It was September 2008 when I first joined college. Lunch was all about eating rolls and spending time with friends. All this came with an additional cost, also summed as the street dogs that loitered around the eatery we often visited. I screamed and howled, became anxious when any of these crazy animals even hovered around me. I skipped a multiple heart beats because that is how afraid I was.
I tried hard to overcome this dog phobia that dominated my life but in vain. Then, something happened that changed the course of my fears and my perception about dogs.
My best friend from college, Megan, got a beagle. A white-black-brown patched up little creature, the new addition to their family. Going to visit her meant having Chester around. This was something inevitable.
“This was something inevitable.”
As time passed, these visits became frequent. Chester was growing up fast and steady. I calmed down. I came to terms with being around Chester. My first of efforts being I started caressing this furry ball gently. Soon that changed into cuddling the harmless baby– my firsts of coming at such close proximity with a dog. I started to feel that affection and attachment grow towards Chester. He came into my life like the swiftness of the wind, effortlessly.
Over time, my affection and love towards Chester grew. I loved him sniffing me from waist to toe every time I visited Megan. I got used to Chester’s smell that impregnated the apartment which otherwise grossed me out. His infrequent barks became music to my ears. I loved the way Chester ran to the door when he sensed I am leaving. I waited for moments where he cuddled himself under the blanket near my foot. His warmth was comfort on winter nights. At other times, just watching him running around with exuberance or sitting quietly in any corner of the apartment filled me with tranquillity.
Words will never be enough to describe how Chester played the role of a master in my life — A master that taught me to overcome my fear, one that in an unspoken language barked to me that these creatures deserve more than love and respect. They deserve kind humans to treat them well and with a whole lot of love.
“There’s a look in his eyes
Which lights up my face
Like no other race.
Which lightens my mood
And makes me want to feel good.
He has a way
which melts my heart.
At the end of the day,
I know I am outsmarted.”
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