Updated: Jan 8
Image courtesy | Alan Quirvan
I have a dogess and her name is ‘Kalonji’. She came into my life during the pandemic and already went by the name ‘Ruby’. But as part of the dog parent’s rite of passage, of course I rechristened her! She came as ‘Ruby’ and transformed into ‘Kalonji’. What is ‘Kalonji’ you ask? ‘Kalonji’ is known as nigella seeds in English. They are black in color and have a characteristic taste and smell. While I have never tasted my dog (though, I do joke that if she behaves badly, I might consider making Dog 65 out of her). And sometimes she smells like popcorn.
However, as you might have guessed, she has a black coat, hence the name. She was growing out of puppyhood when she came to me and hence, she was accustomed to being called ‘Ruby’. But she soon figured out the rules of the household and started responding to ‘Kalonji’. ‘Ruby’ stuck with my house help though, who still calls her by that name. So, my dog has done the smart thing! She simply responds to both names! But her smartness isn’t limited to just responding to multiple names. She’s smart enough to teach her parents some real nifty life lessons.
Here are a few samples:
Ask and you shall receive: ‘Kalonji’ is not shy. If she wants to snuggle with me inside my blanket, she will paw at me even if it's 3:00 AM. The point is, she’s cold and wants the warmth of my blanket and my body. My only job at that time is to provide it to her, no questions asked. She believes in the principle of ‘Ask and you shall receive!”. The quality of petting, treats and human food is evidence of it working out well for her.
Simple living, high thinking: ‘Kalonji’ adores meat and dairy products and tolerates vegetables. She doesn’t believe in fruit! She’s excited to devour the same meal everyday with the same level of enthusiasm. She also tries everything once. It might not smell good, may taste like cardboard but l you won’t know till you try.
Know your languages: We belong to different species and hence can’t communicate in the same language but to Kalonji’s credit she’s mastered English, Hindi, Nepali and Kannada! I speak to her in English and a bit of Hindi. But she’s picked up Kannada and Nepali thanks to the house help and the building staff. These aside, she also understands the language of love and all nonverbal communication such as actions, signs, tone of voice, mood and facial expressions.
Absolutely amazing things come in packets: Want to see a magic trick? Open a packet in the same house as ‘Kalonji’. Mind you, house, not room. No matter where she is and what she’s doing, the rustle of a packet will make that dog appear before you can say presto! “Big things come in small packages”, they say. My dog would perhaps change it to tasty, play worthy, fantabulous things, come in all packets! And she doesn’t discriminate. The packet could be made of any material and could contain anything from a biscuit to a pad, the excitement, curiosity, reaction and enthusiasm levels are all the same! All packets were made equal in her eyes!
They say never judge a book by its cover. Kalonji’s breed is unknown; she's not a pedigree. But she’s intelligent to a fault. She’s pure love and thinks that the universe revolves around her. She’s jet black with the most soulful, chocolate colored eyes that could put even the most delicious brownies to shame. The intent of this blog wasn’t to promote adoption of strays and pariahs but what the hell…#Adoptdontshop. Have a life lesson or even a nonsensical one you learnt from your dog? Do share by tagging us on any of ‘The Teen Tribune’ social media handles.
‘The Teen Tribune’, ‘Kalonji’ and I look forward to hearing your doggo stories. Until next time, Woof!