A letter to my dog

Dear Milo,

Aka Mily
Aka Milorooni
Aka Mil Mal Srivastav

Aka my miracle button

Aka my beating heart with fur and legs.

You turn 12 tomorrow. Had you been a human, you would have retired by now, my old little friend.

I still remember the day you came into my life. Dad covered my eyes with his hands and led me to his room. I remember touching something soft, furry and then hearing a slight whine. I also remember pushing his hands away to see you. You had closed your eyes and were licking your paws. I remember scratching you behind your sloppy little ears. But what I clearly remember the most is when you opened your kit kat eyes ever so slowly and looked at me.
Milo, I was six then. I used to stammer and slur. I couldn’t form one coherent sentence but I swear to God, Miley, in that moment I knew what love meant.

We grew up together. I always poured my heart out to you. And you being the sweetheart you are, always heard me through. So Miley, hear me out again?
I’m sorry.
I’m sorry about letting you grow up in a place where you have no soft ground to walk on. I’m sorry for the worn out paws that caused. And the arthritis that led to.

I’m sorry about the full time exposure you had to dust, chemicals, pollutants and all the ways in which it took a toll on your lungs and ageing heart.

I’m sorry about letting you grow up in a place where your situation is just like the caged canaries and mice used centuries ago in America for carbon monoxide direction system. I’m sorry about all the trouble you had to go through.

Also my little Milo, I’m sorry about the way we treat your friends. The way the cows and bulls are tortured for milk all through their life and then slaughtered. I’m sorry about the pigs being sledge hammered. I’m sorry about your friends dying on the roads out of hunger and under cars. I’m sorry about your bird friends dying out because of our phones.

Miley, I hope you understand how much I mean this.

I mean it when I tell you I love you. And I know the extent of mess we have caused for you and your friends. It’s a long shot, but we will try to make it better.

We will clean your poop after a walk, let you play in the grounds, take proper care of you guys. Milo, me and my friends, took a very long time to realize and understand your needs. If we can get asthma and bronchitis because of this air, we need to realize how hard it must hit you and your friends, given your heightened sensitivity to foreign particles.

Milo, all my life the greatest and most important thing I have built is your trust. I want you to believe me when I say this:

You matter. Your friends matter.
We will change things. For you.

Yours,

Ashima.

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