Tezo by MC
Tezo came to my brother Manoj and sister-in-law Sonali under great trauma. He was a lab animal. He had endured a great deal of stressful medical experiments at a pharmaceutical company in Ahmedabad. He was easily startled and would instantly hide under their bed at the slightest perception of danger. Clapping would send him running back to the room and hide.
Not having children of their own, Manoj and Sonali did to Tezo what all pet lovers do. They became his parents. By the time Tezo, a Beagle, was rescued, Manoj and Sonali already had another dog named Beebo, a Labrador. There was some period of adjustment between the two dogs, Beebo being a free and somewhat pampered spirit and Tezo in a state of perpetual anxiety. It was entirely to the credit of Manoj and Sonali that Tezo began to regain almost all of his canine swagger. Initially, even the realization that needles wouldn’t be stuck in his body acted as a great moral booster for him. As years went by and I visited Ahmedabad regularly I could see a discernible change in Tezo’s demeanor.
His gait changed. It became way more self-assured than before. His vacant look was replaced by something clearly expressive. He started running around in Manoj and Sonali’s apartment. Clapping no longer frightened him. And finally, he even started barking every time the doorbell rang. Of course, he could not match Beebo’s charisma but considering what he had endured at the lab, he had undergone a remarkable transformation. That he started snatching Beebo’s food was the ultimate evidence that he had left his lab days behind. Beebo treated Tezo with charming indifference.
This morning my time, Manoj informed me that Tezo had passed away of a heart attack at 3 p.m. on Tuesday in their home in Ghanerao, Rajasthan. It is a great personal loss for Manoj and Sonali. Fortunately, they still have Beebo, their first dog.
I am not a pet guy. I like them as long as they are somewhere else and require no attention from me. That does not stop me from empathizing with Manoj and Sonali’s loss because for them the bond was very real. Tezo’s passing creates an gnawing absence in their lives. However more charismatic Beebo becomes, he can still not fill that absence.