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  • Ruby Ramprasad

Animals, My Favorite Teachers

It was 15th Dec 2011 . This guy walked into our house , our hearts and into my lap. I remember being super excited to pick him up at 8:30 am . I hadn't slept through the night , and we arrived almost half an hour early . We didn't know which puppy we were getting . There he was , the only one , scared after an international travel .

When he was put in a crate and loaded into our car , I remember telling him " You will be loved a lot , I promise ", as though I was doing him a favor . Little did I know then , he will be teaching me lessons on patience ( puppies !!!) , unconditional love , parenthood , heartbreak , grief . These are all emotions that I wasn't too familiar or comfortable with. He also taught us that life is just a super long walk punctuated with food , playtime and naps.

It was only after bringing him home that I started following rescue groups and animal pages on social media. And then I decided to foster. Our first foster pup was quite aggressive with him. She would be mean to him but he was super kind to her in return. I chose not to foster for a bit after that bad experience , start volunteering in other ways. And then slowly started doing few short term fostering . He would love every single pup that walked into our house, though it came at the cost of our quality time. And would moan when they left. There was chaos in our place one night. 5 dogs that were homeless ended up at our's without warning. I got bitten by one and was so stressed. But this boy found a way to calm me even then.

He gave me a great social life and friend circle too ! His best friend's ( I could write volumes about his bromance with his best friend ) mom and her family are almost family to me. His other besties and their family are my friends for life now. In his own way he taught me to deal with social anxiety.

And then he had to leave this world in one of the most cruel ways. I battle hard even today to unsee his suffering those last few hours. But it's that pain that gave birth to this idea / way of life / purpose.

It took us almost two years to heal ourselves a bit and be open to love and life again . Brad is a true healer. He was grieving losing his family. He was well loved in his previous home. My husband and Brad helped heal each other. He taught us how to share our problems and made us see sunrise again literally and figuratively! ( It would be nice if 5 am isn’t his preferred play time ) Brad has a tendency to not leave our side when we are stressed or unwell. Petting him always make us feel better. He does this with our family too , when they visit us

I feel I couldn't have been at this position if not for my boys. I owe them a lot. Dogs/ pets are not just about unconditional love . But they are great mentors . I am so grateful for having found two of them. They have made my understand my relationship with my childhood dogs better.

Rusty with his foster siblings

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