Granny Gheeta's Hurricane Anxiety for her Canine LovesPublished Feb 20, 2012
She was always dedicated to her dogs, Muffy, Buffy, Spot and Sparky. She treated her dogs as if they were part of the family. Along with her garden and her canine loves, her geriatric life was complete as long as she had them present.
As the winds and rains of Irene wreaked havoc around me, I recalled a time in history when Granny was besides herself with worry for her pets. Granny Gheeta was never the type to fret over much, but when it came to Muffy and Company, Granny was a worry wart.
Granny became mortified, the thought of them running out of food caused her great anxiety. As the heavy downpours of rain began to whip through the trees and flowers in the garden, Granny urged me to go with her to the store.
I said, "Granny, the weather is really bad, I don't think it will be safe for us to go out."
She replied, "Nonsense! It is just a few sprinkles of rain, afterall, India has monsoons, this is nothing compared to what the Eastern part of the world experiences."
I looked at her impossibly, as I peeked through the windows and saw small breadfruit trees being demolished bit by bit, I motioned to Granny, "Look! Do you still want to venture out in the rain?"
She emphatically answered, "Yes! Wild horses can't keep me away from going out, Muffy, Buffy, Spot and Sparky need me!"
I sighed, "Okay Granny, if you insist."
We both departed from each other to suit up in our hurricane attire. While I was putting on my golashes, Granny Gheeta called out, "Magli, are you ready?"
"Yes, Granny, I'll be right there."
I descended the stair case to find Granny decked out in jodphurs with a kurti covering them and her london fog thrown in a cape like fashion over her shoulders, with boots reaching to her knee caps.
"How do I look?" She commented.
I ghasped, because I had never seen my grandmother in slacks all my life. The developments were astounding to me, because the mere fact that Granny Gheets was willing to risk life and limb for her pets, as well as alter her mode of dress, spoke volumes of her devotion.
Before she left the house, she was frantic to make sure the generators were running and that Muffy and friends had ample lighting.
I thought in Granny's mind she felt that in case they wanted to read a book or nibble on one, that lack of lighting would not be an impediment.
We left the house while the streets flooded and the winds prevailed, passing several stalled cars along the way. I remarked, "Granny, you still want to forge ahead in all of this?"
She answered, "Yes man, the Lord will protect us, besides, we are almost there."
Well, almost turned out to include several detours because the roads were closed. While folks tried to outrun the hurricane on their bikes and mopeds Granny motioned for the Driver to beep them to clear the way, because she had to reach the store before they closed early.
A ten minute ride easily turned into an hour's sojourn. Once we finally arrived, Granny Gheeta saw the owner beginning to put the shutters down on his store. She ran into the store, exclaiming, "Please tell me that you are not closing!"
The Owner jokingly replied, "Okay, we are not closing. We are just leaving temporarily."
Granny smiled half heartedly, replying, "Sir, my pets are in dire straits and I need to get them supplies for the weather."
The gentleman was resigned to closing down as the storm grew worse, but somehow Granny talked him into remaining open by promising to bake an elaborate cake for his daughter's wedding. I never quite knew how Granny found out personal, intimate details of peoples' lives in a few seconds. However, this gift of hers, enabled her to secure goodies for her canine crew.
Granny was in Doggie Heaven, the solitude of the store made her use the opportunity to go into shop-a-holic mode.
"Magli, they need blankets, oh, and some toys to keep them occupied, you know, just in case they get scared from the thunder. Also some sweet treats........"
Granny's lists went on and on....Then the radio broadcast reported that most of the main roads were being closed and that all arteries were flooded.
I reminded her, "Granny, I think we should be going now, because unless you have a tanker at your disposal, we will probably end up swimming back."
The store owner was growing quite anxious to get home to his family as well.
At the end of her visit to the store, Granny had filled three whole shopping carts with items for Muffy, Buffy, Spot and Sparky.
We paid for the items and began our journey back to the house. We saw peoples' zinc roofs floating in the flooded streets, cars stalled and people running around with life preservers around their necks.
I must admit, I became quite worried for us, it seemed as if we were in the thick of the storm and home felt eons and miles away.
Granny did her best to bring comfort. "The Lord will see us home safely....Remember how he parted the seas and made way. He will do the same for us."
The rain pelted, and visibilty was atrocious, but somehow God gave the Driver the ability to navigate through the storm taking us back home to the waiting pets.
They were ecstatic to see us arrive. Apparently the storm had made them grow restless, especially since humans were not around. Their scratch marks on the doors attested to their nervousness. But Granny did not mind one bit as long as they were happy.
I thought for a moment, "If one of her grandchildren did that, she would have carried on endlessly, but when it came to Muffy, Buffy, Spot and Sparky, as long as they were happy. All was right with the world."
While helping Granny put away the items she had purchased for the dogs, I noticed that she had several pounds of Puppy Chow which she had bought, still in their boxes.
I said, "Granny, look what I found........!"
She laughed confusingly, "Oh, hmmm...I guess I must have purchased those a while back? Magli sometimes old age isn't what it is cracked up to be."
I realized that as people grew older they grew attachments to people, places, things and pets. For them, these attachments become security blankets that they don't want to risk losing because it brings them small doses of happiness. Feelings worth risking their lives for.
Granny Gheeta often mentioned during her life, that when it comes to love, obstacles should never be created, or prevent us from preserving those feelings. In her situation, the love she had for her dogs were a gratifying and rewarding experience, well worth fighting for.
I guess that is why they are called Mans' Best Friends.
Margeret Juliet Bailey
Maggie's Poetic Delights