R.I.P. Our Teru Nai

Although our favorite teru nai–street dog–Walter, found his way back to his regular napping spot in the middle of our street following his disappearance during Diwali, it turned out that, last week, he enjoyed his dreams of endless kibble for the last time. Sadly, he lost a brief encounter with a truck and he has passed on to his next assignment. Sarah and I will miss old Walter. I’m so glad she got to wave to him as she left for school; and Mani fed him while I had a final chat with him later that morning before I headed off on my walkabout. We always wondered how he managed to stand his ground there, rarely flinching, his wise gaze steady, connecting . . .

Walter holding down the fast lane

Yet we still have our bookending neighborhood dogs, Pandora–well, actually it turns out he’s Pandoro–who guards the sandpile in front of the apartment building under construction at the west end of our block; and Bindi (whose name, we just learned today, is actually Vellai, or “White”) who hangs out at the auto stand at the other corner at Tiger Varadachari (I still love saying that name) and where it turns out the folks at the Naturally Auroville boutique feed her and take her to the vet and offer her a dry napping spot inside the shop during the rains.

Pandoro guards the sand pile–he’s gotten used to me now . . .

Bindi (can you guess why we called her that?) whose real name is Vellai or White
The typical street dog challenging traffic . . . she’s alive and well, just taking a break . . . and yes, that is a driving lane . . .
Fascinating angles and inside outsides . . .
We never know what we’ll see on our walkabouts

At any rate, Sarah and I just completed our third amble of the day, an easy circuit around our block, visiting Naturally Auroville and greeting Vellai; then down the next street, delighting in the unique and colorful details and wondering which movie stars or political men live in the stunning homes; and finally around past Pandoro holding down his comfy pile of sand.

So, three gentle strolls today and we are indeed thankful that Sarah is healing and doing well as she recovers from emergency surgery just 48 hours ago.

But that, as I always say, is another story . . .

Author: David Hassler

David M. Hassler was fortunate enough to have become a relatively rare male Trailing Spouse when his talented wife Sarah accepted a job teaching music in the elementary division of the American International School in Chennai, India. His role includes, first of all, serving as her everything wallah, but also allows him time for exploring, discovering, and sharing new places, new faces, and new tastes around Chennai, throughout south India, and beyond. David M. Hassler is a long-time member of the Indiana Writers Center Faculty and holds an MFA from Spalding University. His work has been published in Maize and the Santa Fe Writers' Project. He served as a Student Editor for The Louisville Review and as Technical Editor for Writing Fiction for Dummies. He is currently Managing Editor for Flying Island, an online literary journal. He is co-author of Muse: An Ekphrastic Trio, and Warp, a Speculative Trio, and future projects include A Distant Polyphony, a collection of linked stories about music and love, memories and loss; And on the Eighth Day, A Tale of the Last Time Traveler, a riff on classic Sci Fi; and To Strike a Single Hour, a Civil War novel that seeks the truth in one of P T Barnum's creations. He is a founding partner in Boulevard Press.

6 thoughts on “R.I.P. Our Teru Nai

  1. Made me sad to read about Teru Nai. But amazing more dogs are killed in the streets!!!
    Sorry to hear Sarah had emergency surgery. Hope she recovers rapidly.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you. Ron is alone while Barbara is out traveling the world!

    1. Yes, we were shocked since it seemed old Walter had some magic about him. But most of the teru nai do indeed sleep in the driving lanes and it’s a wonder they live to be oldsters like Walter. BTW, we’re having our Thanksgiving dinner with Ron tomorrow and we were just in Dubai a couple weeks ago ourselves.

  2. We are thankful Sarah is well, that your photos and storytelling are inspiring and colorful, and that there are other street dogs receiving attention and care from our dear friends, the Hasslers.
    Thank you for your tales, your talents, and your friendship. Blessings to you both.
    Carol and Gerry Roth

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Carol! Indeed the community of street dogs is widely supported by everyone and we see folks bringing out buckets of rice to share with a group of “their” dogs.

  3. David, thank you for your blog and colorful photos. I subbed for Sarah at Cherry Tree years ago and would like to say “hi” and to send “speedy recovery wishes” her way.
    Keep the stories coming.
    Warm regards,
    Barbie Schmenner

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