So long, Sungta

Death came by our house on Friday, and whistled at the gate, and our sweet little barrel, Sungta, went for a walk with him. No longer will she do her head-tossing prancing in anticipation of her food. No longer will she proffer her ample butt for a scratching, casting coquettish backward glances and gurgling for attention. No longer will she plonk herself in the most inconvenient locations on the bed at night, growling and digging in her feet against efforts to re-position her.

It all happened suddenly and unexpectedly, within a matter of minutes. She had been a trifle unwell over the past two days, but nothing to indicate it was serious. On Friday night, though, as we prepared to go out with friends, she suddenly started having silent but severe convulsions. In less than ten minutes, she let out one last loud cry, and was gone.

Luckily for us, we had friends at hand, including one who’s a vet and was trying to guide us on the phone while driving to our place. They helped us bury Sungta in a patch near the bougainvillea plants in our yard.

At times when she was feeling a surge of affection for Anjali or me (which was, like, all the time), Sungta would nibble excitedly and fervently on whatever was close at hand. Often this would be the bedsheet she was sitting on. On Friday, she was on the bed when the seizures started, and we bundled her in the bedsheet to carry her to her grave. When we tried to unravel her from it, though, we found that she had one corner of it in her teeth, clenched tightly in the throes of rigor mortis. We had to cut the sheet, and she went into the darkness with a little bit of it sticking out of her mouth, as though she was still nibbling away at it in ecstasy. So long, Sungta!


Sungta came to us as part of a litter of days-old puppies that had been dumped in a field and rescued by a local shelter with which Anjali volunteered. It fell to us to foster them, feeding them like babies every few hours from milk bottles to begin with.


As they grew a little older, they got more adventurous. Their preferred hangout was under the moda on our balcao. Their interaction with the bigger dogs (four at the time) was minimal. My nephew Abhimanyu, who was visiting at the time, helped out with the care.


Two of the litter found homes, one died in the first month. Sungta and Soulkadi spent the first few months outside the house, but eventually became ‘foster fails’ and indoor dogs.


Anjali and I were her de facto mother and father. She, on her part, was a fat little bolster that we loved to trouble.


She wasn’t the most social dog, but she had her favourites. There were a handful of other special friends whom we sadly don’t have photos of her with.


Such a cutie she was!


Walking with Sungta was a pain. She would put her head down and put her entire weight into yanking you about.


Oh, the places she went…


…right till the end.


Any time of night or day, we would return to the sight of her in the back door, yodelling with joy. The bed is colder without her there.

4 responses to “So long, Sungta

  1. Kevin Saldanha

    So sorry to hear this, my condolences to you and Sungta’s family.

  2. Gayatridas Gauthankar

    Plz accept my heartfelt sympathies Dear Ani & Anjali. Sungta was a gem & I am fortunate to be in her life, for a brief period at GSPCA though. She is just around & will be always among us.🙏

    • Thanks, Gayatri. Yes, you knew her since she was a baby. She was always the same sweet little dog. Thank you for your kind words.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s