Jimmy Boy - Part 2

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Continues from Jimmy Boy - Part 1
Jimmy loved us all a lot, of course, as any other dog would love his adopted family. He would wag his long tail and lick us all over the face after we came back from school. We would then share our evening snack with him before proceeding to do our homework. He loved Dad too, he never let Dad go into the house after he came back from work unless he patted him and nuzzled him, but as much as he liked Dad he was also petrified of him. No one quite knew why, my dad never even hit him, but he was scared none the less. If he wasn't behaving himself and wouldn't listen to us, all it took was a shout from Dad and he would quiet down immediately, bow his head, put his tail down and walk away. It was an amazing sight, as we never even trained him to obey commands. But he was Jimmy, and he had an aggressive streak in him! He had strong likes and dislikes and me and my brother fell in the former category. Much as he was afraid of Dad, he would start barking at Dad if he found we were at the receiving end of one of Dad's rare outbursts of anger. Visitors to our house of course never believed this. So we put up a show for their benefit. Dad would suddenly call out our names, show mock anger and start scolding us, sometimes using a ruler for effect. His shouts never failed to attract Jimmy who would come dashing to the entrance, stand on the steps and start barking at Dad drawing chuckles and claps from visitors. Jimmy never understood why everyone was serious one moment and laughing the next and would go on barking for some more time probably realising that we pulled a fast one on him.

He loved splashing himself in puddles of water after a strong spell of rain and cover himself with mud, but it wasn't as though he particularly liked water. If he suspected that we were going to give him a bath, he would run away. We had to corner him, avoid his teeth and leash him to get him a bath. Since we stayed in the tropics, we would typically use the cold water from the well, drawing it out using a long bucket and dumping buckets upon buckets of water upon him. He would bear this for a while (perhaps secretly enjoying the cool water from the well), but just as we were thinking that he was taking this lying down, he would shake himself and drench us in water. His mane would stand up all over him and once finished, he would give us a long satisfied triumphant yelp.

As for his dislikes, it included any foreign creature invading his territory. One of Jimmy's favourite pastimes was to sit near the gate and peep from the grill and 'greet' anyone walking on the street. He particularly disliked the early risers from the neighbouring labour colony who attended calls of nature early in the morning. But anyone trying to squat anywhere near the vicinity of the house was scared away by a ferocious volley of abuse from Jimmy. It amused Dad a lot as he unsuccessfully tried to shoo them away from doing the disgusting thing near our house.
But Jimmy had a pet hate, his bete noir, in the form of another Dog called Johnny. Johnny was a nondescript but was fed by our neighbours and he would move in and out of their house at will, roaming the neighbourhood quite freely. He was also quite strong unlike other street dogs as he was well fed by the kindly neighbours but had the aggressive streak of a street dog. No one quite knew how or why Jimmy and Johnny hated each other so much, but they would let out a string of insults at each other whenever Johnny passed in front of our house. In fact Johnny would make sure Jimmy was at the gate, wait if he wasn't and made sure he made his feelings known. He also frequently trailed the neighbours whenever they paid a visit to the house, unsuccessfully trying to sneak in to our house. We knew what would happen if he came in and made sure the gate was always locked. But one day Johnny and Jimmy were having a particularly bad day and Johnny just rushed in the moment we opened the door a little. What followed was a fierce battle between the two dogs. They fell over each other, bit and scratched each other and made so much racket that it borough the entire neighbourhood to our house. No one dared go near them for fear of getting bitten by one or both the dogs. For us it was a pain to watch as Jimmy, although holding up quite well in a fight against a seasoned street fighter, appeared tot be losing the fight. Just when it started looking bad, the neighbour's son walked straight into the middle of the two dogs and kicked Johnny so severely he fell a few feet away and ran out of the gate, leaving Jimmy, quite literally licking his wounds. He was given medical attention by a Vet and recovered quite soon but his hate and fear of Johnny only increased after that. Thankfully after that both never had a chance to shake hands again.

Dogs love food and it was probably his bad luck that he was adopted into a Telugu Brahmin household. During the initial years in the Old house his chances of eating meat were few and far between as there was no one who could buy meat and feed it to him. It was still socialist India where you couldn't go to the local Hypermarket and buy Dog food off the shelf. His luck improved when we moved into the new house. We had a domestic help whose responsibility it was to buy meat every Sunday and feed Jimmy. Needless to say Jimmy saw the lady as an Angel.


Piggyfly said...

Stories about Jimmy remind of stories about a certain Gypsy. :)

waiting for more posts