TDWS | E19: How To Win Friends

A successful human interaction

The Dog We Stole is the definitive biography of Her Majesty Begum Pathumma. Read earlier episodes of the series on the TDWS page.

Pathu has always been a dog with a plan. She was determined to acquire Indigo’s best friendship. She decided to take notes on successful human interaction from her bumbling brown brother, Echo. Pathu took out a brand new notebook and jotted down her name and age. Subject: How to make a new best friend.

The most convenient research environment was of course with Selvi Akka. Every afternoon when Akka knocked on the door lightly in the dead of our post-lunch snooze, Echo ran up to the front door barking as if a crime had been committed. But when the door actually opened, he dialed down his excitement of seeing Akka. He didn’t discard it though. He simply transferred it to his tail which wagged like a windmill that could power a small village. He then began a dance set to an inaudible yet jaunty tune, stepping forward and backward till she acknowledged him, petted him profusely and showered him with many ‘good boys’. 

Pathu highlighted in neon that sitting (especially when not asked to) always made humans happy.

When Akka drank coffee, Echo sat at a respectable distance but stared at the mug all the way to her mouth and back so that the mug never felt lonely. And on days when Akka ate a snack or chopped vegetables, this patient waiting always got him a treat. Pathu highlighted in neon that sitting (especially when not asked to) always made humans happy.

One of the first tricks that she learned by observing Echo was the magic of eyebrows. She saw first hand how a miniscule flick of Echo’s eyebrows melted the human heart. Of course, Echo did not employ any nuance in when and how he used it. But Pathu could think of a couple of use cases from her life where this trick would come in handy. For example, whenever she gets busted with her head in a dustbin or that time when she was caught eating a giant slab of cheese from the fridge or even when she had bitten through an unopened tube of ointment. This magic trick could easily get her out of all these tricky situations. 

Before two weeks of fieldwork were up, Indigo returned one evening without notice. Pathu had no time to mentally prepare for this meeting. Also, Indigo was carrying something forbidden in a brown bag: a chocolate cake! The delectable smell of this illicit substance is the last thing Pathu remembers. When she comes to, she is being restrained again. She is also being reprimanded for assaulting at Indigo. And where’s Echo in all this, you ask? He is sitting next to Indigo, receiving some enviable petting. 

“Enough is enough! This is no way to make a best friend”, thought Pathu. 

“I must really apply myself!”

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