Friends of Dhole’s Den,
The Canine Club of Mysore conducted its first Open Show at Dasara Exhibition Grounds on 31st August.
This time we had decided to tell the story how it all began at Dhole’s Den with the hounds. Thus Shaka was being shown under the Hound Group.
It was in all an enriching experience for us and of course for our fine boy Shaka.
To me personally who has finally after 4 years of continuous trial, fights and humbling situations got what I always dreamed of: A driver’s license. Yes it all sounds easy if you have 4 extremities. If you have one missing the state has just one answer to it: No. Anyway that is a different story for another day. I was finally able to drive my boys be it to the doctor or in this case for a dog show.
We started off a day earlier and drove to Mysore and checked into a service apartment run by a dog lover. Shaka was fine and instantly liked the place. I rushed off to a meeting leaving him with Ingrid, my wife. Upon my return I was greeted by him as if I had been long away and he wouldn’t let his eyes away from us and followed us everywhere in the apartment. He must have felt a fear of separation and the fear of the unknown as to what would happen. We pacified him time and again and while we spent the evening in the apartment with our friends he lay down on his blanket, which carried the scent of Zulu right next to me, and I to assure him I wasn’t away, placed my foot there, upon which he rested his head.
We retired for the day with Shaka occupying the place between us, just as a child would do and though hard to believe he stayed in bed as long as we were sleeping. Later followed a short walk to relieve him and following that we drove to the venue. Upon reaching there and seeing the multitude of dogs big, small, in all colours and the large gathering he did became silent as we patiently waited our turn.
In came the majestic and large Mudhols, followed by Whippets, Beagles and then the Dachshunds. For the lone entry of a long haired Dachshund Shaka had special attention and directed his senses all towards her.
It was Shaka’s turn to enter the ring. I was ready to take pictures of this proud moment as Ingrid waited with him on the leash. He was asked to move but suddenly he turned around refusing to move towards the judge. We had to decide. I instantaneously handed over the camera to Ingrid and took Shaka and as if there wasn’t anything else he knew, he walked with me trotting away like a horse and I felt no pull from his side. It was the easiest run for me at any dog show earlier.
What we understood from his reaction? A hound decides the relationships he or she has. The hound knows whose authority and whose security he wants to accept and also decides from whom he accepts love and showers love upon. The similar is the case with Zulu who showers love upon me but is so damn reserved and unmoving when I command.
Shaka won the Best of Breed award and as the wait to show in the other rings looked enormous owing to an endless number of German Shepherds, Rottweilers and Labradors who were still doing the rounds we decided to leave. At the show just before leaving we realised that we humans get a pet to satisfy our desires. Some wish to buy a Rottweiler thinking they want a ferocious one. Some buy German Shepherds as they want a guard dog but they don’t walk him enough leading to excessive barking. Another breed of humans chooses Labradors as they look cute as puppies and then also abandon them once they are overweight or old. I was content today with the acceptance that Shaka showed towards me. It was my moment of pride.
A canine be it any breed, shares love whatever ‘breed’ we may be: rich, poor, one armed, one-eyed, depressed, overjoyed or heart broken. It according to me is the selfless love that possibly only a mother shares for her child.
I drove back with Shaka falling asleep and he placed his head on Ingrid’s lap, knowing well that he was driving back home. Upon arrival he was back to his usual self, jumping out of my car and was welcomed by a loud howl from the rest of the pack.
Today I enquired what had happened while we were away, as I was curious, how the rest would behave not seeing Shaka around. It seems it was all silent. The King had had his day out and was back…