Those were the days when Shri Nathji kept an Alsatian dog by the name of Jacky in the house. It was a very special dog and appeared to be some past devotee of Shri Nathji who had been re-born to serve him in this form.
Shri Nathji would dutifully go to feed the dog with his own hands, while the children played with him. Jacky would behave differently with all the inmates of the house. He would be very playful with the children, and behave like a child before Mateshwari, while before Shri Nathji he would always behave with awe and respect – as if he knew who Shri Nathji really was.
His eyes would light up with devotion every time he came before Shri Nathji. The dog had become necessary in the house ever since the revolver episode of August 9, 1948.
Shri Nathji seemed to know all about dogs. He would often say to Pran Nath and Priya Nath:
“These Alsatian dogs are known as one-man dogs. The master should always feed his dog with his own hands. Dogs are very loyal and can never betray their master even when ill-treated by him. This is a quality that humans lack. No one can bribe a dog to be disloyal to his master. Dogs are so affectionate that they cannot bear to be separated from their masters. Englishmen used to shoot their dogs when they left India, because they knew the dogs would not be able to live without them.
“When the five Pandavas went to the mountain leading to the gate of heaven, they all fell, one by one, except the eldest, Yudhistra, whose sole companion was a dog. The gateman in heaven refused to allow the dog inside although he said he would allow Yudhishtra.
“However Yudhistra refused to enter the gates of heaven without the dog. The gods were pleased with him. The dog turned out to be Dharmaraaj in disguise, the god of Justice.”
Shri Nathji often told the story of the Emperor Jehangir who went to a Fakir, only to find his way obstructed by a vicious dog.
Bar dare darvesh darbaan na baayad! the Emperor shouted from without, there must be no dogs at the door of saints!
And the Fakir shouted back:
Baayad! Taake sage duniyaa na aayad!
“There must! So that the dogs of the world can gain no entry!
By the dogs of the world, the Fakeer meant those who coveted the world, those whose egos had built themselves up in the midst of material possessions, those who had no place for God within their hearts and were given over to vice and wickedness.
Shri Nathji also told the parable of the holy man who was returning after completing several pilgrimages to holy places, from where he had earned a wealth of ‘punya’ – the spiritual blessings for his good actions. He came to a desert and was soon beset upon by an intense thirst. He found a dog in the desert, which was dying of thirst. As he stood there helplessly, a group of pilgrims passed that way. The holy man asked the pilgrims for water for the dog. But they had only a little water left with them and they refused to give it to the dog.
The holy man then said to them: “I will give you the fruits of all the punyas that I have earned from my pilgrimages if you will give water to the dog!” As he said this, God was pleased with him and water appeared everywhere in the desert.
For as long as Shri Nathji remained at Mussoorie he always kept dogs, mainly because the children could not do without them. Over the years, Jacky was replaced by another Alsatian dog called Blacky, who was an inveterate thief, and then there was Neelee the bitch who was the most affectionate animal ever kept by Shri Nathji, and who waited every evening with eagerness for the return of Pran Nath and Priya Nath from school; and yet later there was the white Alsatian Pluto, and finally another Alsatian, named Tiger, who became the constant companion of Mateshwari. These dogs were all souls who had come to serve Shri Nathji in this form and to have his love. It was to be their last birth in the cycle of re-incarnation.