The Charm of a ‘Dogged’ Life

I have never more closely thought about all the different connotations of the adverb ’doggedly’ than in the past year. This query was inspired since we adopted a highly energetic 6-month-old female Labrador and learnt to ‘doggedly’ become masterful at several things previously ignored.

1. We learnt to dumb down and simplify, rediscover the inner child without getting caught up in mental narratives of the past or projections about the future. Whether it is decimating an expensive shoe, playing catch, or wolfing down her food, Phoebe (as we call her) is focused only on the task at hand.

2. Raising phoebe united my family and I, in a way we hadn’t experienced. With the challenge of fulfilling her protein needs in a largely vegetarian diet, or scheduling her walks, play times etc- Creativity has seeped into how we approach new situations, bringing us out of our hideouts behind the screens.

3. Quite like in the movie Marley and me, Phoebe’s presence is like a storm waiting to happen. Though predictably unpredictable, the exhilaration and excitement she brings to life allows one to unwind and destress naturally.

4. Regardless of how much Phoebe has been chastised, she is ever forgiving, completely obliterating any impression of past hardship. A master of soulful looks, she can guilt us into getting her way with no need for drama. Instantly.

It’s ever so refreshing to be reminded how little one needs in order to be joyous and grateful – a healthy body, mind, a regular routine, and a sense of productivity. The importance and regularity of demonstrating physical affection generates happiness that rubs off on us all.

And somewhere in the middle of all this, our best life lessons simply get internalized.


  1. You remind me of Lassie we had years back. She made us realise how human dogs are. If someone was sick in our home, she would be at the bedside, never away. Shoes chewed away, socks torn off, only ripe mangoes stolen away, remains left behind our sofa! Ripe tomatoes would disappear from my dad’s garden, she would not eat until my mom fed her first morsel of her food.


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