A Tattoo for Ace: My Golden Retriever's Story - Wagr Petcare

    A Tattoo for Ace: My Golden Retriever's Story

    In the midst of adolescence, on the verge of turning 16, I found myself pleading with my parents for a furry little companion. Little did I know that this plea would lead to a journey of challenges, companionship, and the eventual inspiration for a tattoo that forever etches the tale of my Golden Retriever, Ace. Influenced by Western Media’s portrayal of an ideal companion, I envisioned myself as a girl with a golden retriever—a dream my Indian parents did not understand. 

    This led to a bonding experience for me and my younger brother, wherein we combined our savings and did the unthinkable: we brought home a 45-day-old puppy. Two siblings, who quarrel over the littlest of things, made this big decision. Following the little guy’s homecoming, naming him was the easiest next step. Being products of Generation-Z, we named Ace after fictional characters from an anime “One Piece” and a Netflix show “Gilmore Girls.”

    13th July 2021 marked the arrival of our youngest family member. Sharing my birthday with Ace has been a blessing in unspeakable ways. Every year is set to mark a milestone we touch, me and him. Soon, reality set in. Unknowingly, I had embarked on a journey I wasn't prepared for, but is any elder daughter of a household ever fully ready to become a second parent? To Ace, I am an elder sister. From vet visits to meal planning, the responsibility was more real than I ever anticipated. My every breath became intertwined with Ace’s well-being. 

    Everyday with Ace became a lesson in understanding his needs and quirks. From him taking his initial baby steps to him having his share of teenage tantrums. From deciphering what food is harmful to him to cleaning up after him, the journey was a continuous exploration of canine care. However, his mere existence is enough to lighten up my day. It is rightfully said that dogs can sense emotions. It takes Ace seconds to realize if I'm upset, oh how he cuddles up next to me to make me feel better. Moments spent with Ace are worth more than anything the world has to offer.

    I had never been the person who would look forward to birthdays, but now? It is a festival. From planning where to get our cakes, which bandana to dress him up in, the guestlist—everything is organized. This golden fluff ball lights up every room he walks into. Kids in the park became fascinated with this new little golden puppy who would run aimlessly. 

    Life started revolving around Ace’s schedule. His morning walks before we leave for school, to be on time for his own dog meet in the evening, and of course, the traditional post-dinner walk. My brother and I squabble like anything, but miraculously when it comes to Ace, we are united by our silent vow. In a short span, he became such a vital part of our family. Our family of four that was now five revolved around this little one. This was further proved when the biggest challenge of all hit.

    Ace, being bought from a breeder, showed signs of low immunity. This is a nightmare, especially for first-time caregivers like me. Sleepless nights turned into early morning vet visits. The challenges escalated to a point where we had to schedule surgery, testing the strength of our newfound bond. Ace had a lump in his left gland due to which we had to remove one of his salivary glands altogether. This surgery saved his life for which we are forever grateful, but the daunting reality of dealing with a pet’s health struggle became a turning point in our story. 

    The fear of losing Ace is still engraved in my heart. The bond forged during those sleepless nights and anxious waiting rooms became the foundation for the tattoo that will forever symbolize my love for my youngest sibling, Ace. Inked into my skin is not just a symbol of responsibility but a testament to the unwavering companionship. In the tale of “ink and fur,” the chapters of challenges and happiness are eternally written with his presence marked on my skin and heart forever as I embrace a journey away from him, leaving for my Undergrad.

    By Purvanshi Tyagi

    A student from Christ University, Bangalore, who is passionate about journalism, Golden Retrievers, and everything travel.

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