20 Days Of Casper

Posted by Yashaswini Balasubramanyam
December 11, 2016

“Please please buy me a dog,” I had been begging forever.

And the answer was always a no. A sharp NO. “You two are enough trouble already,” they would say, in disagreement with us sisters.

So many fights, so many arguments, the result was always the same – ‘NO DOGS’.

School passed, college days passed with me trying to make my parents understand that having a dog is not that big a challenge after all.

After graduation, I started working for a firm, and I asked again if I could get a dog with my salary. Trust me; that was an innocent question and it in no way meant, ‘I have my money. I am independent. I shall do whatever I want.’ Well, that was how they took it, and all hell broke loose.

Two months passed. In the third month, one day, the unthinkable happened. I wanted a pup, and a colleague talked me into getting one that very day. After office, I went straight to this pet shop I knew.

Excitement was rushing through every vein in my body. My curfew was 8 pm, and it was 8.30 pm when I reached the store. The moment I walked into the store, my phone started ringing. My mom and dad kept calling me. I knew I was in trouble. I took a deep breath and walked into the store.

“I have come for a Labrador like I told you earlier this noon,” I told the lady. She smiled and brought inside, a cage of four Labrador pups. “They are all a month old, or less,” the lady said. I almost squealed in amusement. They were all so adorable. She opened the gate of the little cage-like thing, and all four came out squeaking. Two of them vanished below the chairs. and the other two came running towards me.

I picked the first one up, and it started squeaking. It was like a baby and kept staring, not taking his eyes off me. The second one was tugging at my pants, and I picked that one up as well. It was equally adorable. But the first one was going to be my baby.

I decided, Casper was going to be his name. I got all his food and his leash and caught an auto and headed home. My phone was ringing continuously and I was freaking out, but seeing Casper sleeping peacefully on my lap, I ignored all the other thoughts.

The nearer I got to my house, the more I wanted to turn back and run away. I got off the auto at the end of the road and walked towards my house with my bag on one side and Casper and his food bag on the other.

The phone kept ringing, and I decided to ignore it one last time. I looked towards my house and saw my mom and dad fuming. They had seen me choosing to ignore their call.

Casper was still asleep.

I looked up again, and my mom was signalling me to turn back and go away. I climbed the stairs very slowly, thinking of how I was going to convince them.

I got to the gate, and they said they wouldn’t let me inside the house. Wonderful, I thought. The entire drama was going to take place in the portico, so much for the already inquisitive neighbours.

My sister came outside to where we were and started jumping with excitement looking at the tiny, soft bundle of joy in my hands. She hugged me and took him and kissed his forehead. We were smiling until we both suddenly realised our parents were still there. There was silence again. Awkward silence.

All five of us were there. Casper, the sister, the parents, and the super scared me. Everyone was tensed, except the little bundle which was sleeping peacefully.

“Go return it. Or you are not coming inside,” my dad said, calmly but sternly.

I started wailing and arguing pointlessly at the same time. “I am going to have a baby some day, and I wouldn’t know how to take care of it, will I? Let me keep Casper. I want to become responsible.” I thought I had given them a solid point to reconsider their decision, but my sister’s reaction proved me wrong.

“Who’s Casper? And I am making it very clear, come in only if you give him back,” my mom said, with folded hands and I knew that was it.

“Why are you being so mean? It’s just a pup!” My sister started, for she probably knew I wouldn’t be able to do it on my own. There was a heated argument for a whole of 30 minutes, all in the portico.

Amidst all this, Casper opened his eyes for a fraction of a second and dug his head into my sister’s lap again and fell asleep. I saw my parents smile, why, it was so adorable.

“Go, give that poor little thing back right now,” they shook their heads.

My phone started ringing; it was our neighbours from the floor below who probably heard our wailings and called us because they were concerned .

Embarrassing, right? “Mom is not letting us keep the pup she wants me to return it,” I complained, crying. And the moment I said that I heard shouts and screams from below and the sound of footsteps rushing up to our floor. One after one, six people came home and took Casper in their arms with all ‘ooohhhhhs’ and ‘aaaaahs’ and ‘awwwwws’. Mom and dad eventually gave in and smiled brightly.

“It is going to be tough, given that it is just a month old and the owner is not going to allow this,” my mom said, worried. The neighbours said they would say it was their gift to me, and that way, the owner won’t have a say in this. We all assured her we would manage. And that was how Casper came home. He became family real soon and was this happy little foodie.

I spent sleepless nights looking for him under chairs, tying him to a chair with his blue collar when he was being a bad dog, cleaning his potty, training him to be a good boy. There were lots of hugs and selfies, all of it was really beautiful.

Casper was going to be our secret till he grew a little, we had decided. The owner had no clue.

19 beautiful days with Casper had passed, and then the 20th day came, when the you-know-who figured we had a pup and asked us to give him away the very same day.

It was devastating, depressing, and unfair. We tried talking, but it was just futile. Mom and dad felt really bad for he had become the apple of our eyes in a very short period. Nobody wanted to give him away, especially me. He was my baby.

Casper had to go. Not to a stranger’s though, but to a friend’s house.

He was going to be loved anywhere he went, for the cute little loyal thing that he was. For months after he left, we all still walked around the house very cautiously, careful not to step on the little bundle of joy, the way we had been when he was here. He is still being missed.

You never bring in pups if you are not going to be able to keep them, because yes, you will miss them, without a doubt. They are going to miss you more when they have to leave.

Because they are dogs and you are their everything. I would never say no to dogs if I were the landlord or a parent. Nobody should. Everybody deserves a dog best friend.

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