Just you wait…

With his matted hair and snarling mouth, he crouched low and waited for me to run. Almost like he was egging me on to make a move.

“Give me a reason, little girl. Just give me one good reason and I’ll rip you to shreds.”

He would have bitten me, if my Paati (grandma) hadn’t rushed in at the last minute. Waving a large stick, like some powerful sorceress, my Paati shooed the dog off while I crumpled to the ground in a sobbing mess. I was 8 years old and terrified of dogs for a very long time to come.

So last year, my sister brings up the idea of owning a puppy. I shudder and ask her to reconsider. But she persists and finds a reputable breeder online, who has puppies for sale. We look at picture after picture, and finally select a little girl puppy, with the prettiest brown eyes. Maybe, having a dog wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all. Or so I hope.

Within a few hours, the breeder emails us back. “Lovely choice! I’ll ship her out to you tomorrow. But she’s a little bitey!

Oh joy, I think and spend my last dog free hours, alternating between excitement and terror.

Minnie arrives home, barely 5 kgs, but so feisty. She yipps ,yelps, barks and bites. The Vet tells us that her biting is normal behavior and she’ll outgrow it. That night, I take a deep breath and let her bite my hand. It doesn’t hurt as much as I feared, and after a good minute of chewing my thumb, Minnie looks up and lets out the tiniest howl. “Awoo!”

Almost like she’s saying, “Hello, you big human. We’re family now!”

Over time, she’s become so much more than a pet. She senses emotions and comes scampering across rooms to comfort whoever’s in distress.Whether it’s battling big feelings, anxiety, depression or whatever’s floating in my soup, Minnie always knows how to calm me down. A flash of her pink tongue, a tiny Awoo, a rowdy game of fetch. Every time she places a gentle paw on my face, every time I breathe in her fuzzy head- why, the world seems so much brighter!

She dotes on the kids and is such a good playmate for both my sensitive son and my boisterous daughter. She trots around, with little butterfly ears – a radiant beam of sunshine on the gloomiest of days. When my therapist remarks that I look very rested and healthy, I instantly know why.

I’m beginning to start the paperwork on getting her certified as my Emotional Support Animal. Because, (at the risk of sounding melodramatic), my little Minnie has saved me in ways I don’t even realize. And I am so thankful.

Hey 8-year-old Pavi who was terrified of dogs?One day a puppy with the prettiest, brown eyes will change your life forever. Just you wait!

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