Dante – A Dog or A Spirit Guide?

I remember I was once told by someone that we never really do anything for others, we only do it to satisfy our own selves, to make ourselves feel happy that we did something good. It’s always for ourselves, not others.

I know this is not completely true, but it mostly seems true. We do things because somewhere it satisfies our own need to feel selfless. It pleases us in a way we don’t realise. Somehow, it helps us believe that we are good souls.

There are needs – needs to see and be seen, to be heard and understood and much more.

We all have it…even animals?

I’ve never been very close to animals, and I’ve never really had a pet to count, except for some fish that died one after the other…!

But if I must see the love for dogs, I have Gunjan – a huge animal lover, especially dogs. I also have Yogesh and Shubham who own a pet dog, so they understand and feel connected to them. I, on the other hand, am a novice when it comes to animals.

Dante was a friend we made on the way up to Dainkund. Gunjan found him and then he never looked back. Gunjan named him after the dog in the movie Coco, as he reminded us of that dog.

Dante- a dog

He stuck with us the whole time as if to keep us protected or maybe he just wanted company. I felt that he was not like the other hyper dogs. He seemed a little mature to me (if it applies to dogs).

He stood there listening to something very carefully as if searching for something. He sprang, moved, and maturely marched with us. Walking in front of us and behind us; sometimes appearing like inspecting the way and sometimes looking like someone who needed guidance. All of us went with him to the peak of the mountain and then returned with him to the base of the trek.

Was he there to guide us or did he want someone to guide him? Was he lost or in search?

I don’t have the answers.

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I wonder if he needed a company that would not leave him behind, because if he did, then we failed him, and left him there at the foot of the trek. I remember the look in his eyes and the way he moved, but more than that I know what I felt. I felt like I was selfish and cruel to leave him behind.

I remember when I reached the foot of the trek and the others were still on their way down, except Yogesh; I thought…

What now? – now after showing all the love and care, we are just going to leave him behind, so that he can look for someone else who will probably do the same to him.

At that moment I realised how helpless and selfish we can be without even knowing. And the words that we never really do anything for others echoed in my ears.

It was not our care for Dante that took us to him, it was probably our own need to have someone to love us selflessly, and a dog is a great option.

It was not us feeling what he felt but more of what we felt for ourselves.

I remember Varun’s comment that this is what happens to many. People come and go, and they just leave a trace, or maybe a hole which will be difficult to fill.

We couldn’t take him with us, as we sat in our cab; we had to leave him behind, and I looked at him for the last time…

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Was that a look of disappointment? or hurt? or just nothing?

I wonder if we’ll ever meet Dante again. If we do, will he remember us? If he does remember, will he be happy? Will that happiness be hopeful or without expectation? No idea.

This is not about a dog we named Dante.

It is about us, the living beings with feelings and emotions and needs. It is about what we do to grasp them, who we bring happiness to, and who we leave behind.

Dante-a dog 1

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