So long, Abu (2003-2017)

Posted on April 20, 2017


Abu, our beloved pet Dachshund, passed away today. He was 14.

Abu was suffering from age-related ailments for the past few weeks.

Always energetic and friendly, Abu was also suffering from glaucoma and hearing impairment over the past year and a half. However, as is his wont, Abu adapted to that deficiency with his sense of smell and familiarity of surrounding. Dachshunds, as the German name means, were originally bred to be hunting dogs to flush out badgers.

He was put to rest in our backyard along with his favourite stuffed toy (a softball), his blanket, his t-shirt, and a carrot – a food item he dearly loved.

Abu came into our lives a few couple of weeks after his birth in 2003.

At a time when I have reached a stage where cynicism and insensitivity have got a good grip on me, Abu’s passing away made my eyes moist this evening and took me down memory lane.

Among the many fond memories I have of Abu, one that would stand out would be him vigorously charging at me as I got back home after school. His happiness would lead to him biting, clawing and profusely licking my face as I got a hold of him. Abu was got into our house when I was in the eight standard, and he bid us farewell a decade after I finished school.

During his lifetime, four editions of the ICC Cricket World Cup had taken place. He woke up and sat by my side, late in the night, as I cried when India made a first-round exit in 2007 Cricket World Cup.

His exuberance, playfulness and unending zest spread a mood of cheer and happiness in the household. For most part of his lifetime, true to his instinct, Abu hunted every animal smaller than his size, except for cats. Be it any size, Cats always had a tough time in the compound.

Abu’s presence ended the badger menace in the house. He would not move from the badger until he got his target. He also kept rats under check.

More than all, Abu would actively take part in any activity in the house from Bhogi to plumbing works on the terrace. From any corner of the house, the sound of keys got him on his toes, especially if someone was headed to the terrace.

For all vendors, maids or utility personnel, our house was termed Abu veedu (Abu’s house) or Abu amma veedu (Abu’s mother’s house). And for the legacy he has left behind, the landmark will remain the same for quite some time.

Abu breathed his last in my sister’s lap with my parents by his side. It was a painless transition to the happy place.

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Posted in: Madras, Tribute