Sampurna gets a warm hug from Keshu. Picture by Shubham Paul
Keshu, the pet dog at the Senguptas’, watches TV serials. Ichchenodi in the evening slot is her favourite. “She even knows the song that is played with the end credits,” says Sampurna Sengupta. “When it plays she knows it’s time for my mom to return home from work and goes out to the balcony to receive her.”
Keshu (Keshar) is one intelligent dog. She was born about two years ago in Sampurna’s garden along with her sister, Badam. But their mother soon left with Badam, leaving li’l Keshu to fend for herself. “Keshu was helpless and so we took her in,” says Sampurna.
Now a part of the family, Keshu chips in by doing chores. For instance, the Senguptas don’t have a doorbell. “We don’t need one. Keshu starts barking whenever anyone walks through our gate,” says the girl who’s preparing for her medical entrance exams.
Keshu also recognises everyone’s ring tones and whenever a phone rings, she pulls the concerned person towards their phone. “My father is stationed out of town and sometimes when he calls we switch on the speaker. Keshu recognises his voice and starts licking the phone,” Sampurna smiles.
Keshu is inseparable from Sampurna and would initially cry every time Sampurna left her behind and went out. Now she gathers Sampurna’s clothes and lies on them till she returns. “Even when I’m home she wants my undivided attention. She’ll run off with my pen if I sit to study and enjoys it when I chase her. I’ve tried locking her out of my room but she cries her eyes out,” she sighs.
What gets Sampurna’s goat is the prejudice people have towards mixed breeds like Keshu. “I’ve seen owners of pedigreed dogs turn their noses away from her and I find it disgusting. On the contrary, I believe that what a mixed breed dog thinks today a pedigreed dog thinks tomorrow,” she says.
While most people would say Keshu is a lucky canine, Sampurna begs to differ. “Before Keshu came into our family all of us were busy with our own lives and wouldn’t interact that much. But Keshu has bonded us. So it’s not she but we who are lucky,” Sampurna smiles.
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 4pm or email to firstname.lastname@example.org