Selfie with Alfey: 2 Years Later

Hello, readers! Most of you’ll know Alfey, my 7-year-old Spitz boy. But what you guys might not know is how two years back, life changed for both of us. Here’s where the episode 2 of Season 1 of the show comes into the picture. The show is ‘Years without Alfey’ and the episode is ‘The one after two long painful years.’

If you haven’t met Alfey yet, this is a post for you. It’s a peek into Alfey’s life and that of mine enveloped by his.

As families of pets, we do not much have a life of our own, do we? Not really. I see all the ardent pet-lovers vigorously nodding their heads at this. It all began on a rainy evening of July.

It was a madly rainy evening in July, 7 years back, when Alfey knocked on the doors of our lives, entered in, and made home in our hearts. One look and I had lost my heart to him. Do you know how they say that some relationships mean more than blood? For me, it was him.

Alfey – 1 month old

He was the size of a little baby cushion and just as snug. In those days, he grew up in our arms, like literally. He dozed off in our laps, like literally. He sucked milk off little cotton buds, well, literally. And before we knew, he had grown up into a toy boy who loved capturing hearts. We were only always amazed at the feathery beauty of his little ears and legs, those shiny mischievous eyes, that gave away nothing of his little tricks.

Alfey – 4 months old

And so were gone five merry years. Until the ill-fated day when dad was diagnosed with terminal kidney disorder. “You have to stay away from cats, dogs, all sorts of animals with fur, and avoid lots of kinds of fruits and vegetables like…” the doctor went painfully on and on… but I had lost senses somewhere after he mentioned dogs. “If the dog doesn’t have fur, like if we shaved his fur off… then can he?” I asked; by ‘he’, I implied ‘Alfey’. The doctor gave me that ‘No-joke’ look and said, “No, he can’t.” And by ‘he’, the doctor implied both of them.

Alfey’s Christmas – 2014

Alfey’s fate was sealed in that hospital room. He couldn’t stay with us anymore. Alfey had to go stay with my aunt about 1500 kms away. It was raining that night again. It was an evening in July again.

How could I part with one whom I loved the most? People said all sorts of things, trying to be mercilessly understanding. “You’ll grow used to” – But I don’t want to. “He’s just a dog” – No, he isn’t. “It’s for the good” – Yeah, right. They say – Once you’ve lived with a dog, your life is changed forever. I had lived. They hadn’t. They would never know.

The Show – Years without Alfey – begins!

Episode 1: The One where he goes away

Come February 2016 and Alfey traveled with us, 1500 kms away, to Varanasi in North India, to his new home. 5 days later, I returned with a hole in my heart, leaving behind indelible trails of tears for a little over 1500 kms from Varanasi to Mumbai. But I could drown the whole country in tears. Such was my grief.

Alfey – 7 years old now.

Episode 2: The One after two long painful years

Come February 2018 (2 years later) and Alfey is settled in his new home with not an inkling about our visit. The morning we arrived and when he saw me, I don’t know whose joy was greater – his or mine? We couldn’t be separated nor be together peacefully. Since we had arrived for our cousin’s wedding, there were hordes of guests and relatives to meet and I just couldn’t want anything more but to get away with my little one. The next morning, I woke up early only to find him sleeping inside my sheets. My heart somersaulted with happiness. I scooped him up in my arms and couldn’t believe how big he’d grown.

Alfey – The baby boy.

We went to the open terrace, two flights of stairs above and perched ourselves there under the early morning sun. Just him and me. He searched the terrace for a soul and seemed to be happy to find none. What he did next, brought on a fresh stream of tears, that soaked my soul, and satiated my 2-year-long languishing heart.

Selfie with Alfey – That’s me in the backdrop.

He put his head in my lap and a while later, dozed off. Just like that. The sun burning my skin never felt better. His shining golden fur-coat never looked better. In that moment, I realised I have indeed loved one unconditionally and could never love anyone more. It was a perfect selfie moment. One that gets my nasal cavities choked even today.

Some selfie moments mean more to you simply because you don’t know when the next one’s coming.
– Asha Seth


The story is the author’s memoir and is not available for reproduction.

Asha Seth