This was one Me & My Pet interview where the dog almost spoke for himself! Shadow, BD Block’s Siberian Husky, doesn’t bark. He didn’t bark when this reporter rang his doorbell nor did he bark later on for attention. What he did do was join the chat with the family, contributing a combination of notes and tones, some quite melodic.
“My mother only needs to say ‘olebabale’ and Shadow starts ‘talking to her’,” says Saptarshi Das about his Canada-import pet. “Had we trained him when he was younger he could even have said some words but back then the trainer was more interested in readying him for dog shows.”
Shows, however, the family has stopped taking Shadow to. “The day-long itinerary is an ordeal for a dog who needs the AC even in winter. We don’t need prizes to tell us how special Shadow is. We know it,” says Saptarshi, who has recently joined the family business.
Even without taking part in shows, word has spread about his impeccable pedigree and breeders are lined up to mate their female Huskies with Shadow. “We haven’t mated him yet as my father (Sukumar) hasn’t found a female as good looking as him,” says Saptarshi, who along with mother Rumela, is longing for puppies.
Shadow is also known for his intuition. While he gets on famously with all their house staff, there was only one young cleaning lady he wouldn’t leave alone. “He followed her around the house and objected whenever she touched any drawer or dressing table. Later we learnt that this lady had stolen a gold chain from the previous house she worked with,” Saptarshi recalls. She was shown the door and Shadow was hailed as a hero.
The Husky can also announce Saptarshi’s arrival when his car is more than half a kilometre away. “That’s right,” the young man says. “Shadow’s ears stand up and he starts scratching the door to greet me.”
And when Saptarshi’s dad returns home in the evenings he must, without fail, give the dog a ride in his car. “Else Shadow won’t eat,” Saptarshi complains. So much so that if ever his father is held back for work, he sends the car home for the driver to give Shadow the ride and make him take his dinner.
• If you have a pet you have brought up at home as a family member and which has its eyes only for you, write to us with your contact number at The Telegraph Salt Lake, 6, Prafulla Sarkar Street, Calcutta 700001 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org