Rest easy, Jackie ❤️
When I met Jackie for the first time five years back, he was just an aggressive dog in my neighborhood. He barked at everyone in his sight, and didn’t let any suspicious looking person pass him. They had to find another way. It didn’t take us a long time to fall in love with him as he mellowed down to us, followed us around and knocked on our door for food. Jackie was an angel, a beautiful one.
Whenever I used to leave for college, he would accompany me to the bus stop, wait for me until the bus came and then go back to his house. When I came back, he would come running to me, follow me to my house and wait outside for food. We had a whole stack of biscuits in stock just to feed him. He had memorized the sound of my dad’s motorcycle and would come running to our house every time he heard that sound. In our hearts, Jackie was our dog, too – but he lived in another house. People were often taken aback by his aggression, and threw stones at him – and all of us would shout at any passerby who did so.
The one thing that amazed me the most about him was how he would never bark at our dog, Phoebe and vice-versa. We would jokingly call him Phoebe’s boyfriend.
Jackie loved us and we loved him. In this lockdown period, the people who lived with him (won’t call them his owners, they don’t deserve that title) had left him hungry and abandoned, he would always knock on our door and ask for food. It became so regular, he didn’t have to knock soon, the food was there before he arrived.
He fell sick recently and before we knew it, he became worse. He was abandoned by the people he lived with and he would linger around in pain. We helped him as much as we could. He was in pain – he could not bark or run. We knew his days were numbered. But, when they put him down today, it was unimaginably heartbreaking. Something tells me, he wanted to live more, if only the people who took his responsibility were more responsible.
Jackie was not just a dog in the neighborhood, he was a protector, an absolute boss and a companion to everyone in our colony. He was a friend, my mom’s morning walk buddy and my dad’s sidekick. Jackie was not our dog, but what does it take for a dog to be ours?
Jackie, we are sorry you went through so much pain. You deserve all the love and I hope the afterlife is better for you. I’m sorry we could not feed you one last time. I’m sorry you had to go through what you went through.
Rest easy, little man. I am going to miss you, you friendly neighborhood dog.