It just wouldn’t let me be! If I went to the bedroom, it was right behind, if I went to the kitchen, it was right besides, and if I went to the garden, it moved ahead. When I sat down, it clambered onto my lap. 

I was not used to such attachments, such strings attached, and I am not sure if I liked it, or it was a tad too much. Nevertheless, I did my most to accommodate. After all, I was responsible for it. 

Before starting work, I had to ensure I took care of all its needs and once I was done, I was expected to dance to its tune. On days I had a busy schedule it never seemed to have a quiet one, throwing up on the carpet, chewing my favourite shoes and even digging up my favourite flower bed. While my husband found it adorable. Adding mirth to his dry and drab days of following the stock market, that bounced to a tune none knew who played.

Shadow came into my life thus. A black cocker spaniel with a silky coat and long droopy ears. But it was the eyes, deep, dark limpid pools, screaming innocence and inviting all to dive in. Shadow the puppy filled our hearth and hearts with his silly antics and a steadfast attitude of being glued to me. Days of work from home had him participate in the meetings with his demanding yelps and attention seeking tail chasing around my table. Thankfully, his angelic face, melting eyes and wagging tail created a favourable impression on my boss who would have reached out from the screen itself to pet him.

Over the months he grew up. He was no longer clingy, and I wondered where from had he acquired such a ferociously independent nature. He had outgrown the need to be protected, instead he appointed himself the chief custodian of our house and specially me. 

We had a guest one night, pretty much unannounced and uninvited, who thought he could take off with loot from an elderly couple. Well Shadow leapt out of the shadows with blood curdling growls, as he nipped the unsuspecting fellow in his abundantly endowed backside. Roused from our slumber we rushed to the drawing room. We were astounded by the sight. In the sudden brightness, the intruder picked up the first thing he could lay his hands on, my Chinese ceramic jar and brought it with all force on poor Shadow. Pain coursing through his veins resulted in Shadow’s jaws getting locked. There were we trying to separate the two, calling the police and calming the dog. It would have been comical if it weren’t bizarre. Some part of me was mourning my erstwhile jar too!

As the police soon escorted the weeping intruder away, we attended to Shadow’s bruises who was licking our faces, evidently proud of having been the hero of the day. The pooch  ensured no shadow of despondency ever lurked nearby.

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3 thoughts on “Shadow

  1. Being a dog lover and a proud owner of two (labrador and spitz), I can precisely feel the essence of this story. Wonderful piece my dear friend! Keep writing!

  2. Beautiful canine take on Shadow. Nice easy going story with good detailing and generous lapping of emotions. Enjoyed this Anamika.

  3. wow! that was a different take on the prompt. Though i dont own a pet, I have heard people telling me how faithful dogs are. They do meticulously follow you like a shadow with the sole intention of potecting you. nicely written.

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