Thursday, 30 November 2017

Winter is Coming…

Published in Amor Magazine November 2017, Dubai
***When Pablo, the snow dog adopted humans in Abu Dhabi***

After being abandoned by two families and having spent most of his first four years in various rescue facilities in the UAE, this Siberian found a couple (us – Ashvin & B’lu) in the capital. He let us rub his belly and we felt adopted instantly. We named him Pablo (after Picasso) but he would respond to any name you call with the intention. The story should end here. But it is the beginning.

We did not know what we were singing up with this step. We lost some of our friends and friendly neighbours overnight. We could not understand what was happening. People who loved him, loved him to bits and those who did not, made that apparent. For the first time, we saw how humans lived and behaved in paranoia. It was not impressive. There was little we could do than mind our own business. But deep down we wished for tolerance and love. We wanted Pablo to be loved. At times we felt the deep urge to ask or correct, but we would not.

The early morning dog walks completely changed our lives and the world around us. We found new peace to new stresses.

The desert’s beautiful chill along with early morning skies are spectacular, and we would have missed it if not for Pablo walks at 5am every singe day. We had not seen it all these years we spent here. Rain, snow or storm...aah well we have fair weather here in that context. It may be humid at times, but that can never stop you from getting out especially with a cute fur ball bouncing all around you for the required. He wakes us up and makes sure we got out in time (for his morning rituals) while we jogged along, soaking in all the splendid atmosphere before sun ran in to take hold of rest of the long day. If we delayed his trips he would speak. Just one word - ‘go’. His persistence is not ignorable as the 'go' gets louder and cannot be switched off like your alarm, clock that has a snooze button. I know you cannot believe this but huskies do seldom bark, they actually try and talk. It is not funny. Rather it is.

When we read about this spectacular breed and followed blogs where they give details about his care outside of the northern conditions, they mention that the double coat will be one of the main concerns. He sheds through the year and we must vacuum (clean) everyday. Because of this need we have hired a daily help. Our house iscleaner than it was ever before.

He did not just make us fit and get us living in a cleaner house but he taught us how to be humans… sometimes by asking us to share our food, sometimes putting his chin on our lap for some TLC and other times by gazing deep into our eyes with his terrifyingly beautiful icy blue eyes that can transport you to blue hued icy mountains somewhere in a magical winter land. Arrested by his beauty admirers and artists visit us to make him their muse. He obliges patiently to mobile clicks or modelling for a quick sketch.

There are very few occasions when you would see him guarding the house. Siberians are like cats, they sleep for up to 18 hours and will not attack intruders/visitors. Unless it is a pigeon or a cat.

Today, after two years since he joined us, there is not a dull moment in our life. Even when he is sleeping. He stuns you with acrobatic postures in which one can sleep!

We have many similarities. We are all away from our families – living far away from the land we belong. We are here because of business. Humans comes here to make a living and dogs are sometimes a source of living for some. Hence connected again, in context. People ask humans and humans with Siberian companions how do you manage in the severe heat of the Gulf. Well we have air-conditions, just like how they have room heaters in Siberia. Speaking on Pablo’s behalf we found more answers to how beautifully equipped UAE is. We were stirred out of our comfort zones to find solutions to unique situations and we are loving it. We feel uniquely privileged to have been adopted by Pablo. We three found home, love, purpose, peace and family here in the UAE! And as I finish typing the last line, I am visited by a gentle breeze with a slight nip of the morning chill indicating the changing weather. Winter is surely coming.

Disclaimer: Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human traits, emotions, and intentions to non-human entities is a part of human psychology. Though it is completely unnecessary, we humans like to think what an animal must think! In this regard, it is good to know that dogs don't share your thoughts. They are not your babies (that you need to bring up as brand ambassadors of the family/community or in your assumed ideal personality traits). They are not your slaves (who must obey your commands and fetch your slippers). But they are your best companions. They like co-existence and feel safe in your company. It is enough to watch the happy dogtrot of this body walking by your side. They can be loved and considered 'friends' only if you can appreciate how beautiful it is to coexist without speaking a word or sharing thoughts or invading each other's space. The best bonus of the canine company is experiencing 'no demands' but their unadulterated zest for life! It does not yet have a human word/definition I believe!

About the author: Archana R D aka B'lu is a contemporary artist-journalist based in the UAE who writes on global art and culture when she is not painting.

#adoptnotshop #pablothehusky #lifeintheuae #artandlife

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