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Wednesday, July 06, 2022

‘Tom was like a son to Muthu’: The man who built a statue in memory of his dog

Manoj Kumar, son of Muthu who had the statue built, said his father considered their dog Tom, a Labrador, as a member of the family and it’s death was unbearable.

Written by Janardhan Koushik | Chennai |
Updated: April 6, 2022 4:08:50 pm
The family performs rituals in front of the statue twice a week and on special occasions. (Express Photo)

An 82-year-old man has built a statue in memory of his late dog at his farm near Manamadurai in Sivaganga district of Tamil Nadu.

The family performs rituals in front of the statue twice a week and on special occasions.

Manoj Kumar (34), son of Muthu who had the statue built, said his father considered their dog Tom, a Labrador, as a member of the family and its death was unbearable. Muthu has retired from the Tamil Nadu Social Welfare Department.

“Tom came to us in 2010. It died in 2021 due to an illness. It got overweight, we provided treatment for a month but unfortunately, it didn’t respond to the treatment and died. My father was very upset. I have an elder and a younger brother, so apart from three of us, Tom was also like a son to our father. He was so affectionate with him. My father used to feed him food with his hands. The statue is like a symbol that will tell our future generations how affectionate our father was with his pet dog,” Manoj said.

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The statue is like a symbol that will tell our future generations how affectionate our father was with his pet dog,” said Manoj. (Express Photo)

The family spent Rs 1.5 lakh to build the 3.5 ft high statue, comparable with the size of the deceased pet, said Manoj.

“After our dog died, our father decided to build a statue for it and worship it as a god like how we do to our family members after they pass away. Initially, there was a local sculptor who agreed to make a statue at around Rs 15,000 but it didn’t come out the way my father expected. My father said even it costs more than a lakh, he wanted the statue to look exactly like Tom and hence he took the photo of the dog and reached Mahabalipuram and picked up a sculptor there and finished setting up this granite statue which you see now,” he said.

Though relatives and a few residents of the village mocked Muthu for his endeavour, a stubborn Muthu paid no heed to their comments.

“He wanted to do this and he was very happy once the statue was completed. He is very old now, he is not able to walk properly. But still, once or twice a week he goes to the farm which is around 18 kms away from our house to look at the statue,” Manoj said.

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