I have a friend, Prasad, in Australia who, like me is in retirement and quite addicted to the computer and browsing.
It is quite a story as to how we reestablished contact after forty years and though earlier on, we were not very close to each other, have become frequent communicators. We now communicate by email and also by skype phone fairly frequently and exchange ideas and information on a lot of things besides of course jokes!
Between 1965 and 1967, we were class-mates in a post graduate course. During this period, though we both share the same ethnic background, we did not become close friends. Late last year, an effort was made by some of our old class mates to organize a re-union of our class mates. Amazing work was done in locating almost all by the rule of six and the re union was a great success. Though neither Prasad nor I attended the re-union due to our own preoccupations, a number of us were able to get in touch with each other and come to know about us thanks to a yahoo group and exchange of mails as also a directory published and photographs shared after the re union.
It was during this period of getting back in touch with each other that, Prasad and I have reestablished contact and have become quite friendly.
Recently, I was unable to raise him on the skype phone and got quite worried. On querying him about the reason by email, he has responded that he was preoccupied with the final days with his dog who finally had to be put to rest. It has taken him and his family quite some time to come to grip with this loss.
This is not the first time that I have come across such grief over a pet. This is something that people who have never kept pets never seem to be able to understand. In my extended family of siblings and cousins, a lot of us have been brought up with dogs and some with cats also! Every time one of us loses a pet, condolence messages keep flooding the web on our various family groups and web sites.
It is extremely difficult to explain the attachment one develops with a pet at home. I am trying to use this blog to express my own understanding of this phenomenon.
I think that it is due to the inability of the pet to communicate to us like human beings can, that makes the relationships so deep. One makes the extra effort to establish a rapport with the animal which one does not with other human beings. The fact that the animal can not talk back to you or, is so dependant on one, brings out the best in one, I suppose. The sheer helplessness of the pet who has to put up with all the expectations of the master/mistress, does some inexplicable thing in the latter’s psyche that perhaps enables all positive emotions to come out instead of the mixture of negative and positive emotions that come out in interactions with humans.
I hope that Prasad reads this and responds with his own comments.