Now this here is Mr Cactus, my dog. He's a pure breed fawn coloured male Labrador retriever who always wants to play. My first dog Knicks had died at the age of 9 years on Dec 13 2006. And we all were deeply affected by his loss. The house seemed so empty without him around the place to liven it up. (I'll tell you about the ordeal we faced with his illness in another post sometime).
So a friend of my dad's told us one day that his show champion lab had just had eight pups. He said I could take one if we wanted. That was around Jan 26th 2007. We went over to his place and we had a look at the pups. And this little guy came straight over and jumped into my lap as if we'd known him all our lives. It was one of those aaaawwwwww -so-sweet moments. And we decided right there that we would take him. So we took him to the car and put him in a basket that we'd propped up with cushions and stuff and some toys just for him and we took him home. The breeder had given all their dogs there starting with C - Chelsea, Cheruba...... and they'd asked us to name him something similar if we could. So we thought up Columbus, Christopher, Christmas, ...... and finally hit up on Cactus. And thus his name.
His birthday falls on Semptember 20th. He's one year and four months old this January. Now Knicks used to eat just rice with curds and beef, with some minor variations on different days. But Mr.Cactus, no way rice was on the menu for him. They had given us a list of stuff that he should and should not eat and at what times he should be fed. Mr. Cactus initially gets breakfast which is a mixture of pulses and grains and some protein-rich stuff mashed into a paste and mixed with milk in the morning. Then we let him loose in our long driveway where he runs around with us. After that he takes his milk sometime around 11am. Followed by that he sleeps inside the house (oh, you thought we let the dog sleep outside?). Again lunch is Pedigree Dog food or Royal Canine (Chicken and Milk flavoured mind you). From the way he waits for and eagerly pounces on his food, you'd think he hasn't been fed for 10 days at a stretch. And then comes his afternoon siesta. Now Mr. Cactus snores loudly... and i mean LOUDLY while sleeping. And he makes some funny noises and moves his legs while sleeping as if he's having some dream most of the time. But he's always ready to come lie down in your lap and play with you. A very friendly guy. In the evening, he has some egg whites and vegetables. Then he runs along the driveway chasing his little basketball and bringing it back true to his retriever tag. Dinner includes pedigree again followed by his customary banana (you should see his eyes light up when he sees mum cutting up the banana). Finally, he sleeps peacefully (the snores continue of course).
Mr. Cactus even gets Cod Liver Oil so that he can keep his coat shiny and smooth. Plus he's powdered, brushed and pampered everyday. A very dignified soul when we're about. However the guy's a complete devil when you leave him alone in the house. This cute looking dog demolished the living room and the bed room on the very first night that we brought him here. Cushions and sofas were devoid of stuffing, phones were pulled down and wires bitten through, books were lying torn, the dining table's leg was mauled badly and he'd even eaten a few hundred bucks. All that in the ONE HOUR that we left him alone when we went to have dinner. Now that's something. He's much better now though he does like to sharpen his teeth on furniture on occasion. Fetching the newspaper though seems to be his favourite job. He won't have anyone else bringing the paper to the bedroom but him. Of course without supervision he wouldn't give the paper to us, it would be in bits and pieces around the bedroom if we weren't there. Cactus is a nice and friendly dog to have around, and his bark, his teeth and his size are enough of a deterrent to mailmen and salesmen alike. Though he's never used his teeth on us yet. Whenever I need a hug, I know just right person to go to in my house - Mr. Cactus!