” Dogs do speak , but only to those who know how to listen ” – Orhan Pamuk , author – My Name is Red

There are good stories on pet dogs but it is not always that a pet dog owner narrates it in first person – that person being the pet dog itself ! . Susanta Misra has attempted this interesting perspective for his story of Buddy – a male Beagle whom he brought home as a three month old Puppy from Kolkata . Buddy has vague memory of his parents , Dad from Bangkok on a dog show visit to India and Mom from Chandanagar . Buddy traveled by air in a cage to Hyderabad and joined the comforts of his home for eight fun filled years with his Dada , Maa and Baba and shared their life and in the process blessing them in return with pure love , adoration and companionship .

Through Buddy ‘ s world view , the reader experiences a slice of life , the routine with a pet dog at home from childhood to adulthood dwelling on myriad hues and glues of work , guests , seasons , festivals , health and hygiene, separation , companionship , culture , food habits , fun time and many more . Buddy covers a vast canvas of relationship with pure love as its cornerstone. The author Susanta describes Buddy ‘ role in their life as Educator , Caregiver , Entertainer , Playmate , Soulmate and the pampered boy of the family .

Buddy provides good humour to the proceedings where he describes his gastronomic preferences for sweets and Swiggy supplied delicacies as against classic ” dog food ” – a trend shared by many Indian pet dogs . He likes home cooked non vegetarian food though . I should know having kept pet dogs for over 12 years at home , moving from place to place with family every two years in my service life .

There is an old joke which goes like this . Two robbers were scaling the compound wall of a bungalow at midnight when a dog barks from inside .One guy tells his companion , there is nothing to worry quoting the adage ” barking dogs seldom bite ” . His companion responds ” we know this but how about the dog ? The risk is not worth it ” . This also brings out a major lesson on the qualitative difference in human and canine world view and the book on Buddy brings it out in a very readable format .

I have read Susanta’ s earlier work titled ” Ready to Fly ” where he brings out vividly his son’ s growing up years till he leaves home for higher studies – ready to fly ! using an apt metaphor . He goes a step further in using Buddy to tell his readers ( in six sections – Family and Friends , House and Neighbourhood , Eat ,Sleep and Play , Health and Hygiene, Learning , and Fun and Celebrations ) in simple language how your life improves many notches qualitatively when you have a pet dog at home .

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