An unlikely name for a chocolate brown labrador retriever. But then, that’s what she is… highly unusual, undulatory, and unpredictable. “Oreo” in Greek is for beautiful, or nice. And a beauty she is, and nice (save when she’s chewing on your footwear). At the risk of sounding blasphemous, our oh-so-happy hearts will say that she’s our Goddess of wholesome joy and entertainment around the house. Avid pet lovers and having been fortunate enough to have had many splendid creatures (winged, finned and otherwise) as pets through my life, having a pet was supreme most in our hierarchy of needs. We traveled quite a bit to reach this place in our lives. But the good news is that these instincts do not go away or get rusted or metamorphose into something else.
The story of her name is worth mentioning... The night we brought her home, we were brainstorming what to call her. There was this whole slew of names that we tried. There was “Cinnamon”, there was “Monk”, there was “Flakes”, then there was “Iris” and on and on it went…for the better part of the night… before us adoptive parents exhausted our grey matter (and the internet) looking for a befitting name for a dark chocolate brown impish looking canine. Too exhausted, non stick proposed and we shook on it - “Caramel” it was going to be. We did the appropriate PR announcing her arrival and her induction into the family, which is a mere couple of clicks away, thanks to Facebook.
And we hit the sack. Just as I was being assailed by mighty Morpheus, I get this brainwave with “Oreo” riding it… and I wake the irate and soporific husband to share the good news, And thus, we came about to christen our pride and our joy, “Oreo”.
The stuff she does is hilarious. Of course, it took her a few odd hours to get used to the new ambiance, realize that there are no other like-sized and like-shaped creatures around, find her pee spots et al… but once all of that was in order, the hilarity, the cuddles, the wet nosed licks, the tricks and the like followed.
We conveniently have this very Indian string of beaded elephants attached to a bell dangling by the kitchen. We established this rule for Oreo that when it’s food time, we would ring the bell. It’s groovy to see her come bounding every time she hears that bell. Like every other labrador retriever, she has this bottomless pit for a stomach, and yes, food is the magic word. What’s funnier than that is how she hears this bell even if she’s sleeping, and how she springs up like an erect antenna and runs to the kitchen in a frenzy, looking for the food of course. Talk about Pavlovian reflex that works even in your sleep. This is but one of the many zany things she does.
She does this funny squat on the floor and looks you square in the eye with that “sizing you up - what kind of a freak are you??” look. She goes absolutely gaga about mangoes. She loves to bolt out from the main door and we call her runaway child because of that (one of her many, loony nicknames). She loves being spoken to in hindi (yes... bollywood calling...). She loves dancing to Flo Rida's 'You spin my head right round' along with me. She's quirky and fits in perfectly in the grand scheme of things that is our life.
It’s not a piece of cake, having a canine that is over a year old (who also thinks she is a swinging by monkey, a galloping horse, a stretching cat and a dog all rolled into one) and who thinks that burping in Non stick' face is a nice thing to do. But it has its moments. She unabashedly comes and lies down at your feet, if you are watching TV, reading a book, peeling vegetables or just flat out after a long day. The companionship is addictive and heart rending. I love canoodling her and goofing aroundwith her, and Non stick loves innovating and making new games for them to play and tricks to do.We love pampering her and yes, she is spoilt. I dare believe the adoration is mutual. Every time we get back home after being away for a while, she’ll invariably come running over to give that “Hey, I missed you…!!” look. And the pee mopping is worth it, believe you me.