Biscuit, my six year old Labrador, has never had a steady playmate. He specialized in knocking the stuffing out of stuffed toys from a very young age. My daughter’s Teddy bear of nearly two decades had to be rescued from his bear hugs and love bites. His fascination for toys resurfaced recently when he got attracted to rubber toys which make a squeaky sound on squeezing. He regularly raided my helper’s house whenever he found them lax in leaving their daughter’s playthings outside. The last casualty was a blue dolphin which lasted just a few hours. This attempt at getting him a new toy was not with much hope of its longevity, but, just a momentary weakness on my wife’s part when she went shopping for making good my helper’s daughters’ playthings.
Thus arrived Chota Jumbo a bright yellow coloured elephant with a red cap. Biscuit’s initial treatment of the Jumbo did not show any difference in his approach to toys and did not portend well for Jumbo’s survival for long. As they say in cricket the trick is to survive the initial overs before the shine comes off the ball and the atmosphere dries up. Jumbo not only survived the first day, but, seemed to evoke something maternal in Biscuit’s bosom. They are now an inseparable pair with Jumbo even going to sleep with Biscuit. In fact he fought off sleep till it became impossible to do so for fear of losing Jumbo. When he goes for a walk he insists on carrying Jumbo and when stopped from doing so, rushes back to find Jumbo the first thing after returning home.
He has learnt to gently hold Jumbo in his mouth without hurting it much like how a cat carries her kitten. He even licks Jumbo off any dirt on his surface. I am reminded of the friendship between the Dog and Jerry in one of the Tom and Jerry cartoons where the Dog tells Jerry to ‘just whistle’ in case of any distress from Tom. We now find that to attract Biscuit to any part of the house just requires sounds to be made off Jumbo and he comes running to rescue his friend. He has accepted the name given to his friend by us and responds to our asking him to fetch Jumbo.
We seem to have finally succeeded in winning Biscuit’s confidence in that he gives Jumbo to us and seems to finally understand the game of fetch. It’s a tender and heart warming sight to see Biscuit using his jaws with bone crushing abilities to carry Jumbo delicately wherever he goes.Long live the friendship of Chota Jumbo and Biscuit!