The Dog We Stole | E2: A Possessed Teenager

The Dog We Stole is the definitive biography of Her Majesty Begum Pathumma. This is the second episode of the series. Read E1: A Sunday in June before reading further.

The scurrying dog turned out to be a female indie pup with beaglesque ears. A scared yet friendly little pup who belonged to someone. She had a metal link collar with a bright green plastic rope used for laundry lines around her neck. She had hurt her hind leg and was limping as if it were broken. Of course we assumed it was broken. After all that’s the most common injury you see in street dogs. Have you ever stopped to think why that’s the commonest injury? It’s because they are hit while they are trying to run away. Humans are the absolute worst. I should get a t-shirt made. While I concerned myself with merchandising my thoughts, our hearts were turning to puddle. She was so trusting that she ate the biscuits we gave, sat with us for a bit and then came right home with us.

Once she got home all hell broke loose. She ran around the house like a possessed teenager. We tried to contain her but then decided against it. I sat on the ground, my heart weak and leaking into my organs. My sense of cleanliness that I had misplaced once our house help had been sent on paid leave thanks to the pandemic, popped its ugly head out of the kitchen. How long is this creature going to be around, she asked. Do you know how long she has been on the streets? Or where her legs have been? Are you going to allow her on the couch? I was channeling my nastiest response when I felt a warmth in my lap. 

Her legs had pulled up their white ankle socks of fur like a renewal of her faith.

The little runner had finished her marathon practice and was climbing into my lap. She sat down, positioning her head in the crook of my arm, as if she had done this many times before. She was warm, running a fever. But it felt like her glossy, caramel coat would always be warm to the touch. I stroked her milky white snout and forehead as her eyes fell asleep. She was shaking. I applauded her bravery with even strokes to her pure white belly. Her legs had pulled up their white ankle socks of fur like a renewal of her faith. I stroked them for good measure. And there we sat in the middle of the room, watching her sleep.

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Next Episode | E3: All Okay

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