Monday, September 05, 2005

Krypto's Last Stand: In Memoriam

Krypto, my dog, died today morning. I am very very sad. There are no mixed emotions, just pure sadness.

Though named after Super-Dog, Krypto would have been just a run-of-the-mill black Labrador Retriever to you but he was very special to me. It's because of him that I can identify with the "Parent's choice situation" - no choice but to accept and love whoever is born and, also, believe whole-heartedly in the perfect illogicality that the he's-mine-so-he-is-special line of reasoning is. Cold logic can shake the foundations of love and emotion. He may not have been extra-special or anything, but whatever, Krypto is irreplaceable for me.

Nine and a half years old, Krypto had haemoglobin deficiency; his blood couldn't retain oxygen. That explained why he used to pant such a lot. We had been thinking it was plain old age or asthma-like shortness of breath. Now it all makes sense but it's too late. The doctor said it could have been a dietary problem.

I think, illogically perhaps, that his deterioration was somehow linked to my leaving for Bangalore for a new job three months back as well. Pets need love, demonstrations of love for well-being. Like they need food. Call that my pet-theory, but I think it holds some water. Three weeks back when I was home on vacation, I had found that he had grown senile, forgetting how to climb steps - you know, there's a certain logic to it: which leg goes first and next and so on.

Krypto lived a simple but full life. Simple because, with him it was always have-energy-will-wag-tail-and-play and forever-greedy-for-treats. Full because he'd seen quite a lot of places, with us through three residence-shifts, seen and loved, without exception, a lot of people as well. The only person he ever bit was a trainer who had been very harsh with him. If the trainer was the one who threw the ball, he could very well go and fetch it for himself. Why should I do it? He never learned to fetch, he used to go and get but would not return the object- cutting short many an hour of play and interaction.

The lasting memory of Krypto that will stay with me forever is the image of him refusing to return the towel being used to dry him after his bath after snatching it from me and then play-fighting with it.Another unforgettable image is his sitting in perfect, mock obedience, with his beautiful brown eyes brimmingwith mischievous innocence, but with unwavering attention fixed on the bone in my hand, waiting for the "Take-It-Krypto" nod of assent from me.

I will try my best to not remember you as I saw you last - lying helpless on the wooden plank as the antithesis of what you had been all your life. However, I also realize the importance of our final meeting and thank you for holding on till I could get home and see you.

Krypto had lost the will to live whereas before he was life itself. When I left him on Sunday, I knew that would be the last time I saw him, I sort of knew he did too. From there, I thought jokingly , if he recovered, I would give him a new name - Krysto; the situation was so bad that macabre humour was the only balm.

I hear that just before Krypto died on Monday morning, he tried to stand as best as he could, but failed and then collapsed. That was the real Krypto within, trying to stand up, he did so and left.

I apologize for not having taken you for as many walks as I could have; I did only the regular ones, when I was not "tired". For not taking you for a swim in the sea; I always wished to but never did take you and never made any real effort either. I apologize for not spending enough time with you as I should have (If only you would've returned the things you fetched!). I also regret that I do not have enough snapshots of you; I was never click-happy.

From insignificant excuse to insignificant excuse. Krypto's gone. Nobody to respond to my kri-ptoo whistle now.


  1. I met Krypto about two days before he passed away. I first saw him as a pup at John's house where Jacob used to live before he built his house in Yamuna Colony.

    He was very, very ill when I last met him but even then he tried to wag his tail and lift his eyes to acknowledge my presence. I prayed desperately for his recovery knowing fully well that he was preparing to go. Miracles do happen you know. But not this time.

    I was distraught when Rebu conveyed the news of his passing this morning. I will always remember his jolly bark and his ever-welcoming tail-wagging. We will all miss Krypto - Devayani, Adti, Chitra, Caesar and I.

    I hope he is happy wherever he is. Is there a separate Heaven for dogs? I don't think so. In which case I hope to meet him some day.


  2. You made me see Krypto as he was. Thank you. You write very well, but that is secondary. For what Krypto meant to you, and for making this space sacred to his memory, my thanks and my admiration. And what little solace I have to offer.

  3. Tommy.. i read this the next day you wrote it. i was too moved by it to write a comment then. most importantly, i really felt sorry about the whole situation. i have known u for so long but this is the first time i saw u really pour out ur emotions in such a manner.

  4. Nice one dude. Sometimes I think we humans need to learn a lot from them - to love, to care to accept and just be there!

    Liked reading that piece. I dont have a pet but i know I'd feel the same way if I lost one.....