Sabbia was a surprise! One day mum comes up to us and says “Do you guys want a dog?” We were ecstatic! We had no idea of the responsibilities it would bring but we wanted one! And Sabbia was the first of our lovely angels! We had gotten her gratis from a friend of a friend, an Italian guy who ran a restaurant BellaChao here in Chennai. He told us, Sabbia meant “to send” and he was sending her with us. I couldnt help but wonder at his thought while naming her. But whatever it was, she was ours now, warts an’ all! Despite her rather long tongue that never sat fully inside her mouth, or as my dad put it-her rather short lower jaw that couldnt fully accommodate her tongue; and the huge wart on her forehead, to us, she was the prettiest doggie we’d seen! She’s our princess and ruler of this kingdom we call home.
Shannia & Ivy were Sab’s followers. We decided that Sabbi would be lonely by herself so we wanted to give her some company. We heard from our vet that one of her patients were selling them. I remember walking in there and being attacked by a school of the most adorable little puppies! As i sat down the liveliest of the lot climbed up above the others onto my chest and started licking my chin. “I want this one!” I told mum. She pointed across the room to where there was a rug rolled up and stocked, upon it was the tiniest of the lot, least interested by our presence, “I like that one”, mum said. So, we ended up taking them both. Two extreme opposites of the same litter-Shannia-the quiet little schemer, and Ivy-the monster of joy!
Good things come in threes.
It was a package for us.
Well, so far atleast.
Our little beagle from China.
We thought that Shannia and Ivy’s passing would mark the end of doggies at our household. Not because we were fed up with them, but because we could not forget being helpless when they were suffering. Mum couldnt stand going through it again, and after Ivy followed her precious sister, mum decided that we wouldnt get another pet again.
But just as mum left on her trip to the Philippines our vet called and asked us for the biggest and best favor anyone could have proposed — adopt one of the 75 (or so) beagles that were illegally shipped from China.
After a drive of more than 20 kms ( which totalled about 80kms for me) and an entire day of waiting at the Animal Quarantine Center, Pallikaranai we finally laid eyes on precious bell. Scrawny, scared and everso beautiful.
I picked her up without really “picking”, she was alone and nobody else seemed to take her. We bundled her up and headed straight to our vet to get her checked out. By the time we reached home it was already 8.00pm. We bathed her and carried her out of anxious Sabbia’s way.
We hadnt really thought it through- How would Sabbi accapt her? She hadnt accepted Shannia and Ivy. Where would we keep her? Would it turn out to be the same as before? Having to close every grill continuously?
But those things could wait for the moment. Dad treated bell just like a baby. He’d sleep next to her; bundle her up, clean up her mess and bath her. We did all we could to make sure our little pup got compensated for the six months she spent being shipped around in a dark container.
It’s been two years since we brought Baby-Bell home.