An Excerpt from: A King called Shaka…
The next day started early. The car to take me and my business partner Gokul to Bandipur arrived early and we drove away towards our new home. Enroute on the highway it was quite uneventful except for the looks that Shaka gave me from his basket. I had taken a brown towel to cover him so as to keep him warm in the air-conditioned car.
Arriving at Bandipur after a short stop at Bangalore to ‘clean up’ we were awaited by the team and as our kitchen wasn’t fully functional, we decided to drive to the nearby Jungle Lodges for a meal.
Our consultant Raju Bhat said: Tie him up and make sure he doesn’t hurt himself. I did as suggested and got ready to leave.
I had bought all that I could think of, a red small leash for a put that Shaka was and a blanket for the floor. He looked at me from the first floor below as I stood ready to leave and started a howl that was instantaneously recognisable as ‘Song of Separation’.
I asked Raju out of sheer ignorance as he said: He will be fine. He has to get used to it.
After the meal we returned late and decided to retire for the day. Shaka made himself comfortable on the floor and facing the large glass windows. I therefore made him comfortable with the towel around him. He wouldn’t sleep and was moving around. After all it was another new place and his little mind must have been torn apart just trying to come to terms with one big emotion that I could read between his little eyes and between their winks: Separation. There wasn’t mummy to cuddle
My business partner Gokul, lifted him from the basket and slowly held him as one would hold a baby and after a while the eyelids becoming heavy and a big breath that this tiny pup could give out Shaka, fell asleep.
The above is an excerpt from my notes titled ‘A King called Shaka’.
I regret till today for not having understood his emotions in my early days as I tried to be a ‘Master’ Today after my evolution as ‘Companion’, Shaka shares the bed with me and that is his rightful place. He is so attached to it and considers it only to be used by himself, Zulu and his two legged family that is us. He cuddles up to me at night and you can’t place a piece of paper between us and him. And lest anyone from our staff tries to even touch the bed he will, even after 7 long years be treated to a snarl and a snap which when administered by Shaka is as swift as lightning and just for the record: He hasn’t missed once. He makes me feel safe as I can lie there knowing well that nothing, absolutely nothing will get past him and close to me
But no he isn’t a blood thirsty hound! He is just the most loveable canine at Dhole’s Den. He respects your space and demands you respect his and of course even mine. He doesn’t like to share me with anybody and has to get the first greeting from me and he is the first to greet me too. It’s his right.
Till today, I have to be very silent as I walk past his room or walk the other hounds on our property as then he starts his ‘Song of Separation’ all over again. He can’t be without me and in time I have come to realize that thats the only time he isn’t kingly in his behavior, which is otherwise full of regality in every movement of his.
I am in a far away land today and my heart reaches out to Shaka, my companion on his 7th birthday in his Kingdom called: The Land of Shaka & Zulu…
To you Shaka who made me what I wanted to be: Happy Birthday! Alles Gute und Liebe zum Geburtstag!
PS: Our Townhouse called Darshna just outside Mysore is open and offers 3 tastefully done rooms in a designer villa that will offer the same luxury to your pet and of course you…:)
Details under www.daveystownhouse.com