The Telegraph
Friday , February 15 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Me & my pet

The only reason the Mishras spell his name Kernel and not Colonel is because they do not wish to offend anyone. “But we wanted a name with a military association since German Shepherd Dogs (GSD) were widely used during the world wars,” says Venkatesh Mishra, a Class X student and Kernel’s elder brother.

Kernel Mishra was brought into this CL Block house for a definite purpose: security. “After two burglaries, we decided to get a dog. And what better guard dog than a GSD,” asks Venkatesh, adding that his father now calls Kernel the chief security officer of their house, ranked above their two watchmen.

Recently when some dubious men showed up at their doorstep Venkatesh only had to release Kernel. “He charged at them so ferociously that one of them wet his pants, another tumbled over and the third lost his lungi on the run,” he laughs.

Under Kernel’s hawk eye, no one is allowed to take anything out of the house without the Mishras’ permission. Neither can the car cleaner take the car’s keys nor the gardener the weeds that he pulls out.

Kernel also has a spiritual side. “He is a vegetarian and worships all the gods that my family prays to,” smiles Venkatesh. “On Mondays he queues up to drink the milk that is offered to lord Shankar. He begins his Fridays with sandesh that is goddess Lakshmi’s prasad and on Sundays he must have the peda that we get from Kalighat.”

Venkatesh’s father Rajesh runs the Mishra’s restaurants in Salt Lake and so Kernel is familiar with the smell that daddy brings home from work. “In fact, if ever we’re taking Kernel for a drive, he starts barking whenever we near the restaurants,” says the student of The Heritage School.

Everyone in the Mishra household claims Kernel is the most pampered member. “My father wants me to toughen by enduring some heat and grime and so does not let us switch on the AC sometimes. In such cases my mother and I tell him Kernel is feeling hot and he rushes to switch on the AC,” laughs Venkatesh.

The love and care is mutual. “When someone at home falls sick, Kernel sits beside him the whole time, patting their head non-stop with his paws,” says Venkatesh, drawing the cola-coloured canine into a warm hug.

F If you have a pet you have brought up at home as a family member and which has its eyes only for you, do write to us with your contact number at The Telegraph Salt Lake, 6, Prafulla Sarkar Street, Calcutta 700001 or call 22600115 after 3pm or email to