We went Camping with a Dog

Sometime in June after we buried my grandmother, everything started getting blur by day. It seems as though the whole world was against me; I had lost both of my parents to a tsunami that occurred in our area when I was just a 6year old boy, and I have since been living with my grandparents. I was not going to stay in a foster home because I never wanted anything to replace the memories of my parents that I cherished dearly.


Since I was not old enough to stand alone according to the law, I was given an option to choose between my guardian parents (my parent’s friend staying in another town), my uncle Ben and his wife (they already have three kids), or a foster parent or government facility. None of the options seemed right to me at that moment because all I wanted was to stay alone.

I am a reserved person naturally, and I cherish my privacy and on from lot, all of which I knew I wasn’t going to get with the options laid down for me. The time I was given to choose out of the options was almost up, and they were going to veto me into a place, but my paternal grandparents showed up; they were never part of the options, and I never thought of them as one, maybe because they were old (both were 80years old). They became my rescue angel and decided to take me up with them. “How could you people give a 6year old such a task of choosing where to stay? What do you expect him to say? Just let me have him, I will take care of him myself”.


Without hesitation, I was allowed to join my grandparents, and they eventually seemed to be the best option. They never disturb me for anything and always allow me to make some decision. I so enjoy my privacy until I got tired of it. I would come to the sitting room and join grandpa beside what looked like his designated chair, to watch live cricket matches. Not that I so much enjoy or understand the game itself but I obviously enjoy staying with grandpa because of his passing comments and stories that never seem to dry up; there’s always a new story for a new day.


Unfortunately, we lost him to cancer five years after and it seemed I was going to go back to my usual lonely self. My grandmother tried to fill the vacuum but was not very successful, because she was a very busy person and also a cancer patient. She felt my loneliness and decided to do something about it; I was not the type that easily makes friends, even at school. She felt some of her jobs to create time for me and this indeed worked. We became very close, and we were even closer than I was with my grandfather. I would follow her to her shop and do almost everything together. The relationship became natural, and I stayed with her till her old days when I am also now an adult.


Age caught up with her, and I became more of the busy person, meaning she needed a new friend to fill up the time I was not around; she adopted a German Shepherd (Tekla). She would stay with her when I’m not around and would many a time followed her down to the street to form a protective shield. My grandmother became more religious and would spend most of her time in church. Sometimes she’ll go for programs taking up to some few days, all religious. There was a time she wanted to go for a religious camp and insisted I follow her. If fell at a time I was less busy, and so I had no option than to follow her. The camp was to last for three days, and so we went with Tekla.


Contrary to my general opinion and assumptions about religious gathering, the camp was fun filled. Apart from the perpetual prayer session that was made compulsory for every camper, I seemed to enjoy every bit of the camping session, and Tekla seemed to agree with me because he was focused at every point. The music especially is highly interesting, and I agree the church get music. However, the most interesting part of the camping experience was how Tekla made friends. He relates with almost everybody he met and kind of forming a protective shield whenever he sensed danger. Dogs are usually regarded as man’s best friend, but Tekla proved to be more than a friend. He is a great companion I wouldn’t have thought one can get from a friend talk less of a Dog. We came back from the camp a better person, more loving and carrying a trait I learned from Tekla.


We continued like that for many years until when my grandmother died. It was my best friend that left me when she died, and I almost went back to my initial state of loneliness. Everything turned around, and I became more withdrawn from people. It was as if the whole world was against me. Tekla seemed not to take my grandmother demise with good faith because he also became withdrawn; he would not eat his food on time and sometimes would not even touch it. He spent most of each days sleeping on my grandmother’s favorite chair. After some time, he became lean and sick and was looking as though he was going to die too. This opened up my eyes, and I realized I am responsible for him. I started playing more with him and took him out several times.


With all my efforts, he seemed not to come back to his normal self, and this made me look for a moment he loved most. I remember he became happier when we went for that church camp; I decided to take him camping to ignite his passion. Without wasting time, we left for camp, and I planned to stay for the whole week. We did get healed, and I even got more than that on the campground.


Tekla became friends with a lady that camped close to us, and this made us become friends. Needless I say she is the first friend I made outside my family and it’s only normal she became my wife till date.


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