Our little Red Riding Hood

Elli, formerly known an Electron.

What a life and what a bloody lucky soul. I mean, who in a lifetime gets to make 4 homes her own. And rightfully so- with all her love and might.

Red Ribbon, born to a lovely and patient mother Coco Hardikar on 6-January-2016 at PetSitters. Carefully raised and hand picked for a family who had a child with unique needs. The littlest red girl. The fighter coz she was the little one. Had to push her way up to get noticed, its her patience and resilience is what got her to be chosen as the “chosen one for this family”. The child was a Einstein Fan. So he named her Electron. I always wondered how do you call Electron with loads of love. That’s where somehow Elli stuck in my head. 4th March 2016 she stomped her way into her 2nd home (1st being PetSitters). Making a mark on the family day by day and learning the tricks of the trade by the minute on how to be a friend and a confidante to the child for whom she was a support. As the days went by, some situations changed and this family couldn’t cope up with the puppy hood and she was bought back to us.

In May 2016, she came back to her “aajol” – aaji chya ghari” (Chiquitta is her maternal grand mom) and her new innings started.

With a first experience I wanted to be careful with who I choose for her as a next family. She had the temperament of a therapy dog and I wanted to make sure I stick to the cause.

Days moved into weeks and then months and this girl just got better with her training and interactions at the Kennel. The same year in December we found a new family. Nuclear. A small child fond of dogs. Parents who were willing to adopt an older beagle and Elli went to her 3rd home in December 2016.

But that girl had it decided that it wasn’t her destiny. A year later,again some unavoidable medical circumstances came up with the family and Elli was back with us in December 2017.

Wasn’t really sure whether to laugh or cry. I had my heart set on her. I checked up on her the most. But then, I was just very happy that she hadn’t moved hands, but she was back with me again at kennel.

By now, we were doing pet therapy sessions and Ira, my partner in the The Pet Project, had started working full time. We started working with her in the meanwhile. Understanding. Gauging. Figuring what she knows and what she is capable of.

And she opened her world to us.

Calm, composed just like her grand mother. Eyes that leak compassion and urge you to talk. Stares that could even kill you ( yes, that also comes from the grandmother). And she learnt and she soaked in all the love, the learning, the company, the people and she made us our own – all over again.

She worked relentlessly with Ira on her projects ranging from Special children to making people comfortable with pets. Her largest project being the Old Age Centre that she visits twice her month as a part of Therapy.

She behaves,but she also throws her tantrums. And she bonded more and more with Ira in the process. She responded and, for me,when a dog responds to you, is the highest form of bond he/she can display.

She bonded with Coffee (Ira’s pet beagle). She loved her weekends spent at the Hulikavi household and the love they showered showed on her. She respected Misty (Ira’s pet Lab). She fell in love with Prasanna (Ira’s Mum) and she made Abhay (Ira’s father) her “baba”.

And she continued her life like this in between PetSitters and Hulikavi for a good 4 months. Till yesterday–28 June 2018, when she moved in permanently with them. To fill in a void that left the Hulikavi family in mourning. Misty died… And Elli, at that moment, knew what her job was- what she was always born to do–she now as of yesterday, lives happily ever after with the Hulikavi’s.

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No more moving homes for this girl. And this home was always written in her destiny.

-Shalaka

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