Till very recently, even if I were to blindfold you and bring you to a house, you would immediately identify it as mine if you had been there earlier. You couldn't miss the mild hint of an orange citrus scent in the air. It was present in most rooms - the kitchen, the living room, my bedroom and even the bathrooms - but it was always strongest in my parents bedroom. That's where she went to sleep every night, after all.

Ruby, our pomeranian-fox-spaniel hybrid was born in this house in 1999. She grew up alongside us, adjusting as much to our quirks as we did to hers. With both children away from home studying or working, she was the child my parents doted on. Every day for 14 years, she would have her first drops of milk fed to her by our hands before taking the rest herself. She would sit silently for an hour beside my mother while she prayed in the prayer room. She would politely peek in our plates when we sat down for our meals but never beg or demand, knowing fully well that she stood a good chance of getting something whenever I was around anyway. Though she would sleep in my parents bedroom at night, she would always wait for them to enter, no matter how late, before entering herself. 

Ruby was very particular about her cleanliness too, thank God. She knew when it was time for her bath and never made a fuss about it. For some reason, we had picked a dog shampoo years ago which gave off a very citrus-y scent to the ol' gal after a bath. She too enjoyed it and would nudge and push for the bottle during bath time. And so, over the years, we never changed the brand of shampoo and we always had a pleasant smelling, tail-wagging, four-legged air freshener walking around the house.

In one of the most painful moments for everyone at home, Ruby passed away a few months ago. Losing someone who was there inside your house for fourteen years was a devastating blow to all of us. As much as it pained me, I realized in the days following her death that I loved her while always being away for long periods - college, post graduation, work et al. But there were two parents there at home who had looked after her from the day she was born and were now once more left alone. What heartbreak was going through their minds, I could only imagine. One day, while talking casually, it finally did slip from my father's tongue that my mother had yet to get over the loss of Ruby and still cried herself to sleep on many a night staring at the empty spot where Ruby would sleep beside her.

After that visit, in my mind at least, what had to be done next was obvious.

Nowadays, if I blindfold you and bring you home, you're going to start asking me about that scent of coffee beans that your nose picks up. No, I'm afraid I don't own any plantations. I don't have my own coffee machine either. 
But it's okay. Because my parents do have a new child who smells like coffee. 

Where Ruby was Zen-like in her demeanour, Snoopy is chaos unleashed. He is a beagle by breed but a vampire by nature, chomping on anything he sees (When he sees me, I imagine he feels the same way Obelix used to feel when he saw a wild boar!) Where Ruby would sneak and throw my ironed clothes around if she was mad at me for something, Snoopy repeatedly threatens to literally pull the pants off me while I'm still wearing them! 

I still miss Ruby. I'm sure my parents do too. Once more, I will hardly be around as the new child grows up thanks to my profession. But I really don't mind. Snoopy differs from Ruby in every way possible except one: like Ruby, he is a constant source of laughter and happiness for my parents.

And the selfless love that this coffee-scented vampire-in-dog's-clothing brings to my house and my family... that is all that matters to me.  


Meety said…
Snoopy is sooo adorable!!!! x-)
Dhanya said…
Welcome Snoopy and waiting for many more Snoopy tales :) I can see that your mom is delighted :)
Aww...what a great gift to your parents! The look on your mother's face and the way your father has him on his chest says it all. Priceless! I am sure Snoopy will bring lot of happiness and laughs.
Ruch said…
That is a lovely take on the prompt !
Bhavana Nissima said…
Just an adorable post...written from heart
Alka Gurha said…
By the end of this heartfelt post, I was sniffing for Ruby.
Good luck doc.
It is heartbreaking when you lose a pet. I had to give mine away because I was moving abroad..it still hurts whenever I think of Buddy.

RIP Ruby...
Snoopy sounds like a terrific pup...so glad your parents have found new love all over again.

Good luck for the contest.
Aathira Nair said…
Aww... Welcome to Snoopy!

I think its just so coincidental that my parents recently got a beagle pup named Ruby! And as you say, she is terror unleashed! Pulling and tugging but totally lovable!
Ceee... said…
Aww that is so cute ! I loved the pic of Ruby and KFC :-)and the last pictures of ur parents n Snoopy is priceless...
He is extremely loveable.. but lots of jaada 8-) . he knows to pose for the cameras and look coy and innocent. After that, back to biting and chasing us around @-)
There are gonna be many more Snoopy pics and stories in the days to come, rest assured. And yes, mom is happy to have him around.
He is an item only but a lovable little scamp. Sleep, wake up, bite, drink, sleep.. repeat =))
Thanks. It was something I wanted to post on but honestly didnt know how to start before this contest came along.
That it truly is, Bhavana. I need to go back to my own roots and writing style. Feel I've stopped being personal for awhile now.
Thanks Alka. Ruby will always be special and irreplaceable in her own way.
Vinita, I know the feeling. I can never get used to losing a pet. Always feel like I let them down somehow.
Woah. That is a major coincidence :o

Also, put up a pic link (or more :d ) of your Ruby here na, please? I would love to see her in action too.
That was Rubys last birthday. I got her the KFC pieces and gave it without the skin.
Karanth S R said…
:) welcoming snoopy hoping for more n more Snoopy stories with lots of masala from the doctor's kitchen :p your parents are so happy with him, don't you feel J of him :-) :d

Keep sharing his stories so that we too can share the happiness :)
renu sethi said…
Snoopy sounds so much like flury (my dog)... lovely post
Miss Nlimited said…
Ooooooo the lovable lil croc.... I will always miss Ruby my queen... Snoopy I shall not wear shorts around! Great to see your parents smiling...
Rachna said…
Snoopy and Ruby, I've heard a few things about them. Do share more Snoopy tales. And orange and coffee, I would love to visit your house :).
Karanth, definitely gonna be more Snoopy pics in the future.
Ruby was one of a kind, N. And true, the crocodile has brought smiles on their faces with his daily antics.
More Snoopy tales will be up soon. And definitely, free stay in the Land of Looms and Lores when you visit.
maithili said…
I was in love with his eyes the day I saw him on facebook <3 What a poser man! You have happiness on legs :D I would love to visit your house :D :D Annnnd, does your house smell of KFC as well :P
Dr.Riyaz said…
once again a beautifully written post... tell snoopy that he is famous online and its because of you!!! maybe he will stop biting you...
Vinaya Naidu said…
I hope you win it for Ruby...touching narration!
He is a true poser when he's in the mood. And if my house smelt of KFC, I would never leave the house !! =p~
Yes. He is getting quite a fan following, isnt he ? But he might start biting then, demanding more high class food cheer now that he's a celebrity.
Sigh.. from your lips to God's ears :D
BK Chowla, said…
Over a period of time,they become so much part the family that parting gets very disturbing.
Recently,we lost DUKE, German Shephard
Sorry for your loss sir. You're absolutely right. They are a part of our family. And Duke was the name of the first dog I had in India. A doberman.
Snoopy looks like a cool pup ! And how lucky is he to have such loving human beings around him... !
Rupali Garg said…
Hey, first time i visit here really intersting and lovable post. I luv puppies and your puppy look so beautiful.
My muma take care of our puppy same as your muma. this post is very heart touching, i love it. [-(
He is a funny one, thats for sure. No end to his energy levels... just keeps dashing from one corner of the house to the other.
Thanks Rupali. He is a real poser for photos.
SukKu said…
Am first time here typing something on your comment box.
Though I have been following you for a while but never happened to write to you till today as this post touched my heart.
This happens to be my huby's story too, where he had got home a dalmecian "buzo" who was simply adorable to say the least. But he survived for 04 years only, leaving behind a grieved family in us.
A whole year passed by but he was missed miserably by us untill the day my huby brought "Rocky" home - a GSD who is now driving the home mad right now.
Just thought of sharing it with you. Regret the length.
:)Tks for reading.
Afshan said…
I can understand the loss of a pet as my inlaws recently lost sandy a cute kitten [-(
sorry for ur loss but snoopy is cute too. PET love is really great
am not a pet lover but I understand its intensity
Happy snoopy coffee time ;) and all the best for the contest
Mina Menon said…
The most adoring post fo ambipur contest
! Loved it...
Hi Sukku. Thanks for coming by. Hope to see you more often here. Losing a pet who's been with us for awhile can be really painful. Sometimes the only way to get rid of that pain is to start loving again...
And please. I love long comments. Gives me more to reply back to. :D
Thanks Afshan. Snoopy seems to be quite intelligent but very restless. Tough to relax with him around running from one corner to the other constantly @-)
Thank you Mina. Welcome to Godyears :)
Anonymous said…
awww!! Snoopy is adorable and I'm sorry for your loss.. Ruby seems wonderful.
Ruby was a true gem.. devotedly loyal and caring. Maintained herself with a sense of dignity even down to her last week. Snoopy is definitely descended from Count Dracula - for a pup, his teeth are razor sharp! He's chasing the 2 year old Doberman who weighs 15 times his weight. Weird part is the doberman is running away :o
It's always so sad to lose one's dog...but so difficult to resist filling the gap with another one. I'm glad you got Snoopy - beagles are handful, aren't they? I love the video of your Dad bottle feeding him - reminds me of our little Linus - who we lost years ago.
oh my God. You have no idea. Our house has had dogs since the last 25 years of my life... even the doberman is not as much of a handful as this Snoopy. Where does he get so much energy!!? @-)

anjujo said…
same roshan.,.I miss our robin too..:( cant thinking of goin back hom without he waiting me near the gate..:(((
I know the feeling. Felt horrible coming back home after Ruby passed away. Robin was the last relative of Ruby alive, I think.
Illeen said…
I have read your older posts on your pets and know how attached you were to them. So I feel your loss.

Snoopy looks adorably naughty ..wish you many happy moments with him :)
Thanks Illeen... Snoopy is growing rapidly and proving an absolute bundle of joy; one that doesnt listen to a word we say, of course.
Anita said…
Hi Roshan,

I loved this post. Snoopy is absolutely ADORABLE, and I wonder how you can keep your hands off him for even a minute! I am so sorry to hear about Ruby...your parents must miss her so much.

I love all animals, and had a ginger cat Pommy Page (named by a friend after Tommy Page), who was more like a funny dog in his affections and mannerisms. I simply adored him. He slept with me every night, his head on my pillow, with one leg thrown over my waist for good measure. He had to sleep face-to-face. If I turned away in the middle of the night, he would come over to the other side, crawling under the sheet and laying his head on the pillow again. He smelt like talcum powder.

I can't describe how much joy he gave me. He loved carpets, the smell of cooking chicken, and rolling around in fresh laundry. He was such a loving, quirky, communicative cat, and even friends who weren't cat lovers warmed to him. He had that 'What, you don't like me? But I'm adorable!' quality that just made you smile and want to pet him. Which immediately gave him licence to jump onto your lap and make himself comfortable. If you were sick, he never left your side.

Pommy died when he was eleven and left a gaping hole in my heart. He was the best thing in my life. Even today, the thought of him brings easy tears, so I know how your mum feels. You have to own a pet and experience their exquisite, unconditional love to really understand the pain that comes with their passing away. The pain never really goes away. But I guess that's the price of love, isn't it?