By Bernice J deSouza | Opening Doorz Editorial | February 14, 2017

Someone has rightly said, “There’s nothing more truer in this world than the unconditional love from a dog.”

True love need not be found in a human companion, but unconditional love and fidelity is definitely a trait these four-legged creatures possess… much more than man! Happiness for dog lovers starts with a wet nose and ends with a wagging tail!

The very thought of penning down ‘love thoughts’ of my German Shepherd leaves me teary-eyed. And these last three years have not been easy since I have been more in Mumbai than in Goa without my ‘Tali Baby’.

My parents gave me the best gift of my life in 2007, when we they brought home a pet German Shepherd. We had a tough time finding a perfect name for her. I still remember how we all stayed awake till about 2am browsing through the internet for a suitable name for our furred bundle of joy. After a thorough search, we zeroed in on the name Talia, which in Hebrew means dew from heaven!

Talia, my pet dog is the apple of my eye. Our relationship has evolved tremendously over the last 10 years and today, my ‘Tali Baby’ (as I lovingly call her) and I, share the cutest bond in the whole wide world. I treat her as my little sister and she treats me like her sole world. I succinctly remember the days when she was a little pup. She used to fit in my arms and I would love carrying her around the house like a little baby. There were times when my fur ball would literally fall asleep in my arms with her wet nose and salivating tongue sticking out from one side. To a dog lover, leaky noses and wet tongues are best expressions of love. She literally looked like a little soft toy then!

As a pup, Talia was treated by everyone at home like an infant. My mum would keep her on her lap and feed her with a bib around her neck. Taking Talia for a walk used to be a nightmare for me, especially when I was growing up. My fur ball had so much strength, that while on a walk she would pull me the other way to chase the dogs or cats in the nearby compound. In the bargain I would end up lying in the Vasco mud!

Some angels come with fur instead of wings and Talia is one of them. I have a lot of late night chats with my baby love. I actually sit down on the floor and as soon as I do so, Tali knows it’s time for a serious chat! She will lovingly lick my face all over, sniff me for a while as usual and then rest her head on my lap and listen to my stories. There have been days when I’ve done this for hours together at night. She may not be able to talk and give me valuable advice like my friends do, but her kisses and the purring sounds she makes fills my heart with contentment.

The way she nudges her nose against my lap whilst listening to my stories and then gently rubs her snout on my legs in the most loving way ever leaves me with the “aww” feeling! Talia is my late night study mate, too. She sits beside my bed to watch me study and if I happen to fall asleep on my books, she will either bark or gently give me a cute kiss to wake me up. There are times when she gives me such cute expressions when I study that I can’t help but leave my books and sit down for a while and play with her. Sometimes this ‘while’ turns into an hour!

Now that I’m studying in Mumbai, I don’t think anyone back at home misses me as much as my ‘Tali Baby’. The welcome she gives me when I’m home in Goa is inexplicable. She can sniff my presence when I return home as soon as I start climbing the stairs and when as I reach the door, I can hear her excitement.

Talia’s beautiful eyes are a reflection of her gorgeous heart, the place where her love resides. Her paw is comforting. Her wagging tail tells me that her love is selfless and never-ending. Even though at times when I go for days without actually talking to her, I know she still loves me just the way she always did. It’s amazing how a dog shows love and affection to a breed that is different from its own.

We humans actually take them away from their mothers when they are pups, and despite being separated from their mothers they love us like no one else can. A dog is the only creature who loves you more than it loves itself. Whenever I’m on a short visit to Goa, coming back to Mumbai is heart-breaking; saying goodbye to my baby love is the most emotional one. As soon as she notices me packing my bags, she knows it’s time for me to leave. She refuses to kiss me goodbye as she quietly sits in the corner of the room.

In the whole wide world there is no love that stands even an inch close to that being offered by a dog! I’ve always wondered why their lifespan is so short. True, unconditional, selfless love is what they give every human being with whom they come in contact with.

Rudyard Kipling said it very aptly: “Buy a pup and your money will buy love unflinching!”

Happy Valentine’s Day to my best definition of endless love!

Also Read: What if we could love 365 days a year?


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