Humans Of Stella #2

-Photographed by – Samyuktha Shivachandran, II B.A. English

-Samyuktha Shivachandran, II B.A. English

For as long as I can remember, my brother and I wanted a dog.
My parents finally said yes, after about five years of begging them. Our uncle was supposed to bring a dog home on the 15th of August. However, even just a day before the 15th, my mom was wary about us getting a dog, so nothing was set in stone.
On the 15th, my uncle showed up empty handed, and we were heartbroken. But, that only lasted five minutes, because waiting for us in my uncle’s car, in a Saravana stores bag was none other than my goofball, Zack.

After we brought him home, he peed and pooped everywhere! But the fact that we had finally convinced our parents to get a dog made us so ecstatic that we didn’t complain about all the mess that Zack had made.

Over the years Zack has helped my brother and I mature a lot because of all the responsibilities that come with taking care of a dog. All this happened when I was just 8 years old. So, Zack and I have basically grown up together. Zack has gotten all the love and pampering from our family. What was once my parents’ room is now Zack’s room, and my parents just happen to sleep there.
One thing about Zack is that he hates being left alone. So now, being clingy is a huge part of his personality. But then again, how could anybody possibly complain about that? From my perspective, getting any attention from a pet is such a blessing.

I can’t imagine living without Zack; the house and our lives would feel extremely empty.
My grandmother recently started having issues with hearing, so whenever the bell or the phone rings, she wouldn’t notice at all, but Zack would make it a point to show her by barking, and that’s the only way she would know that someone is at the door.

The relationship that Zack and I share is a lot different from how he is with the rest of my family. They all do different things for him: like taking him on walks or feeding him. So, he respects them in a certain sense. I, on the other hand, am not used to doing any of that. So, I always joke about it saying, ‘Oh, I am his least favorite family member’, but in my head, I know it isn’t true. Zack may respect them a lot or even listen to them more, but the two of us share a different kind of bond. A bond similar to what two best friends would share; it’s very easy going but is also filled with a lot of love.
After a long day, when I come back home tired, Zack will accompany me by sitting on my lap, and we just laze around together. We’ll sit together for hours doing absolutely nothing. That’s one part of my day I really love and look forward to.
If I had to describe Zack in a couple of words, I’d fail terribly. For how could I possibly put all that he is, all that he means, or all that he has given us, in just a few words? I can’t. He is the most precious and loving being I know.
Zack has always shared a special bond with humans. In fact, he is so much more of a ‘people’s person’ than I’ll ever be. But, at the end of the day, it serves as a perfect balance
In fact, he notices everything. If he sees anyone fighting or upset he immediately runs up to them. It’s not like he actively does anything, he’ll just come sit next to you, and that by itself is a lot more emotional support than you’d get from any other human in general. Small but impactful things like this truly make me believe that dogs are a lot more sensitive and loving than human beings will ever be.
As cheesy as it sounds, Zack has definitely taught me a lot over the years, and I would not be the same person I am today if it weren’t for him.

-Nichele Venkitachalam, I Zoology


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