Meet Lassie, a very opinionated golden retriever who calls the shots in the Sardesai home…
For a golden retriever, Kalyani Sardesai says Lassie is far more proactive than she imagined. At five years, there’s little of that calm associated with the breed. Much the opposite, Lassie is full of beans, always. Like when she hears the car keys and knows she is being taken for a drive. And when she sees a human willing to play endless games of fetch. But her one big job is being the security officer, to keep out only one species – cats!
Lassie hurls herself across the lawn chasing cats like her life depends on it. At other times she finds ways to keep Kalyani, a journalist, writer and corporate trainer, far far away from work. If that doesn’t work, dear Lassie keeps bringing a ball or a frisbee for Kalyani to throw for her!
If that isn’t calling the shots, what is?
Her current favourite activity is lapping up the buttermilk and wiping her face on Kalyani’s legs, however much Kalyani works to avoid it. “For all her naughtiness, there’s no mean bone in her body. She loves us enormously,” says Kalyani of her girl. That love and patience is according to what is said about the breed. But, every dog is different. “Breed characteristics prepare you for what you can expect, but every dog is different. Pet parents need to understand that!”
She plonks herself on the bed when she feels like it, shows her displeasure when she is asked to leave her room by barking her disappointment and gets everybody around her comfortable by just being herself.
Not Cat Crazy
The only thing Kalyani can’t figure out is the cat hatred. “I just don’t know why! Just yesterday, a cat appeared on our wall. Lassie couldn’t reach it and went crazy barking and running all around trying to reach it. The cat stared at her, perhaps got fed up of her attempts and left,” laughs Kalyani.
Luckily, the cats around have wizened up to Lassie’s dislike and stay out of reach.
Kalyani is quite the doting parent. She can watch Lassie for hours. “There’s never a dull moment in the way she looks at me when I talk to her when she is guilty, happy, sad, excited or just staring into space,” she says.
“More human than canine, it’s just that Lassie does not speak in our language. To me she speaks without speaking,” smiles Kalyani. And Lassie understands. “If I’m sad she knows it, as she does when I’m irritated or happy and tunes herself accordingly.
I can’t ask for better,” she pats Lassie. As we say our bye byes, Lassie stands up, suddenly alert, cocks an ear and races after a cat who scurries up their garden wall and looks scornfully at the jumping dog!
Yes, she does wear her security officer hat just right!