Shanti is my miniature schnauzer. The Hindi word ‘shanti‘ means “inner peace.” Shanti is anything but calm. Call him cute, cuddly, loyal, but definitely not peaceful. Shanti is sweet if he knows you, but if not, he will bark incessantly, growl, attack, and scare you to death. How pray tell was this beast bestowed such a lovely name? It was a manipulation tactic used on Raj to get him to warm to the idea of getting a dog, something he vehemently opposed. I thought that by suggesting an ‘Indian’ name it might work to soften up Mr. I Don’t Want a Dog. Raj bit and the rest is history.
Prior to moving to Amman, Shanti was ALL mine: he followed me everywhere; he’d coo when I came home; he worshipped the ground I walked on. Raj left for Amman two months before I did with Shanti in tow. As much as I missed him (Shanti, that is), I was pleased with the arrangement because I didn’t want to fly alone with his cumbersome kennel and have to deal with all of the logistics by myself. Unfortunately for Raj, Shanti was kicked off their flight from JFK to Amman because the airline claimed his barking was so bad that “he wasn’t breathing.” (I’ve seen this bark and it is terrible, but he certainly wouldn’t die. He’d eventually get tired and sleep.) As a result, Raj and Shanti were holed up in a dive motel in Jamaica, NY for eighteen hours. Raj was NOT pleased, but as you can see in the photo, Shanti looks pretty relaxed, even happy (perhaps he had found his shanti?). They BOTH made it out the next night, worse for the wear, but together. Maybe this was the critical moment that Shanti switched teams. I’m not sure, but after two months of hanging out with Raj, he’s no longer my dog, but Raj’s. Nowadays, Shanti spends his time napping on the sofa, sunning himself on the back porch, and chasing feral cats out of his yard.