For Munmun, My Pretty Little Mutt

We brought Munmun home five and a half years ago. She was the cutest little beanie with the tiniest paws, a shiny, cute little snout, floppy ears and the saddest eyes in the world. Just a baby who fit in the palms of my hands, and she looked so sad as if all the grief in the world had befallen her. Her sad eyes were perhaps the most endearing thing about her and the very reason my sister adopted her upon seeing a photo of her on a Facebook page.

Around that time Di was in between college applications and entrance examinations. Munmun must have been her lucky charm because just a week after we brought her home she got the
scholarship she had applied for and went abroad. I too left for college a couple years later and that left my brother to take care of the dog which was all good for me because I, a princess in my mind, wanted only the cuddles with the cutie. We had all wanted to get a dog ever since we were kids but our parents were always strictly against it, their strongest argument being who would clean after it. I always knew it wouldn’t be me and so kept insisting that we get one, but all in vain. That still didn’t stop the three of us from surfing the net for the cutest, fiercest, most chic dogs. We wanted a fierce, angry guard dog who would love us but bark at everyone else, but sadly the fierceness was directly proportional to the price of the dogs, and that coupled with our parents lack of cooperation meant we didn’t get a dog for the longest time.

When my sister brought Munmun home, even though we were very happy about finally having a pet, it was far from our dream. She was, perhaps unkindly put, a mutt, a domestic breed, a mongrel, the kind you can find anywhere in the streets of Kathmandu. My sister did get bluffed that she was 1/8th German Shepard by the person who put her up for adoption, although it soon became very apparent that wasn’t true. We still loved her a lot though. We pampered her with dog food, scented shampoo and even clothes. We prettied her up and cradled her like she was the prettiest little dog but everybody who came over to our home would make it their business to point out that she was a mutt. It made me hesitant to take her out for walks or post stories of her on social media, especially after she grew up to lose a whole lot of her cuteness. I admit to having been embarrassed of her for the longest time. If I had an option then I would have easily chosen a thoroughbred, expensive, good-looking dog over Munmun. She didn’t fit into the dreams I had as a kid, and even though I didn’t love her less, I could have loved her more, if this makes any sense to you.

When the earthquake hit Kathmandu some years back, we were so shook that when we fled from our homes it didn’t occur to us to find munmun to take her with us. But the moment we caught our breath she was the first thing we thought about. Even amidst the aftershocks my brother went back home to get her out but couldn’t find her there. He spent that afternoon and the next looking for her in the streets around our home but she was nowhere to be found. We thought we had lost her forever and it terrified us to think of what may have happened to her. In that moment I loved her more than ever and wanted her back desperately. I would have chosen her over the most prized dog in the world. So when we went back home on the evening of the next day and found her in the kitchen, lapping spilled milk off the kitchen floor, it was perhaps the only time we were actually rejoiced there was dog poop on the living room carpet. She was alive! God knows what corner she had been hiding in every time my brother went back for her. We left the valley the next day, and we took her with us. We have stuck to her and she has stuck to us ever since. We have looked out for her and she has looked out for us.

I have come to understand that the joy of having a dog is much larger than what the dog looks like. Munmun goes down to greet daddy at the door every evening and this puts him in the best mood even when he has had a bad day. She keeps mamu company at home all day long. To our great surprise neither of our parents scolded us when Di brought Munmun home without as much as mentioning it to them beforehand. I could bet that my dad loves her now as much as he loves any of us, he definitely praises her more than he praises us. Daddy always says that she is lucky for us. Ever since we brought her home everything has worked out for all of us and we have been happier than ever before. And so much of this is because of Munmun. She will look over at the road and wait for us to come back for hours on a stretch. When I go back home from college she is the first one to greet me at the door, wagging her tail and jumping around madly and I look forward to this everytime. She makes me feel loved. She may not be the fierce and scary dog I wanted as a kid, but she loves us and barks at others and I know now that she is every bit the dream I once had.

Munmun is the easiest dog to take care of. She doesn’t need a special diet, or grooming and hardly ever falls sick. She is also insanely smart, sometimes a little too smart for her own sake. So if you are thinking of getting a dog but are hesitant about adopting from a shelter because you’ve heard that they aren’t as smart and more difficult to train than thoroughbred dogs, trust me that is not the case. They have the same love to give you as any other dog but perhaps if you don’t take a chance with them nobody else will. They may miss their only chance at having a loving, forever home.

I did some digging on this and turns out interbred dogs are much healthier and less prone to genetic diseases compared to pure bred dogs. They are cheaper to raise and much less fussy. And by choosing to adopt from shelters and off the street you are discouraging the inhumane commercial breeding of purebreed dogs in the long run and also contributing to prevent the euthanasia of millions of our favourite pets who fail to be adopted from shelters or are wiped out of the streets.

Adopt a mutt, make it look cool! Brag about having given the world to a needy soul. They will make it worth your while every day of the rest of their lives. Give them a chance.

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Unlearning everyday 🙏

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