I was blind when I arrived in this world. Only through my nose and sharp ears I could locate my mom. We were three sisters and four brothers. The world was all darkness for us for nearly 17 days after our birth. I remember the day when all of us opened our eyes one by one. There was lot of excitement in the family we were living with. We could only see hazy images though, but from the excited tones we could imagine some kind of jubilation around us. Mostly we lay huddled with each other. The body warmth of the mom and my mates was very reassuring. Those were the golden days, when most of the time we either slept or suckled our mom. I still loath to recollect the way she licked us to keep us clean. One day I strayed away from all others and a loud growl from my dam froze me. She dragged me back to her.
We had started to play amongst ourselves and sometimes with mom too. She was seldom playful. She appeared to snooze, but she kept an eye on us all the time. I remember my first meal. The mistress of the house brought a milk pudding in a flat bowl. It was okay, but not as tasty as my dam's milk. I was growing pretty fast and could feel the change in my body. Around six weeks I was having five meals a day. Now all day the dam was no where to be seen. We played amongst ourselves only. 'Catch me if you can' being our favorite game. We got the company of mom only at night.
We were all about seven weeks old and there was lot of commotion in the house. A girl came near us along with our mistress. We all rushed to greet her, except our weak brother Shorty. He was always shy of strangers and hid behind our box and started to cry. Our dam was no where to be seen. May be she heard the cries of Shorty and was barking loudly from inside the house. We were scared but the girl who came to see us was fascinating. She immediately developed a liking for me. She picked me up, held me close to her. My heart was throbbing, but her hug calmed me down. She kissed my wet nose and started to call me Goldy. I learnt that her name was Shinjani.
The first car ride to Shinjani's place was frightening. I lay cuddled up in her lap and she constantly stroked my forehead to reassure me. Upon reaching the house she let me roam about for a while. I sniffed the place. Things were alright but suddenly I started to miss mom and my mates too. I started to whimper. Shinjani rushed to me and soothed my fears. I had a small box that looked nice. It had a soft bed and I crawled in and slept peacefully. I dreamt of my mates, we were playing, running around.
After a few days, Shinjani took me out in the car. I was not scared of the ride now. She took me to the Vet. I heard the Vet inform her that I was a German Shepherd. Our forefathers were taken to England from Germany and we were named as Alsatian. I felt proud of my ancestry. The Vet gave me a sharp prick. It was quite painful, yet it ensured that I do not catch some dreaded diseases. Shinjani seemed to know her way with dogs. She gave me a small piece of liver immediately after the Vet took out the needle. This made life easy for me and the next pricks after a couple of days were not bad at all. I was always rewarded with more pieces of liver.
Life seemed to be really enjoyable. Shinjani and her family made a lovely pack and her dad was our leader. I used to wait for him to come back from his work. The sound of his car was exciting for me. He used to take me out on long walks. He used to teach me his language with short commands like 'come', 'sit' etc.
In about a year's time they were able to understand my language too. Actually our foster parents, the humans have a spoken language, whereas we express only through body language. It was good that we understood each other well. I remember a dog in the neighborhood being beaten daily by the family. Poor creature did not know that the master's bedroom could not be his toilet. It was unfortunate that even the master could never make out what his dog was trying to say. Lack of communication makes a dog's life miserable.
For me time passed happily. I got married when I was two and like my mom, had seven puppies. They also went to their new homes. Wonder if they were as fortunate as that I was!
I am now 12 years old. Shinjani has been married and lives happily with her husband and kids in some other town. I dream of her often. She comes on holidays and I keep my head on her lap and groan with content. I wish all dogs were as lucky as I am!