I’m starting a new series of posts on my blog tagged as “adventures.” My life seems to have them every once in a while, when something or someone crosses my path, and it feels worth writing out as a story. I’ll also use this type of post to talk about bicycling trips, travel and other mischief that me, the adorable husband, my dog Miss Kate and my treasured friends get up to.
Recently Miss Kate and I met a new neighbor named Raj on our morning and afternoon walks. Like clockwork, he is standing outside his apartment having his cup of coffee and he gets down on the ground and greets Miss Kate. Every morning he asks her name, her breed, how long I’ve owned her and if I love her. Every single morning, in that order. He’s meticulously kind and courteous and always tells me how he’s come from India to visit his grandchildren.
In the afternoons, with one grandchild in a stroller, the other either pushing it or on his shoulders. He proudly introduces his granddaughters and his daughter, Ruchira, who is always walking with them. He tells me how he’s recently come from India to visit them. He asks about Miss Kate, asks her name, her breed, how long I’ve owned her and if I love her. He shows Miss Kate to teach of his grandchildren. Tells them how wonderful dogs are and asks them if they’ve ever seen a dog before.
Yesterday, Ruchira stayed to chat with me a bit after several of these repeat encounters.
“You are kind to let you and your dog become part of Tata’s daily routines,” she said softly.
Raj apparently has alzheimers and has come to live with Ruchira and her daughters. She is her grandfather, and she says there was no other choice. The kids and her family give him an important grounded life to make it easier for him. She says that many people don’t understand how his day completely resets each day. He can remember her and his grandchildren and that is about it. That each day is a new one for him, literally. She laughed comparing it to the movie Groundhog Day only with grandchildren.
Apparently each day when he sees Miss Kate and I on our walk, he’ll come in and tell her how he met a dog, that she is a terrier, and she is loved. And how nice it is to feel loved. and he’ll move on with his day. She says she and her husband take turns staying with him – working from home while he sleeps most of the day. She was very thankful that I endure his questions. I told her that Raj is very kind, and that Miss Kate will turn down the street to make sure we come see him in the mornings