Didums came into my life almost 18 years ago. She was brought by one of our staff, Eshani who first brought me seven of Didums’ siblings she had found in a drain on her way to work. The next day Eshani turns up with Didums who was literally the size of my palm and absolutely microscopic. On questioning Eshani, she replied saying that as Didums was so small she had not noticed her as she had been probably stuck at the back of the drain.

Didums’ siblings went on to become big and strong and gorgeous and all were rehomed with animal lovers to my satisfaction. Didums though continued to remain pint sized, so much so that in the first few months she would come with me to office in a little basket as she had to be fed every hour in order to ensure she survived. By the time she was about six months we knew Didums’ would be fine and true enough until she died she literally didn’t have a day’s illness except to get the odd epileptic fit during her last year and a few digestive problems which were soon rectified with digestive tablets.

Owing to her size or lack of it, Didums soon became known as Small or Podi, a name she bore till the very end. Didums was not the most intelligent of dogs, but boy was she determined. Her little brain had just a few things imprinted in it. Her mummy [me], bits of cloth – she had an entire basket of cloths and sheets to herself but any cloth, towel, duster, sheets, saris, had to be placed out of her reach as Didums would make a go for them and then proceed to curl up on them, satisfied that she had acquired yet another trophy! Chicken ham and cheese were her other loves. Even two days before she died when she was on just saline I managed to feed her a morsel of chicken ham and didn’t she enjoy it.

Didums was my shadow for almost 18 years. When I say shadow that was exactly what she was no exaggeration. Wherever I went she followed, even into the shower! I would sometimes tell her “Didums mummy needs some privacy occasionally”, but of course that didn’t count with Didums. I was hers and she was determined not to lose sight of me at any cost.

Some years ago I was in hospital for four days to run some tests. Didums and her best friend Lady were by the gate until at night when they had to both be forcibly carried in. They both did not eat till I returned home. I was told that Didums had to be force fed with water whereas Lady had drunk water. Whenever I returned home, Didums would cry when she saw me. She was hysterical with joy and would run round me like a mad thing. This could happen up to five or six times a day. Every time she saw me return home after being out whether it was for five minutes or five hours her joy was boundless.

This last year both my partners lives and mine, revolved around Didums as after she started getting fits, we would never leave her alone at home, making sure one of us was with her. Even business trips, meetings, etc were all planned around Didums, ensuring that one of us was always at hand. We haven’t been away for even a night’s holiday together as we wanted to be sure that Didums always had one of us with her. Didums was never sick and I am so very thankful for that. She just faded away. Except for her very last night on June 30 when she started whimpering and did so till she passed away on July 1 at around 11am, she has never been in pain or even discomfort, except of course for the occasional fit , which did not cause her any pain, but rather caused us much anxiety.

Didums gave us so much love, so much joy, so much unstinted devotion and loyalty. I have no words to describe the outpouring of affection and devotion she bestowed on us.

Everywhere I go there are reminders of Didums: my office, the bedroom, the kitchen, the garden, Didums is present everywhere. My friends tell me ‘Anusha you have 50 more dogs’, but that makes no difference. Each of my dogs is unique. They all have their own identity. I love them all dearly but I must confess that mummy did have her favourite and that was Didums.

We humans are incapable of loving to that extent and capacity. A pet makes a house a home. That is a fact. Loneliness, tension, frustration, depression, stress, anxiety, they all disappear when your pet greets you. You are assured that indeed some things are right with the world!

Didums will always be embedded in my heart and that of my partner’s. She will always be loved and remembered as are all my other wonderful pets who have passed on. Go out today and get yourself a pet. They perform miracles!

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