A CHANGE OF HEART
I have been treating Vivian’s dogs Rani and Poppy for four years . Both dogs are look alike, but they are far apart in their character. I have known Rani, the younger one, from the time I vaccinated her as a four month old puppy. Each time Rani was placed on top of the examining table she would sit nonchalantly, or start licking my hands and face, softening me to extent of being hesitant to give the painful injection to this loveable little dog.
Poppy, on the other hand, was an aged Tibetan terrier, with a predilection for biting and tasting my fingers. Treating this one is always a nightmare, even for a small job like cutting the nails, I had to anesthetise it. Poppy has been suffering from skin disease for many years. During the summer time the skin would take a turn for the worse with sores all over the body. It is customary for Poppy to bite and pull out her fur. I know for sure that it is a sign of some form of allergy but could not trace the allergen that affected Poppy.
As I do not know exact cause, I used trial and error methods such as applying an insecticide for fleas, or changing Poppy’s diet. My treatments managed to reduce the severity of the skin disease but I could not find a complete cure.
After an interval of six months, one bright sunny morning, Vivian came to the clinic with her two dogs Rani and Poppy for their yearly vaccination. I noticed she had changed the colour of her hair. It used to be black in colour, but on this day it was blondish and trimmed neatly. The gloss of her lipstick shimmered and I could almost see my face in it. Earlier I never paid much attention to Vivian when she came with her four grown-up daughters. They came as a family bringing the dogs to my clinic. She was looked more like any other housewife in her mid-forties.
In the rear vision mirrors there is a blind spot which does not reflect the cars coming from behind. Driving blindly at times is common with men and women. They accept blind spots as a routine thing. But today, seeing her after a long absence, I could see a captivating shine in Vivian’s face which I had never seen before.
“How are you Vivian” I asked her,
Poppy and Rani were there to be vaccinated which is done annually. I examined both the dogs and vaccinated them. In direct contrast to the past, Poppy’s skin looked fresh with shiny coat and the sores on the skin seemed to have vanished.
“Vivian, Poppy’s skin is in excellent condition. Anything special that you have done? Any change in food or surroundings?” I asked her.
“There is nothing special; at present my husband is not with us. Other than that, there is nothing special” she answered.
Although I was taken aback by her statement, but I proceeded to examine the dog as if nothing was wrong.
Once the check-ups were over she left the clinic after paying my fees.
Next time I met her was when she came when Vivian came to buy a flea product after a few months.
I looked at her straight in to her eyes and told her: “Please excuse me for discussing your personal matter, but I have seen changes in you. I think this change has been good for you, Vivian”
She was quick to respond. As if nothing had happened she said:
‘My husband and I had marital relationship for more than quarter century. Before marriage we lived together 7 years. He had abandoned our 32 years relationship and gone away with a bimbo who was working in our café. Without my knowledge, he had a relationship with her for six months. Apart from these sordid activities of what angered me more is that he had gone to London with her on holiday. What I cannot bear the most is the stand taken by my daughters which is far worse than the treachery perpetrated by my husband. At the beginning my daughters who were at daggers drawn with my husband are now sympathising with him and making pleas on his behalf.
I realised that the children were playing their usual game of not taking sides in marital affairs of their parents. They prefer to be neutral conciliators.
I gave her a sympathetic look.
‘’No longer am I gloomy,” she said. “A new person has entered my life. He seems to have charmed me.”
‘Well, Vivian, when one door closes, it is usual for at least a window to open.’
“Believe it or not, Poppy’s skin disease has got cured too and I think it’s because my husband left us..”
“I cannot give an explanation based on a medical point of view, but it is a great surprise that a skin problem that lasted for several years has got healed.’
“It is my good fortune and that of Poppy too that my husband walked away from our marriage and it has augured well for us”
It occurred to me then that there is happiness not only in coming together but also in separation.
“Bye, bye” said Vivian and left.