HUMOUR: DECCAN HERALD/A MATE FOR BOSS

DECCAN HERALD/20 Sept 2000


                                    In Dogged Pursuit

                                                               By Sheila Kumar






I'm looking for a mate for my Boss. Before the unsuspecting reader jumps to the startling conclusion that I am matchmaking for my employer, I must clarify that Boss is my Golden Retriever. Even as Goldens go, Boss is gorgeous. Sable coloured with velvet brown eyes and a most affable disposition, he's a stunning chappie. What's more, he has a pedigree and a family tree so studded with champions, it would put many a human family tree of prominent lineage to shame. But at a little under three years, Boss is still a bachelor.

The search has been on in earnest, for quite a while now. Our requirements initially were, or so we thought, quite reasonable: a top drawer  pedigree, a light golden coat, a vice-free nature and of course, drop dead good looks. Trimmed toenails, clean teeth and an ability to fetch and as well as scan the daily newspaper for the headlines would undoubtedly be assets. We posted notices, spread the news that we were in the market for a dog-in-law and waited for the deluge.

Only, there was no deluge. Maybe word has spread that we are too demanding, suggested my husband. Boss wagged his magnificent tail in agreement and shot me a reproving look. The days they were a- passing and it was clear the mongrel brigade in the locality was hooting in derision. It was time to hunt on a war footing. With reduced expectations, of course. 

We saw two lovely Goldens but both were male. We saw a cute Golden and she was female. Negotiations were started, we were invited to tea at her owner's place and matters seemed to be progressing well. The female Golden was brought into the parlour after tea, her coat brushed to a high gleam. Before we could make her acquaintance though, she jumped onto the tea table, quaffed three cupcakes in rapid succession, broke a china sugar pot and upset the rabri. We made our polite exit as soon as we could. This underbred, wild creature was no proper mate for Boss.

We saw a beauty of a Golden  in Kotagiri. She was of noble lineage too, except her great- grandmother had turned rabid. What if the sins of the great- grandparents were visited on the litter of the following generations? We opted out, aware that we were fast acquiring a reputation of  being picky in-law types.

The vet at Wellington called. He had found a `sweet` female retriever, he said. We rushed over. Here too, the visit involved some tea-drinking. As we sat sipping from our cups, a dog entered the room. A strange dog, it was unlike any dog I had seen. It had a brownish-red coat with tufts of fur here and there. One ear stood up, in the fashion of the best Alsation. The other flopped, quite like a spaniel's ear. And oh yes, this dog had a small curly tail. 

We stared in stupefaction  ``She's Sundari,`` the vet told us proudly. ``Her father is a German Shepherd and her mother is a Golden..no, a red setter.``  I opened my mouth to ask about that curly tail,  then thought better of it. At which, in the best tradition of  in-law visits, we suddenly remembered a pressing engagement and scooted, promising to get back to the vet. 

By this time, Boss was beginning to look a bit down in the mouth. He took to sulking. Then the vet rang with some good news. He'd found a two-year-old female retriever rejoicing in the name of Lyndsey. Lyndsey behaved with demure circumspection when we went to look her over. Our search seemed at an end.

We should have known better. After all the astral and physical configurations were found to be promising, Boss spent a couple of nights at Lyndsey's place. Nothing happened. Then Lyndsey came over and spent the weekend at out place. Nothing happened. This was definitely not love at first sight. Or, for that matter, second or third sight, either. 

The search for a mate for Boss is still on. Now we will settle for a good-looking Golden with a pleasant disposition  It doesn't matter if she can`t sit, come to heel or roll over. Boss is not getting any younger, you see. 

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