It was yet another long day. A tensed drive along the Galle Road, from the University of Colombo to Katubedda during the rush hours after work, is not an easy job by any means.
For those who work in Colombo know that it is not the person who leaves home in the morning that returns in the evening. The road traffic, workplace stress and many other life-demands make the person half human during the day.
As usual, I went straight into the backyard where I have grown many plants in quite a small garden; from Rambutan, Uguressa, Start Fruits, Sour soup (Anoda), Jambu... to even ornamental plants. If you know the size of this garden you will never believe that it is possible to grow all this stuff there. My wife, Nilu, used to say that I love plants more than I love them.
Within a fraction of a second, something terrible caught my eye. A small ornamental plant, popularly known as bird nest, which I bought few days ago, was taken out from the pot and ripped into pieces. I got really mad. I knew who has done that.
Dale, the 2 year old female dalmatian, was lying on the floor in all fours, face down just like a slave in front of the master when he is given capital punishment. She knew that she has done a nasty thing.
"DALEEEEEEE, you stupid idiot" I screamed as loud as I could, and raced towards her; may be to kick her or beat her. I don't know what I would do but I was out of my normal sense. I could see that Dale was shivering and her eyes were wide opened in scare.
I could remember that I was taking two or three steps. The floor was wet due to the overnight showers and I was slipped. In no time, I ended up landing on the concrete pavement with a huge THUD. I felt that my whole back was on fire.
In the next instant, what I could see was Dale sprinting towards me with a loud moan. She started licking me and then barking to attract the attention of the others inside. She was even trying to push me up with her front paw, which was totally impossible with her tiny foot.
I tried hard to hide my tears from Nilu and kids as they were rushing towards me hearing Dale's call.......... I had no words; a big lump was in my throat.... I remember that I hugged Dale before my sons straighten me up.
This incident gave me a BIG message, loud and clear.
Ever... never... be aggressive towards your loved ones under whatever the circumstance. Lost materials can be gained but wounded hearts, even that of a pet, cannot be healed completely.
Since then, I tried my best to keep cool when I find someone that I love does something that I don't like. Sometimes, I get out of control, but within a second or two I get back into my cool-self just as I remember what Dale did on that day.
To write a few words about Dale....
Have you heard of a dog who became vegetarian by itself....? That was Dale...!!!!
From the day she started eating solid food, we fed her with boiled sprat (salaya or hurulla), vegetables and red rice. By the time Dale was about 6 months, one day, she turned her plate of food upside down, when she was served.
Nilu has thought that Dale has got fed up of sprats and rice so that she has tried few other types of fish and even chicken which has never been given to Dale before. The result was the same. Dale turned the plate upside down.
When this happened for two days at a stretch and Dale was surviving only with milk and water, Nilu has tried just Dhaal and rice. To her surprise Dale has eaten the whole plate with relish.
That day onward, she ate only vegetarian diet. We could not give her any non-veg food even in disguise. She simply turns the plate upside down.
Dale used to eat even raw vegetables. She used to eat fresh jambu that she pluck from our garden (the tree was not very tall). She even plucked guava from the branches of our neighbours garden that were lowered to our side over the boundary wall.
Believe it or not, she used to play football with my kids and even played herself alone (with the help of the boundary wall) when no one was obliging to her calls.
Dale really enjoyed posing for photographs. She will stay at whatever the pose you want for even five minutes if you have a camera in hand... Quite surprising move for a dog... isn't? You see a few of her pics that I only have with me now.
Just few months after the plant-ripping incident Dale passed away very untimely, making the whole family crying for days. As the Doctor said she has caught tick-fever. She died within three hours since she showed the first symptoms and amid getting medicine and saline.
Due to some unknown reason, the bird nest plants (a single plant over which I got mad about Dale) started growing naturally on the walls of our backyard latter.
Even last time when I was in Sri Lanka, I was surprised to see that there are hundreds of bird nest plants covering one entire wall.
And I think to myself..."Sometimes, you may do the stupidest thing in life, just for an unworthy piece of material". ......
You better determine to think twice before you take any move next time, when you see that your loved one has done something which you don't like........................