I sat in this noisy contraption that was like an armoured vehicle, called a car. Clearly, this family was remarkably organized because I could see that they were prepared for me – there were wet wipes aplenty. Perhaps they were aware of my preternatural ability to pee at call. There was a light blue cushion with miniature puppy faces on them (looking very camera-friendly), although they were certainly not the debonair Dachshunds. They looked infinitely less distinguished and distinctive.

Whatever, my posterior rested on them with insouciant ease. I felt comfortable. The young missus who I shall name Missy (to protect her right to privacy) could not contain her joy at cuddling me, frequently picking me up from my well-adjusted snuggle, and giving me an endearing look laced with solicitude. I took full advantage of her proximity and plonked myself on her lap as if it was my birth right. Missy reciprocated by squeezing me closer to her. Honestly, I was secretly thrilled. These humans were different from the other chumps I had seen earlier.

In the meantime, Missy’s father was driving the car as if he had had gallons of frothy beer, his attention frequently diverted towards the little creature he was taking home. Missy hollered at him: “Dad, you will kill us.” At which point, I felt a rude jerk followed by the sound of screeching tyres. If Missy had not been holding me tight, I would have flown straight away to the driver’s seat. There was a momentary silence, followed by Missy’s outburst. “That was an irresponsible brake you took, Dad,” Missy continued to give her grizzly, undisciplined and bewildered-looking father a piece of her mind.

He was good at suffering in silence I discovered. Since it was my first day with the family it called for some smart masquerading on my part. I pretended as if I was not aware of the melodrama on the drive back. One must be non-judgemental as long as one can remain non-judgemental. The grizzly fellow who I will hereafter refer to as Beard, was on cloud nine and I could sense that he was valiantly and unsuccessfully trying to restrain his jumpy emotions. I could see he was smiling from ear to ear, mostly to himself, as Missy was clearly incommunicado. Thankfully Missy was there with me because if I had been alone with Beard, I would have certainly needed either a yoga treatment or a physiotherapist before I reached wherever they were taking me. For some strange reason, he kept hooking his finger into the curved part of my tail as if he could straighten it. Fool. But if he was just messing with me, he was doing a good job of it.

“How much did you pay for him?” asked Missy, and my ears cocked up, as I was curious to know my net worth. There is no free lunch with our pedigree types. “Ten thousand bucks,” uttered Beard, sounding extremely proud that he could afford me. Personally, I think a zero was missing somewhere. My godparents had demonstrated a charitable disposition for sure, because I was convinced I had a much higher brand valuation. Where can you find a jet-black mini dachshund with a twisted tail? I was a bonanza, a one-in-a-billion acquisition, like buying an Apple stock before the iPod hit the market. Anyway!

“Dad!” ordered Missy noticing Beard’s bothersome twiddling of my tail. There was a sharp condemnation of his silliness, which forced him to hurriedly disengage with his peculiar fetish. I mentally prepared myself to be requiring my sharpest faculties to fix this weirdo. The moment came not too soon. Missy reluctantly put me on Beard’s lap as he was getting visibly restless that she had monopolised me. Driving safety, you clowns! On a no-choice basis I struggled to stand on his two skinny legs that were far from the bountiful mattress I was expecting. I looked at him making eyeball-to-eyeball contact with me which had him momentarily hypnotised. The crazy fellow was still driving, clearly a careless character. It was time to express my displeasure notwithstanding my earlier predisposition to be as civilised as I could be.

So I quietly let loose my bladder that was in any case at bursting point. A deluge followed that spread quickly on to his blue denims giving them a hue of dark purple. Missy laughed like there was no tomorrow and I kept a straight face, expecting the benign monster to be really agitated with me. But to my complete amazement he did not seem to mind. Not at all. On the contrary, he seemed overjoyed with what he thought was my child-like indulgence of him. “Seriously? This was a red flag moment.” I knew then and there that my life was entering a zone of complete and unadulterated madness. Humans are psycho, we knew. But this family was surely cuckoo. My fears would soon turn out to be right.

Excerpted with permission from My Illegitimate Son: A True Story, Sanjay Jha, illustrated by Bhavya, Rupa Publications.