Julie became my favourite childhood story. She was our family’s loyal canine companion for many years. My grandparents, I am sure, must have been reunited with their favourite companion. To this day, I think of her fondly and Julie remains my favourite childhood story.
How Julie became my favourite childhood story
Have you noticed that every dog-loving family with multiple furry companions across generations tends to have a favourite one whose tales become legendary?
Julie was our family’s favourite doggo who has become quite the legend across generations. She was incredibly fond of my grandfather. Julie would follow my grandmother everywhere, almost like her shadow. She was a loyal friend and sweet playmate of my youngest aunt and uncle. Although she had crossed the rainbow bridge much before I was born, my grandparents’ fond memories of Julie meant her stories became my everyday staple as a child. And Julie became my favourite childhood story.
I had a favourite story
Since Julie’s stories would be on repeat mode every single day, I had picked an all-time favourite. This was how Julie used to hop on to the rickshaw (a three-wheeled passenger cart, for ease of understanding) when it arrived at our main gate to ferry my grandfather. The rickshaw puller would inevitably run away intimidated by our full-grown German Shepherd dog, although she would not even bark. My grandfather would then have to change into home clothes to bring Julie back into the house. As a police officer, my grandfather had to travel a lot, which Julie did not like. This was almost like her last-ditch effort to keep my grandfather at home.
Julie was protective too
My grandparents often spoke about Julie’s protective nature. During his career, my grandfather was often posted in high conflict, sensitive areas. So, there used to be a lot of security personnel around their house. One night, Julie – an otherwise calm dog – was exceptionally agitated. “She was barking non-stop that night,” my aunt said. “We realised something was wrong. On enquiring, we found out that a large Indian cobra snake was trying to enter the house beside us. That night, Julie saved many lives.”
Julie was obedient as well
Julie’s tales of obedience was legendary. I remember how my grandmother beamed with pride about Julie’s “military-like disciple.” Apparently, Julie never touched her meals even if it was placed before her until she was given a cue.
When Julie grew old, she used to sleep near my grandmother’s cot. One night she crossed the rainbow bridge peacefully. “In the morning, we were totally grief-stricken to find Julie gone. But we also noticed how peaceful her face was and how it faced the cot, as if Julie bid her final goodbye quietly, without disturbing anyone,” my aunt remembered.
Julie’s passing away was heart-breaking for our family. She was buried with flowers in the courtyard of the house where my grandparents used to live at that time – a place called Sainthia in West Bengal, India.