I never tire of writing about dog as a pet, even though I have never had one. I have been quite fortunate that I have had the company of pets in my neighbourhood, showering my love on them and receiving love in turn.
Today I am writing about a pet called Tiger that came as a replacement for a female of the species when it died immediately after delivering a pup, which also could not survive. I am talking of late ‘60s and early ‘70s, when we were living at Lower Kaithu, a suburb of Shimla. . Tiger, a tiny pup became a darling of us kids . As time passed Tiger grew into a pretty strong Mongrel , partly Alsatian with ears standing erect. Though it belonged to our Landlord, most of the time it was with us as if it were a member of our family and was duly taken care of by us. Surprising on one week end Tiger went missing , unknown to us all. We all became worried when all loud calls made to him went unresponded. The area beyond being almost a jungle , we feared the worst- that Tiger having ventured out into the jungle must have been taken by some leopard . Naturally we all were sad. The next day was Sunday and being a holiday, all elders and kids were at home , some playing and some simply basking the sun .
A surprise , however awaited us . At about 2:00 hrs in the afternoon, my mother just called out to us . Tiger, all drenched and dripping appeared, and what a hero’s welcome he was given - bread and a liberal quantity of milk. Persons who have grown with me or of an older generation who have been Government employees at Shimla, are familiar with the term ‘Mahasu Day’ coined for a Saturday as most of the employees who belonged to villages surrounding Shimla made weekly visits to their village. This incident had occurred on a Mahasu day.As it transpired later, Tiger had followed one of the neighbours , an employee, to his village a good ten Kilometers or thereabout , all on foot. It remained a pleasant surprise as to how Tiger, made his way back home through some Khad or Nallah . We parted company in 1973, when we shifted our residence elsewhere. Tiger lived on for some more years and would welcome us whenever we visited the place.