Fiction Park

Fuzzy thing called love

  • Every day, Burche reminded her that there was always someone who cared that she existed. Every day, he reassured Bini that she was loved, wanted, and longed for. He reminded her that should she disappear, it would break his heart
- Abha Dhital
When his cold, black nose touched her warm little hands, she giggled. When he looked at her with his eyes full of booger, her own gleamed with joy. When he raised his chin to let her scratch him underneath, she made the call

Jul 30, 2017-Burche has begun to look frail again. He has shed a lot of weight since last month. He isn’t eating. The ribs are showing. Everything that goes inside, comes right back out. The organs are failing one after another. It is just a matter of days, his doctor has already declared. 

Meanwhile, Bini has developed a disorder of sorts. She has been making frequent visits to the bathroom to wash her hands clean. They never feel clean enough.

When Burche started throwing up last week, it was her who made the call. Bini told her parents that she wanted to be the one who cleaned after the dog. She wanted to do everything in her capacity before her friend said his last good bye. 

***

Ten years ago when Bini first met Burche, she was taken aback. 

“Who brings home such an ugly dog?” She had thrown her school bag on the floor and rushed to the room without giving the dog a second glance.

Having grown up around beautiful household dogs, which were never her own, Bini was not very fond of street dogs at age 12. When her parents earlier revealed there was a furry surprise waiting for her, a skinny pup that limped a little and had a lot of whiskers was far from the image she had in her mind. 

Burche had been picked up right from the streets by her parents that day. And “why?”, was beyond Bini. 

That whole evening she stayed true to the tantrum she had thrown earlier and refused to see the dog that quietly waited outside in the corridor as the family dined inside.

“Should we send him back?” 

Bini looked at the furry brown pup that had his back to her and then at her parents across the table before she answered. 

“Yes. I don’t want a dog anymore.” 

By next morning, Bini could no more resist. She gave in and started looking for the dog the first thing. But he was not to be found.

He was not in the corridor. He was not in the garden. He was gone. Her heart sunk a little. Could her parents have listened to her and sent him back? 

She quietly went back to her room, changed into her school uniform, and came to the kitchen for food. 

She was relieved when she spotted brown fur again. 

She joined him under the table and hesitantly extended her hand to stroke him. When his cold, black nose touched her warm little hands, she giggled. When he looked at her with his eyes full of booger, her own gleamed with joy. When he raised his chin to let her scratch him underneath, she made the call. 

“I want to keep him. Don’t send him back!” 

***

Burche can barely stand on his limbs or sit upright anymore. When he is tired of laying down, he looks up at Bini. She assures him that she is there to support him. He picks himself up, one limb at a time. One…two…thr…he needs to lean. Bini lets him lean on her. She wraps her arms around him and whispers in his ears. “You can lean on me for as long as you want.” 

***

Burche had grown into a healthy pup within two weeks of his arrival. He was cleaned and vaccinated, his nails had been clipped, his coat had been neatly combed and he was eating two eggs per meal. While the family initially thought the dog was mute, turned out he was just scared, and while they thought he had a lazy leg, turned out it was just hurt. 

Name: Burche

Age: 6 months

Breed : Terrier-mix 

As the vet penned down Burche’s details on his medical record, Bini ran indoors and looked up ‘Terrier’ on the internet. Small, wiry, very active and fearless. Burche checked off everything on the list.

That summer Bini and her family discovered that Burche was a runner. Dogs had their own ways of expressing happiness on seeing humans after a long day. Burche’s way of saying ‘I have missed you’ was running around the little garden like a little Chitah in full-throttle with his ears pulled back in the air. 

He was the happiest, healthiest dog they had ever seen. And he’d continue to be so for at least nine more years.

***

He is old. Dogs don’t live long. He has lived a good life. This means an end to his suffering. 

Bini tries to come up with a list of as many reasons why it is okay to say goodbye to her best friend. None of them make a good excuse. 

If she thought she had known heartache, this was worse. Nobody had ever broken Bini’s heart like Burche was breaking it now. 

***

Bini was 16 and already tired of her life. She hated school, she didn’t like her friends, she was in love with a rabble-rouser, and her parents just didn’t understand. 

She was failing at life and life was failing her. Every day seemed darker than the last. Every person seemed worse than the other. She was crowded and she was lonely. She needed an out.

She was at the peak of a turbulent teenage patch where every single day she longed for at least one being who completely understood her. She longed for one being who listened to her. She longed for one being who held her tight and said, “It is going to be okay.” 

It was not going to be okay. Young, naïve and angry she contemplated ending it all. Every day, she came home from school thinking, “This is it, I am going to end this. There’s no point.”

And every day, Burche waited for her at the gate, jumped with happiness at her sight, ran like a Chitah around the garden, and came back with his brush in his mouth and demanded that she comb his fur. 

Every day, Burche reminded her that there was always someone who cared that she existed. Every day, he reassured Bini that she was loved, wanted, and longed for. He reminded her that should she disappear, it would break his heart. 

It was a rough year for Bini. Burche helped her get through the turbulence—sometimes as her happy distraction, other times as a quiet therapist that she could lean on as she cried her heart out. 

***

It is getting difficult to see Burche in so much pain. He has started moaning. He has started crying. He needs an out from this suffering. 

As her parents look at her, for her permission, she quietly nods in approval. It is time to help end this distress. It is time to let him go. Sometimes the best you can do for a loved one is release them.

“You saved me. I am sorry I could not save you.” 

Published: 30-07-2017 08:06

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