Humans logo

My Experiments With Nip

How Nip Changed My Life And Continues To Do So

By Anu SundaramPublished about a year ago 5 min read

The blue box screaming 'Reset Your Password' has been a constant reminder on my chrome laptop for the past ten days. Am I ready for a reset?

For those who do not know me, I am a single woman in her early thirties (#30sarethenew20s). Society considers me way too successful in professional life for my age (#BreakGlassCeiling), way too younger looking for my age (#AsianSkin), and way too ruthless to be a human (#StillLookingForHashTag).

Competitiveness flowed through my veins, not blood, when I was growing up. The desire to win and not breath kept my heart beating. Fame and $$ were the reason or the sparkle in my eyes, not the eight glasses of water I drank daily.

On a train ride from Delhi to Chennai, a thirteen-year-old boy was probably scarred for life due to the humiliating fashion I decimated him in a word game in front of all passengers. I never saw him again but I left an indelible mark on him. My lovely mom took me aside and told me that sometimes it is good to let others win and let them save their face. A lesson in humility which did not begin for me until I got a dog seven years ago.

The only reason I got a dog was to prove my ex-boyfriend wrong, who had boldly said, 'You are so full of yourself that there is no space for nobody else - not even a dog.' And instead of looking at the first half of the statement, I focused on how I could prove him wrong.

After six months of solid research during which I could recite all the pros and cons of a dog breed - I got myself a twelve-week-old Shiba Inu Pup who I named Nippon (Nip) - after the rising sun. And the minute I saw him in his crate peering at me with those wise brown eyes - my life changed, even if I was unaware of it.

I Could Not Have Described Nip Better!

Nip is a typical red Shiba Inu (#notafox). They say that dogs often take after their owners. And Nip was no different. From the day he arrived, he didn't give an inch, be it the bed or couch—one trait that makes me a successful negotiator. And before I knew it, I was rolling my car window at -13 degree celsius to let him put his head out of the window. Windswept hair was my fashion statement on sunny days if you are wondering. He got what he wanted - a walk when he rang the bell. I would plead with him to get on the couch with me so that we could cuddle (an activity I refuse to indulge in with other humans) while I watch a movie. I went from having a spotless Tesla to a Nip hair salon. Not only did all my clothes have his hair, but I am also sure I was eating his hair as a part of my regular meals.

There were other similarities. He was handsome. I could never go out without him getting tons of compliments. (#HumbleBragAboutMyLooks). He aced his puppy classes (#HighAchiever).

Change starts within, and for me, it began with Nip. Things surprisingly changed at work. I started talking about Nip when I pulled out a poop bag from my coat at work. And soon, I was having dog conversations which led to other exchanges - it was a slippery slope. People started to forget I was the Ice Queen and became somebody decent to talk to.

And right when life was in control, he stopped eating a few weeks ago. And during his health check, his blood counts were low, and one thing led to another, which ended up in Nip having aggressive cancer. It broke my heart to see him deteriorate. Every day was a new normal on what was acceptable. First, he would walk with stops, then he stopped walking and then I had to carry him upstairs. He was a bag of skins and bones. He stayed three nights in emergency care, and when I visited him, I started crying (Something I did not think I was capable of), and he huffed at me as if to say he expected better of me. Shibas, don't cry!

Soon after, the vet had the dreaded conversation about 'There is nothing more they can do for him, and it's time to think about the quality of life.' It hit me like a nightmare that he would never return to his usual self, no matter how much money I threw. I had always read that money cannot buy everything, but I experienced what it really meant at a much deeper level.

And on January 13th, Nip passed away.

I did not realize I could miss someone so much that my heart ached. Nip was a quiet dog rarely barked, but his absence has been the loudest silence because now my mind and heart are both empty. I feel as if I am teetering on the edge of a cliff. One small step and the bottomless abyss will claim me - where I exist in stasis like a vegetable with no life force left to do anything. Only a great effort of will or the love of my friends and family can pull me out of the black hole. Grief is like that ever-present lover watching for me to stop doing what I am doing so that it can engulf me in its cold embrace.

There are times when the ego in my wants rail against the unfairness of it all - Nip was too young, maybe the vet did not treat him right, why me? But years of meditation have taught me the futility of these false claims, and I am unable to get solace by following this thread of thoughts.

Life has a way of teaching us the lessons we do not want to learn. For me, it was the experience that I could love somebody other than myself unconditionally. And the understanding that some things take their own pace, like grief. The only way out of grief is through it, and Nip is there to help me make the journey. He was the Buddha in my life. He taught me unconditional love, humility, and surrender.

With that understanding, I am ready to reset not only my password but reset for 2023.


About the Creator

Anu Sundaram

My vision in life is to be a Better Version Of Myself Every Day. And my purpose in life is ‘Learn, Grow, Inspire and Contribute’.

Everything that I do ties into this vision - including my writing. Check out for more info!

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.