Sirius Black

Meeting Sirius

Or: How I got over my fear of dogs.

Akshay Gajria
Published in
2 min readMar 29, 2020


2 years ago, I met Sirius for the first time at the Writers Retreat in Himachal called Alekhya. I’d spent weeks before the retreat worried about being around a dog. For 26 years of my life, I’ve been afraid — no, terrified — of dogs. But meeting Sirius was strange. When we all assembled together at the place, Sirius sniffed everyone, except me. I think he could tell I was afraid. He kept his distance from me through the first couple of days, as did I. But he was always so calm, so zen about it. And everyone else loved him and petted him and played with him. I started to feel left out somehow.

So I put on my brave face and tried to pet him. The first time I tried, I almost fell off the root of a tree I was sitting on. (This is captured on camera). The second time, I was standing while he sat. I kept my distance and thankfully, I’m tall, so I could stretch and reach him without getting in close. Soon enough, I was sitting next to him and caressing his head and belly.

Sirius was always so soft, so warm. He always had the right attitude — if you find a place to lie down, go to sleep. And of course, if someone is petting you, stop and let them. The best parts of my day were when Sirius would sit next to me while I wrote. Writing is such a solitary activity and yet, Sirius would keep me company without obstructing me in any way (unlike cats). He was always so content, it makes me think how we as humans can never be content. But sometimes, when I’m around him, that’s what it feels like. Being content.

I wish in this quarantine, I was with him. Not here with me, no. I wish I was there with him. Because I don’t want to take him out of his habitat. He belongs there, in that apple orchard atop a hill. He’s the only one I’m missing through all these days.

Hope you find a being you miss as much too.

Akshay G. has always lived the quarantined life. Missing someone comes as a surpirse.