noticed. He couldn’t think of being alone out in the streets. And as he lay hopelessly in wait, tied to the pole, the man who raised him came and took him to the vet’s.
“You should put it out”, said the vet. “It’s not hygienic to have an old dog in a house.”
“I agree”, said the man. “Make it quick”.
Rocky knew the end was near. He felt cheated in a way. He had lived a life totally in servitude to humans and in the end, he got nothing. NOTHING! Not even sympathy. As he lay there, the vet was approaching him with a syringe in hand. He was held down by the very man who had raised him since he was a puppy. The vet pointed the needle at his neck. There was a sudden pain! And then everything slowly faded away into darkness.
The man woke up sweating! He looked around. The clock on the wall showed it was 2 am. It had just been a dream. He looked around at all the other old people sleeping in the dormitory. He laid back on the bed. As he tried to sleep, he thought what it was about the dream that disturbed him. It had been years since he took Rocky to be euthanized. With age, his face had wrinkled, but his scar on the left cheek still stood out. It had been a long time since he had heard any news of his children. He turned on his side, looking at all the other old people in the old age home and wondered “Are we any different?…”