Lilly: “Mum I want a puppy”
Me: “I’ve given you siblings, so no puppy”
Lilly: “Mum Please... Ok if not a dog, let me get a teacup pig 🐷 “
Me: “No Lalla”
Me: “YOU DID WHAT!!!!”
Lilly: “I bought a dog, his name is Mowgli. I’m co-parenting him with a friend. You can’t return him”.
Me: “Lilly you can’t look after yourself, how are you going to handle a pet”
Lilly: Well, Mowgli will be therapeutic for me and will help me
From under her hoodie, out popped a tiny spotty dog with one blue and one black eye. I knew exactly why she had chosen Mowgli. Lilly was always looking out for and loving those that were different. Lilly had chosen a dog that no one wanted.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Pets reduce symptoms of anxiety or depression, giving people a reason to get up in the morning. Other benefits are unconditional love and a “buddy” that encourages physical activity, which leads to healthier lifestyles. When a person is facing despair, loneliness, chronic health issues, depression, addictions, or anything beyond their ability to cope, a pet can help ease the pain. A pet can give a person a reason to get out of their thoughts to focus on a sense of purpose.
It was hard for Lilly to see light in the midst of her darkness, and peace always seemed so far away. Mowgli brightened up her mood. Being around Mowgli allowed for a small trickle of light and happiness into her heart. Lilly loved everyone, but her love for Mowgli was different. Lilly had finally found unconditional love. The love she gave Mowgli came back to her in ways that can’t be measured. Mowgli was never going to hurt her, he would never leave her, no matter what! In the end, she left Mowgli.
Simmi: “Mum, please can I get a puppy. It’ll help me.”
Me: “No Simmi, we are not a dog family.”
Simmi: “Tears in her eyes “please mum”
Me: “You can go with Didi to Petland and get some puppy therapy”
A couple of hours later......
Asmita: “We found a pup, please say yes; We all need this”.
Simmi: “Mum please“
Naina: “YES, we all need this”
Asmita: “Send dad, he’s coming home”
And that’s how Tiger entered our lives....
I miss Lilly more than ever. She would have loved Tiger. I can just see her saying: “I’m proud of you mum. You finally came around”. I keep remembering her with Mowgli. From long walks, to long naps, to cuddles in bed. I remember it all. I remember how she taught Mowgli to not bite, how she taught him to sit, how she trained him to do tricks. Many people came and went from Lilly’s life but Mowgli was her one and only love. Mowgli remained stable in her life, even during the darkest turmoil. Mowgli will always have a special place in my heart because he was Lalla’s.
In hindsight, I wish I had done this sooner. I wish I had gotten Lilly her pup when she was younger. Maybe things would have turned out different. Maybe the pup would have been the key to handling the anxiety, depression, and symptoms of mental illness. Just maybe, things would have turned around in our favor.
Tiger has been with us only 4 days. In these 4 days, I have seen a broken family come together. I’ve seen the power of unconditional love starting its healing. I’ve seen how the spirits of everyone are slowly lifting. Asmita was right - We all needed this!