Natasha Sharma: The Doggy Chronicles

Natasha Sharma is the author of Bonkers!, a hOle book.

Excerpts from my diary from when I was in school (I have omitted the year in each entry to keep you guessing how far back were my school years):

February 2
Dear Diary,
I woke up today with three pups dangling from the ends of my hair. Seriously!
This is what happened. I was sleeping on a mattress on the floor, when they stormed the room, rushed to my bed, grabbed my hair that lay gently on my pillow and gave a terrific TUG!
That’s me with the three rascals in a happier moment.

October 15
Dear Diary,
We’ve decided to buy a plastic bowl for Button. If lunch gets delayed by a few minutes, Button carries her bowl to the staircase and flings it down, in protest. A steel bowl hitting forty steps can make quite a din.

October 25
Dear Diary,
I dangled over the edge of the terrace yesterday, attempting to haul Ninjh up from the window ledge that she had somehow fallen on to. It was a life-threatening moment. I am proud to say, I overcame my fear of heights looking down the two-storey drop, to save my dog.
She’s back on the ledge again. This time, I saw her jump on to it … to investigate a feather. I thought this was the kind of thing you deal with when you own a cat.

I never did keep a diary though, and it wasn’t due to me being too lazy to write. It was due to Simba. Dog number eight. He loved people trying to hide stuff. It stirred a mad desire in him to hunt it out … and destroy it. Take for example, the gardener planting seeds and bulbs. Simba would watch the fellow go about his job for a couple of hours, noting how carefully the man was hiding everything underground. Before the gardener was out of the door, the whole flowerbed would be dug up, bulbs revealed, and seeds scattered. The gardener quit that week.

A diary suffered from the same problem of needing to be hidden from prying eyes, noses and mouths; an impossible task with Simba around. And gardeners–well they are a temperamental lot. They detest bored dogs plucking the petals off their prized dahlias, or active dogs running right through their hedges, or mischievous dogs running off with their shovels. Gardeners are highly strung and it had nothing to do with our dogs.

Four dogs with many a litter of pups added on, meant that craziness, mayhem and much barking was the trademark of our home.

I now have an eight-year-old and a six-year-old of my own. Children, not pups. They are desperate to own a dog. I am guilty of having resisted their woebegone pleas. Heaps of travel, cramped spaces and apartment living have been my argument.

Bonkers! certainly attempts to soothe my guilt for not offering them the most wondrous part of my childhood that no toy can replace. It is a peace offering. A thank-you for their patience as their mother gathers courage for a four-legged addition to the family. For in its pages, you will find the delight, frustration, love, aggravation, amazement, adventure and joy of having a dog. Especially one that is completely bonkers!


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