Lesson 35: Lifelong Companion 

Though it is a faded memory today, there are times when I remember the dog’s face clearly, especially his unusual eyes. We named him Spotty, because of the yellow spots in his eyes. He was a stray dog until he came to me.

I was seven years old. My dad had just been transferred to Nasik. We moved into a home that was surrounded by numerous bushes and vines. I still recall how heavily it was raining on our first day there. I went out and felt the refreshing raindrops on my face. However, the night was cold and dark.

Soon after dinner, we all retired to bed. It must have been around midnight when I heard a loud thud outside the main door. I mustered courage and peeped out through the window and was really amused by what I saw outside.

There was a small puppy lying on an old rug which my mother had put outside the door. He was wet and shivering. At first it was difficult to see him. He had a black body which was darker than a black night. Luckily, the yellow spots in his eyes made me notice him.

Spotty became my lifelong companion.

A) Vocabulary

fade: to disappear gradually
stray:  a domestic animal that is wandering or is lost
transfer: to move to a different place
numerous: many
refresh: to make fresh
thud: a dull, heavy sound
muster: to gather
amuse:  to please
shiver: to tremble with cold
companion: one that often stays with another

B) Make sentences with the above words to demonstrate their meaning.

C) Discussion points:

  1. Why did the child call his dog Spotty?
  2. To which city did the father get transferred?
  3. Which words tell you that the child was scared?
  4. When did the child notice the dog?
  5. What is the title of the story? Why did the author choose this title?
  6. Are people usually kind to stray dogs?
  7. What jobs require employees (workers) to be transferred from one city to another?
  8. In what way was the child similar to Spotty?
  9. If I ask you to recall a faded memory, what comes to mind?
  10. There are people who adopt animals from animal shelters. How do you feel about that?
  11. Could stray dogs be turned into helper dogs such as Seeing Eye dogs for the blind or companion dogs for the elderly?
  12. Does your family have a pet?
  13. Would a pet make a good companion for you?


Audio courtesy Tara Kriplani: