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Other dog-lovers had warned me beforehand, but I went ahead regardless and read the book Marley & Me by John Grogan. I mean, how can I not, when I have a sort of Marley-replica at home?! The first suggestion that Luci is Marley-sque came from the sis and brother-in-law. I had already watched the movie by the same name (but had not read the book yet) and with a gnawing fear growing inside me, I agreed it seemed so. Luci was at the time not yet one and was already one huge bundle of unbridled enthusiasm, affection and energy.

Later, when I came across the book Marley & Me at the sister’s place, I started reading it and found it absolutely riveting and delightful. Grogan has a way with words (the style of writing ALWAYS matters to me), his honesty shone through and he loved his dog, a deadly combination to make a book an excellent read, especially for a dog-lover like me. Besides, I owned a dog much like his own in looks and temperament. So I really flipped over the book so much so that I stopped reading it after a few pages. That’s strange behavior for someone who liked it, right? Not at all. You see, I am quirky enough to want to own the books I love that much.

Finally, one day the book I ordered online arrived, and I took it with me on my journey. Big mistake. Whenever I read from it, I longed for Luci and she was miles and oceans away. I was (and am) already missing her big time and here was Grogan going on and on about his lovely dog. What was I to do? Not much except mope in between the outings, the movie watching and conversations with the First Born. I sighed a lot remembering her Mary’s-little-lamb-ish ways of following me everywhere.

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She never likes to have me go out of her line of sight. (The dog that would be lolling comfortably on the bed would jump down and wait just outside the bathroom door which is where I would find her after my bath, every single day. It bothered her if I was upstairs and the L & M downstairs, because then she couldn’t keep an eye on both of us. She’d pester me, push my hand off the keyboard with her snout forcefully, till I gave up typing and went back downstairs with her, where she would sigh heavily and settle down, satisfied to have both of us in her line of vision). And then the L & M told me during one of his calls, how in my absence, Luci went upstairs daily, sat outside my bedroom door and whined, coming down only when he sternly told her, Amma is not there inside the room.*A bigger sigh*

When I came to the last but one chapter of Grogan’s book, about Marley’s last days, was when I appreciated the warning from my dog-lover friends. It will break your heart, they had told me. It did, especially when the realization hit me that some day, Luci and I will have to go through the same phase and at the end of it, part ways forever. I have been very stoic when I lost Goofy (link), but I wonder if I have it in me to be so when the time arrives to say goodbye to Luci. Funnily enough, I also worry for her in case I should be the first one to leave her. Will someone love her as much as I do, in spite of her hyperactive self, in spite of the way she crashes through life Marley-sque?

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I have NEVER been the typical indulgent Indian mother to my own children. But when it comes to Luci, I am a puddle of mush. Nothing Luci does makes me angry. She might chew things up, pull out my plants, step into her water bowl and spray everything around, dig and roll in the dirt, and then walk into the house leaving muddy paw marks all over the white-tiled floor. I find it absolutely cute and hilarious. No, I am not just saying it. It is something I did some introspection about.

I asked myself if I would be angry were she to chew up my reading glasses. You see, I am practically blind without them. No internet, no reading, a daunting prospect. But the answer is still, NO. Though it would definitely inconvenience me, I can never be angry with her for that. I do scold her and try to mend her ways by disciplining, but nothing she does irritates me ever, not even when she barked in such a high decibel tone right into my ear when she saw her ‘Dad’ arrive, in the process making my ear ache and ring for hours afterwards.

There is one good thing about Luci being such a hyperactive dog. Grogan says in the last chapter of his book about how they have the most well-behaved dog named Gracie at present. He says he tells Gracie often enough, that no book will ever be written about her. You see how it is? The naughty, hyperactive, crashing through doors, spectacles chewing, toffee-stealing, food-swiping, muddy-pawed (and all the rest) canines get written about. But the good ones must make do without a book in their honor. What is there to write anyways?! Sad, but there it is, an undeniable fact of life.

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Now you understand why Luci gets written about a lot (link). In fact I do wonder when days go by and Luci becomes more of a goody-goody dog (unlike Marley, she is showing a tendency to sober down) if I will have anything to write about her. But that’s not really a worrying problem because I have imagination at my disposal to make up stories about her. All I want in return is for her to be there, to hug her and in return be slobbered with kisses.

So here I am, lack of proximity to Luci being the only factor that intrudes on my otherwise happy trip. I really hope she does NOT miss me as much, because missing someone you love is really, really hard on you. 

Luci’s Facebook page: Luci Shail

Luci’s picture blog: Luci the dog.

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