To love and to be loved by Gabbar Singh…

I wish I could believe in life after death. And in heaven and hell. And I wish I could believe that they are together again.

The most dog-hearted dog I knew – filled with unimaginable amounts of enthusiastic loving lay in the entrance to my bedroom yesterday morning… maybe waiting for me.

It had been a busy morning. Three months ago I had created ‘In our hearts forever’ – the grief support group I have mentioned earlier. We were to have our second meeting at my place. I had been down with cold and congestion and was glad to be feeling well enough to host this second meeting.

I remember noticing Gabbar Singh Proton (his full name) holding his leash in his mouth – a delighted smile on his face, because – it was yet another awesome morning – he was being taken for a walk. He was happy. I am glad I remember this.

Ordinary activities of an ordinary morning have become a source of comfort. When he got back from his walk, I had given him omelette and boiled rice mashed together. He ate a little, dropped a lot (as usual) and then decided to finish Mutt‘s share too (Mutt had rejected it and demanded a slice of brownie). I remember laughing and talking to him and telling him how adorable he was. He was used to being loved. He was happy. This brings comfort too.

Then I had got a call and remained stuck on the phone and in the kitchen, sending sunny pictures of cooking activity… of sandwiches, gajar halwa, brownies and ginger chai, to the husband.

I remember sometime around 8 am, the help had called to say “Gabbar Singh is not getting up, I have to clean under his mattress.” This was usual. The dogs didn’t like to be disturbed – specially when it was cold. On other days, I got him to sit in another, sunnier part of the house, but since I was busy, I asked her to let him be, to clean around him. Had I not been so busy, would I have seen some signs of what was to follow?

Around nine I turned towards my room and saw him on the floor. Nothing unusual in that, and yet something must have seemed odd. I went closer – his tongue was hanging out…  I placed my hand on his head and asked, “Are you okay baby?” And he hiccupped and I now realise, he died. Just like that. I didn’t realise it then and called out to Brat Two and loosened his jacket thinking the hiccup was an indication that he was uncomfortable… We called the Vet. It seemed impossible that he could die so suddenly. He had been fine. Old yes, but not ill.

The Vet said this was not common but did happen sometimes, yes it could have been a heart failure, and no, he did not suffer. He was waiting for me to breath his last. I feel honored. Sad, very sad, also shocked by the suddenness of it… but also glad that it all happened the way it did. Glad he was not hospitalised. Glad he died quickly. Glad I got to see him go. Glad my hand was on his forehead.

Related Posts:

the silliness of loving

Same old story and misunderstood cats.

In Mumbai it seems life is easier…

A Dog’s Vocabulary

Under the influence of the winter sun in Dilli Ki Sardi.


44 thoughts on “To love and to be loved by Gabbar Singh…

  1. Hugs IHM.. I know that it must be difficult for the family. And yes, things are better the way they happened.. For him to go out in your presence and a quick and painless manner. The memories will be cherished by us all. Hang in there


  2. I don’t know why, but I feel, and can say with a certain amount of conviction that TJ and Proton are together now and are sharing the selfless love they both had to give. And he went peacefully because he knew he won’t be alone even in the afterlife and accepted it as there is someone looking out for him.


  3. Dear IHM,

    Sorry for your loss. Reminded me of my Preeti he waited for me until the end and then my mom had to lie to him that I was at the door but the truth is I was three states away. Parents wrote me fake letters for 3 months about his improving health and discouraged me from coming home for vacations. They did not know how to break it to me.
    My heart goes out to you and family.
    May he rest in peace, meet my Preeti in doggie heaven and then go meet TJ

    Love to you,


  4. Hugs IHM.. Dogs always go to heaven. That’s what I believe. But his presence in the house will be sorely missed..

    I am not afraid of death because I know I will be greeted by all the dogs I have lost and we shall never be separated again.


  5. Dear IHM, So sorry for your loss. I am a long time reader to this blog don’t comment but this I just had too. So sorry to hear about Gabbar Singh’s passing. I will give my own fluffy princess a special hug. Sending you lots of cyber vibes.


  6. Lost my golden lab, just like Proton, at 13 this past September. Exactly the same way Proton passed on. He had his dinner, played around with me and we took our evening stroll, he went to take his nap and when the watchman went to put their beds down for the evening, he said T “hil nahin raha hai, usse hatna hai, bed lagana hai.” The family was with him in his last moments, I remember one last feeble glimmer in his eyes before he went. No suffering, nothing. And for that, I suppose I’m glad. Dogs have brought me the purest form of happiness and love I have ever felt in my life, much more than any human family ever could. My heart goes out to you, IHM. All of the love and hugs to you.


  7. This seems to be a terrible week. Another blogger I follow lost her cat just two days before. Ugh. So sorry about Gabbar Singh Proton (what a lovely name!), and like you, I’m glad that he did not suffer. A friend’s Dal (and my grandpup’s beau) passed away in this exact manner… he was just 2! They bring such joy into our lives, these creatures, and they teach us so much by just being their loving selves. Sigh. Thank you, Gabbar Singh, for bringing us some chuckles and “awwws” via IHMs posts about you. :* ❤


  8. Hugs IHM! I am 100% sure that all dogs go to heaven, how can they not! Their is never a single bad thought or deed to their name! I never believed in heaven till I lost my best buddy/ sister/ love of my life J. I say lost cause 8 years 3 houses later I can still feel her presence, if I wake up a little sooner, get out of bed a little faster and am sure I will catch up her.

    I hope you adopt another dog soon, not to replace Gabbar, cause no on can, but cause he’s want you to give the chance that he had to others to be loved, be a part of your family. J’s place in my bed may be taken over, but in her place in my heart there still lives a white ball of fur who followed me everywhere!


  9. My deepest condolences.
    I have recently started working with an ngo which deals with abandoned animals. The amount of neglect ,abuse and downright evil that I have seen in the last few months…..

    Just as I believe you were blessed to have him in your life, I do think that he was blessed to have found a beautiful home and such a loving family to appreciate him.

    I have noticed that in all your photos of Gabbar he always has a very serene and contented expression. A peaceful last day,a good meal and his best friend at his side at the end….he did choose how he wanted to go.


  10. Aww,…I have no idea about a pet dying ,….but I once ages ago when I was 6-7 years old we had a parrot ,….once I forgot to close his cage and he flew off !
    I know it feels bad !:(


  11. I believe in life as a form of energy. It can therefore neither be created nor destroyed [Third law of thermodynamics], but it mutates. So he’s gone in the form of Gabbar Singh but will manifest as another energy source somewhere in your life. Anyhoo, this philosophy does little to console… so being a dog lover and having had pets all my life, I would like to say – I grieve with you.


  12. So much happiness he brought you and you gave him. “He was used to being loved” – a huge thing for animals, the only thing. They don’t think, just love…just the thing for every family. He’s happy, IHM, wherever he is…I think dogs are one step away from Nirvana, not much to improve, if you ask me.


  13. Accept my deepest condolences, IHM. I’ll never understand how it is to have and lose a pet but your words speak volumes about how deeply you were touched by your Gabbar…RIP dear one!


  14. Broke my heart ! God bless his loving soul.
    Dogs have only one thing to give to humans..and that is Love.
    Dogs are full of love , no matter how their owner treat them.

    Loads of love and blessing to the departed loving soul.

    Sad 😥


  15. Pingback: Simbly Bored» Blog Archive » Life…

  16. I am really sorry IHM for your loss. But such is the love you both shared that he made sure he felt you for one last time. That is the unconditional love that only a pet can give you. Now I love my pet a lot more 🙂


  17. I’ve always been a fan of Gabbar Singh, and this was hard to read, first thing in the morning, but also very beautiful. The idea that he was waiting for you! My heart broke, in a good way. My condolences for your loss, and here’s hoping that he’s now thumping his tail to Tj’s rendition of “Tu meri idli dosa hai” 🙂


  18. Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
    There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
    There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
    The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

    Author unknown…


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