Pumbaa Nayar Thomas
Born on 10 October 2010
Came home on 4 November 2010
When the night has come…and the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we see
No I won’t be afraid, no I won’t be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me
If the sky that we look up on…should tumble and fall
And the mountain should crumble to the sea
I won’t cry, I won’t cry…no I won’t shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me
Whenever you’re in trouble, won’t you stand by me
Pumbaa, Pumbaa stand by me
Oh stand by me, stand by me, stand by me.
– from The Lion King
Some Pumbaastic Updates, 19 March 2011:
Pumbaa’s is now the love of the family. He has a granddad who adores him and pets him more than he’s petted even us, his very own kids! His grandma thinks he’s a “baby, and we should always be gentle”, even if he does the naughtiest thing and tries to pull a marley His chechi disciplines him, and then cuddles him — and thinks he’s the cutest thing on the face of earth! His two brothers love him soooo much, but admonishes him equally harshly. I think he loves his chechi the most
P.S.: Grandad is my dad; grandma is my mom; chechi is me (i used to be his mom, wonder when that changed to sister!) and the two brothers are the husband and my brother
He think all moving things that don’t walk on two legs are his enemies. That includes any branch of any plant that moves in the wind; all sheets that dangle from the sides of the beds; laundry put to dry; and curtains.
He thinks all the cushions and pillows in the house are his; oh, and it’s the same with the beds, sofas and couches.
Kitchen is his favourite place to rest. He thinks everything that’s cooked is for him and is awfully displeased if it’s not fed immediately!
He’s scared of steel, and the cacophony it makes when it clatters down (and we took advantage of that and use it to tell him “no” to something).
He thinks gas cylinders are some kind of extra-terrestrial dog-butchers. The sight or sound of one sends him zipping towards the cool darkness of a bed or sofa!
Carrot is his favourite mid-meal snack. Give him one and he takes it to his “blue-carpet” cafeteria and stays there till he finishes it. If you make him “stay” outside the door and give him one, he’ll save it till the time he has access to the blue carpet
Noodles make him sick and go like noodles the next time he poops :D. So does any meant-for-human biscuits.
He loves to sleep on his back, with all four legs pointed at the sky He di that as a baby, and still does that!
He obeys “come”, “stay” and “take”. He thinks all the other commands we’re trying to teach him are just OUR excuse to treat him to his favourite “crunchy, bone-shaped biscuits”
Everytime he sees a laptop on a sofa, couch or bed, he feels compelled to walk over the keypad!
Everytime we ask him “aaru vannu” (who’s there?), he runs to the door and looks out the gate
The only time he obeys when you tell him not to be naughty is when you’re in front of the puja room and tell him “velakku kathikkatte…akramam kaanikkalle” (let me lihgt the lamp; pls don’t do any mischief right now).
He responds to “chakkare”, “kudukke”, “thakkudu”, “kudukudu” and “pumbaa” with furious wagging of his tail. But if he’s in a comfy position, he won’t budge or come running!
He loves his bath, and is an absolute angel throughout. The longer it is, the better
When we go out for “walkie-walkie”, he doesn’t give a damn if 10 huge stray dogs surround us and growl and snarl. He looks at all of them in agood humoured way, as if telling them to stay away. If they get too close, he lets out a deep snarl and they disappear!
When we go out for “walkie-walkie”, if a dog of good pedigree comes our way, he quickly hides behind our legs. And if it gets too close, he tried to disappear!
His favourite evening-time hobby is sitting by the gate and watching the
world residents of the layout walk by. And anytime a pretty, well-dressed, perfumed girl walks by, he gets all excited and wags his tail and supersonic speed. He doesnt even twitch an ear if its a guy, or normal, women.
He loves travelling by car; and luckily for me, he can’t survive in there without the ac
His favourite chew-toy is my shoe, my sandal, my sneaker, my chappal, my floater! Grrr!
If he wants something from you, he sits by you, sniffles at your feet, lick you jeans, and lick wherever he can. And once he gets what he wants, he tries to stay as far away from you lest we take it away
He can reach up to the bed and also climb up, but he’ll never do that in the morning, even if you sleep in for hours. Unless he realises you’re wide awake, and till you actually put your feet down, he’ll wait without disturbing you or making the slightest commotion (He does all his mischief silently, and keeps a massacred area ready for you to clean when you come out rubbing your eyes! Sigh!)
If you surprise him in the midst of a naughty streak by walking into him, he immdiately lies down and pretends to be-bored-with-life-and-am-almost-drifting-into-sleep-state!!!!!!!!! There have been numerous times I’ve walked into a room to see him furiously rolling around, chewing on an earphone or a pen or a remote. The moment he spots me, he slackens, lies perfectly still, shuts his mouth and looks at me as if saying “Looking for something? Am just drifting off to sleep, so don’t expect me to hunt for it”!!!
More Pumbaastic Updates, 1 March 2012:
He is now a year and 5 months, almost. But he refuses to acknowledge that. He still is (and looks like he always will be) a kid.
He devours bananas. He takes—one at a time—from a bunch that’s kept on the fruit tray below the dining table, goes to his snack bar, peels it, eats it and leaves the skin there. The first time I saw this happening, I gaped.
He eats dates, most carefully. He devours it like it’s the last morsel of food he’ll ever get—and then he slowly lowers his head and rolls out his tongue, from which will roll out a spotless date seed.
He is no longer the aviyal-loving, curd-loving, give-me-anything-home-made-and-I-shall-eat sweet little thing anymore. He has preferences. :-/
There are days when he just decides he does not want to eat on his own. So he’ll look at his plate, walk around, look at one of us, walk around…generally letting us know “I’m hungry, but I am not going to eat by myself”. One of us takes it bit by bit and feed him like feeding a little kid, and he finished every morsel of food on his plate
When in one of his moods, he hunts out every single piece of chicken/beef/fish from the rice-meat mix we give him and leaves every grain of rice there!
He does NOT appreciate Pedigree or anything similar for more than one day (or two, max!) at a time.
The ONE thing he cannot stay away from, and drools till there’s a sea around him, is “the cake”! He cannot even control himself from jumping up and biting it right off your hand (without hurting you of course!) It always amazes us, his greed for cakes
He understands every.single.thing we say about/to him. How he responds/obeys, is totally dependent on his mood though
The one command he obeys unconditionally is “Stay”. For every other command, he obeys or ignores those based on the presence or absence of food in the commander’s hands
When we ask him where his “toy” is, he scrambles all over the house like mad till he finds it. After that, he expects us to play with him till he tires out. And if we try to ignore him, he catches hold of our legs (one paw across a leg, holding it close to his head so we wont move!) and makes sure we say “OK, let’s play!”
Every time he comes with the toy to play, if we tell him “I have work, Pumbaa. I’ve to cook/eat/clean up. I’ll play with you after that”, he puts the toy down and lies beside it, following our every move. The moment that particular work is done, he comes to us with the toy, almost asking“You’re done now. Can we play?”
We have different names for his toys, and he identifies each one when we ask for a specific one by name! [Yes, I know some kids who can do that :D]
He is in love! With pretty little “Twinkle”, a Beagle that stays in our neighbourhood. Well, I’m in love with her too! But this is like serious love! The minute she reaches close to our gate, she starts pulling on her leash and makes sure there’s a stop at our gate. As for Pumbaa, whatever he is doing right then, he ditches it all, and bounds down the stairs. Then there’s much kissing and licking and pawing from two sides of a gate. It’s the cutest sight. Really. And when Twinkle is led away and looks back forlornly, her owners promise to bring her the next day, and she lets out one tine woof and goes off. Replay happens next day evening
He gets extremely jealous if he sees any of us hugging/kissing someone other than him. Suraj hugs me, he jumps at Suraj. My brother hugs me, he jumps at my brother. My brother hugs my mother, he jumps at my brother. I hug my mother, he jumps at my mother OK…looks like my mom and I are his alone!
There are times when Suraj leashes him to our living room door (for too much mischief), and he lies down there patiently. Till he sees that I’ve sat down beside Suraj on the couch. He can no longer sleep, but he would still lie there, watching us all the time. I would then slowly lean on to Suraj…and Pumbaa would invariably sit up straight and let out pathetic whines. And then Suraj would put his arm around me and hold me close—and Pumbaa would be on his feet, whining, barking, pulling at his leash and being generally pissed off till we both laugh and say “OK…we won’t touch”. He then becomes quiet, and sits, but not quite happily, till I go pet him. He then goes off to sleep till I sit near Suraj the next time
He thinks anyone except Amma is allowed to scold him. Amma, however, is his playmate. No matter what he does how, she is NOT supposed to scold. He sulks like mad if she does
He sniffs our backsides all the time I read somewhere that that’s how dogs collect data/information about people. Why he has to collect data on the same people every time they get up from their seats, beats me! There are times we have to stand pressed to the wall and say “No, Pumbaa. No!” and he gives us a forlorn look and backs off. Not for long, though. He has even learnt to do it discreetly. The embarrassment, however, is when he sniffs and then blows his nose loudly and forcefully, shaking his head, like he just inhaled some hydrogen sulphide!
More Pumbaastic Updates, 7 October 2012:
In another 3 days, he will turn two! Oh my god. How time flies. Beeg boy he is now; only, he doesn’t know that, and refuses to even want to know
He had an attack of gluten allergy recently. The last time I was home, no matter how lightly you pat him, anywhere on his body, he’d be extremely ticklish. Took him to the vet who said it could be a gluten problem. Asked us to avoid giving him his favourite chappatis and cake and generally all things sweet. Poor baby.
Whenever my brother raises his voice (generally in frustration at technology issues), Pumbaa runs to pacify him, thinking his presence can make everything alright. And well, works like a charm, every single time
Whenever I video chat with my folks back home, I call out to Pumbaa, with a few words ONLY I use on him. He comes, peers at the screen for a while, registers my face…and then goes mad, wags his tail furiously…and eventually jump on my brother or Amma, whoever is sitting there
The moment he realises he may have done something wrong, he bolts and hides under the sofa He thinks we can’t reach him there. Happened twice last time i was home, and how much I laughed! We were all sitting around the dining table in the evening, having tea. Pumbaa was also lying beside my chair. Amma slowly stepped around him, and in the process knocked over her cup of tea. And I loudly asked “What are you doing Amma?”…and Pumbaa bolted. ROFL. Took a lot of convincing before he believed he was not at fault for the spilt tea. A day later, I was playing tug with him, and as I let go of his toy, he jumped towards me with the toy dangling from his mouth. It came and hit me on my nose, right where I’d pierced it. And I went “Ouch”. In fact, I did not make a sound. I just stiffened, and clutched my face. And he bolted. ROFL. Despite the pain and the million stars dancing around, I had to get down on all fours to convince him he didn’t do anything, and was still my sweetheart
He gets two boiled eggs every morning, between 10 and 12. Wherever he is — terrace, near the gate, in my brother’s room, in a slumber — at the sound of shell cracking, he’s at Amma’s side!
Whenever Amma goes out, he goes into depression. From the time she dresses up till she actually leaves, he’s this nicechild — all love, convincing her that it’s absolutely safe to take him along too. And when she actually does leave, he cocks his head to the right and looks at her, asking “How can you!?” Awww moment it always is. And no matter what treat she leaves him with, he refuses to eat till she’s back. And when she returns, he grabs the abandoned treat, goes to his ‘snack bar’ and munches on it, as if to say “Oh!I’m busy, and don’t really care you’re back, you abandoner!”
Amma made him an excellent bed, got him accustomed to using a pillow and everything. It lasted for 2 days. He prefers the settee in the living room Being the sensible one he is, he knows NOT to get on it during the day. And when it is bed time, dad brings out his bed sheet and covers the settee with it. All the while Pumbaa keeps trotting from one side to the other, impatient to get on it. It is only when dad says “OK” that he gets on it, though. Darling.
He hates ticks being plucked out of him. but the moment we take on out, he gets all restless, and has to be allowed to peer/sniff at it before we kill it Such a funny sight it is!
He loves the fisher woman that comes to our place. All the while that she’s at work cutting and cleaning the fish Amma buys, he sits by her side, giving her company. He does NOT lick at the fish. He has no plans to run off with a piece. No hidden agendas. Just wants to patiently sit by her side, making sure she doesn’t feel lonely. She loves him too, which is a good thing. Calls him her “muthu” (pearl/something precious) there. Cuteness overload.
Whatever we buy — stationery, clothes, all non-vegetables — have to be given to him to sniff, and approve for use It’s funny how he religiously sniffs every single item, then walks away without claiming any of the items. Chakkara.
Dad buys a kilo of beef every Sunday, then chops it up and divides it into 6 equal packs and stores in the freezer; taking one measure out everyday for his meal. Every Sunday, as Dad chops the beef, Pumbaa sits beside him patiently, drooling a sea around him, catching with precision the few pieces dad tosses at him Want to learn the art of patience? Be with Pumbaa during Sunday beef session
What hasn’t changed
- The ass sniffing
- Understanding every.single.thing we say about/to him
- Loving us unconditionally; being loved right back, equally unconditionally
- Being a blessing
- Being a joy to be around
- Being the light of our lives
- Being Pumbaastic
At the end of a weary day at work, coming home to him makes us feel on top of the world.
After surviving a crazy day at work, crazier traffic on the road, and reaching home drained,
Pumbaa’s welcome makes us forget all of life’s problems.
Wake up in the morning, looking/feeling our worst; the way Pumbaa greets us “woofmorning”
makes us feel we’re the most blessed people on earth
Scold him, punish him or ignore him, he’s always there the next moment,
wagging that lovely tail, letting us know we’re forgiven, and that he still thinks the world of us!
When someone hurts us, judges us, blames us or makes us angry and unhappy,
one look at Pumbaa and we know
there’s one living being who loves, accepts and appreciates us UNCONDITIONALLY.
Pumbaa, you are awesome! There is a LOT to learn from you and your kind for me and my kind