Though Thunder and Lightning have passed away, Stormy is still here. Over 12 happy years, he has become inseparable from his masters. But he is sick now; he has osteoporosis. And the masters, on the brink of depression, want to do all they can for their be-all and end-all. They are ready to shut down business and devote more time to him. They want to try stem cell treatment to save their Lab.
Despite all their efforts, KVR Unni (70) and his wife Lily (63), based in Borivli, are finding it difficult to overcome Stormy’s plight. “We lost our pet Thunder, a Cocker Spaniel, in 2008. He died a natural death. It was cancer that claimed Lighting, a Rottweiler, in 2010,” said Unni. Lily had specially flown to immerse the remains of Thunder in the Ganga, and the ashes of Lightning at Trimbakeshwar, Nashik. Incidentally, the couple has a factory named after the dogs’ initials: TSL Pvt Ltd or Therapeutics and Sound Living. The canine trio would accompany the couple to the factory every day. Stormy still does. And if he gives up, Unni and Lily might not be able to endure it.
“All three (pets) were like our children (the couple has five kids, all settled). God forbid, if anything happens to Stormy, we might just shut down the factory. It was tough enough bearing the loss of Thunder and Lightning,” Unni said. No puppy love, this Maybe it was Stormy who kept them going. “When Thunder was five, we got Stormy; both gelled well and became great pals,” Unni said. Thunder along with Stormy and Lightning used to accompany the couple in a special car to their office in Dahisar (West). “Stormy is a part of our life and family,” he said. And now, his ailing condition is bothering the senior citizens no end. They are ready to do anything to ensure that he recovers and stays with them for a few more years.
“Stormy is a loving member of our family. We celebrate his birthday every year by cutting a cake and calling a few children with their dogs from the neighbourhood. He will turn 13 on July 17,” said Unni. The couple takes Stormy to a grooming salon once every two months. Each session - for hair snips, massages, and other spruce-up acts – costs Rs 1,000. A special Ayurvedic massage used to comfort Stormy during the initial stages of the osteoporosis, but for the last week, he has not even been able to move.
“Even after being lifted to the toilet, Stormy was finding it difficult to defecate due to the problem in his front leg. We are concerned. He is like our child and we do not hesitate in handling him as such,” said the old couple. “Since Stormy is unwell, one of us remains in the house to take care of him. We do not feel like going to work. Stormy need us. And we are there for him,” Lily said.
Unni added that just two days ago, while surfing the Internet, he learnt about the stem cell treatment given to animals, which is very effective. He managed to contact a Delhi-based expert who said he would try and treat Stormy. Asked about the expenses they would incur for the treatment, Unni said, “I am not bothered about the money. We want to see Stormy walking again. He should spend a few more years with us. I am hopeful the stem cell treatment will work on Stormy.”
The couple added that Stormy is fond of music. He specially likes listening to Kolavari Di.“It was tough to live without our Thunder and Lighting. It will be too much to even think of getting another puppy as Stormy’s replacement. They have given us an abundance of love and affection, which cannot be expressed in words,” Unni said. He now desires to build a memorial to the two dearly departed dogs, or engage in philanthropy for animal welfare as a tribute to his pets.
A Stormy day
The Labrador’s daily routine is:
5.30 am: wake up
7 am: go for a walk
8 am: bathe, shampoo, lave, brush teeth
8.30 am: breakfast: chappatis, boiled chicken with garlic ginger paste, oats, chocolate drink, and plenty of water
9.30 am: get driven to office in an AC car
Noon: snacks (Royal Canine — dry food)
4 pm: get back home (driver drops them home in car)
4.30 pm: two chappatis and water/milk
5 pm: go for a walk
5.30 pm: get back home
7 pm: watch TV
10.30 pm: go to bed, in the master bedroom