“I don’t know what to do Dad! This dog is just so annoying at times. I miss Scooby; he used to be so understanding. My dog Lolla is just a mess” said Caroline to Alaric as she threw Lolla’s ball on her face and walked away.
Alaric, who has been struggling with his swollen knees since a year now, sat on the Sofa and listened to his daughter complaining about her new dog. It has been almost ten years now since he lost his first dog, Scooby soon after the death of his wife because of pneumonia.
Caroline is now married and is settled in New Jersey. Alaric deals with his loneliness by hiding behind his business files and meetings. Life is not even close to how it used to be ten years back but even now when he sees a dog he gets reminded of Scooby. It was 12 December 2006 when he saw Scooby for the first time.
“Are you mad Ric, this is a German Spitz” cried Carol when Alaric brought Scooby as a gift for her. Carol was afraid of Scooby because he was a German Spitz and they are extremely temperamental. Both of them have got bitten many times over the years yet after Caroline left home for higher studies, Scooby became like their second child. Scooby was like a cure for them. Alaric no more came home angry after work, Carol was no more feeling lazy and Scooby had become an important part of their lives.
Lolla is a golden retriever. Alaric feels he is one of the well trained dogs that he has ever come across. Scooby was never trained. He was naughty, playful and at times troublesome as well. Alaric and Carol however never used to mistreat him like Caroline. Alaric is very loveable towards animals. He loves dogs a lot. Seeing his own daughter mistreat the dog was saddening for him.
Alaric went to New Jersey to celebrate his granddaughter’s second birthday. Lolla was never allowed to enter the house. He was tied to a fence in the backyard of the house and was never let to play with Jenna. “Kids are so not safe around dogs Dad! I know what I am doing’’ said Caroline when Alaric asked her to open Lolla.
Alaric was there for ten days. He saw Lolla suffer every single day. He heard Lolla cry out of sadness every day.
Caroline was a very kind hearted person as a child. When did she change so much? Thought Ric. He tried telling her that she was acting like the neighbors she used to hate as a kid because they kept their dog in isolation. He tried telling her that she was not acting human. One fine morning he woke up to the sound of a dog crying in pain. He rushed to the backyard and saw Caroline bashing Lolla with a stick. He lost his cool and ran towards Caroline and took the stick from her hand and threw it. He slapped Caroline. He just couldn’t take this inhuman behavior from his own flesh anymore. “How could you torture your own dog? Have you lost your mind?’’ shouted Alaric.
“Dad, he peed on the floor and I lost my cool’’.
“You just slapped me for a dog?’’
“Have you lost your mind out of loneliness? You don’t have the right to slap me anymore Dad”
Alaric is in the flight on the way back home, scrolling through his gallery. He finds a picture of Scooby and Carol. His eyes become watery.
After Carol passed away it was Scooby who took care of Alaric. He used to lick his tears and wipe away his pain. Scooby was old but never failed to show his affection towards Ric or Carol. Animals react to the way we treat them. They feel like a part of the family only if they are treated like a member of the family. Dogs are a man’s best friend. They feel you, heal you and cure your pain.
He went to the cemetery to offer flowers to his real family, Carol and Scooby. That day he lost his daughter.