|As He came down every morning He greeted us, “Good morning, sir,” He would say this over and over again to ladies and gents alike. Some days He would come down the stairs beaming a big smile and would say, “Very happy, very happy “ or “Who are all these rowdies?”
He had pet names for most of us. The girls' names were India (hers, He never changed); Marsha He called “Gowrie”; Michele He called “New York Lady”; and then there were graduations of Hysterias; i.e., “Hysteria Number One”, “Hysteria Number Two”, “Hysteria Number Three”, etc.
Tal was “Rowdy”; Gil, because he always asked for freedom, was called “Freedom”; Carey, because of his red hair, was called “Carrot Top”; Jai, because he never changed his garment, was called “Dirty . Tony wore a head band, so Swami called him “Band Man”; Bruce was called “Bur-ruce”, and I was called “Dog Man”, because of my dog Singe.
Singe, what Karma she had! She got to stay longer in the Lord's house, longer than I did. I always used to tell people that Singe only barked at people with negative vibrations. Well, at. one of the first darshans I attended
Singe chased Swami down the driveway barking at Him. Sai Baba turned and looked over His shoulder. Singe stopped, I was so embarrassed. I ran after her and grabbed her, and just as I was about to beat her Sai
Baba came up to me.
“No, don't beat her,” He said, “she's a good dog.”
It was so humiliating. “You thought she barked only at negative people,” I said mockingly to myself, and the next moment I was crying. I hurried away from the stares of those on the darshan line and thought, “Could He know what I used to say about her barking?” Yes, I knew that He knew.
The following morning as I was about to go upstairs from the verandah at the back of Sai Baba's house, He came out. Singe, who was following me, went over to Sai Baba, wagging her tail and sniffing at His feet. Sai Baba put His arms up, bent at the elbows, palms alongside His shoulders in a gesture of surprise, and took three dainty steps backwards.
“Oh, what is this?” He asked, pointing at Singe.
“It's a Tibetan dog Swami,” I said.
“Yes, yes, dog, I know.” Then he said sweetly, “Do you know why she barked at Me?” He made a gesture around His hair with His hands. “It's because I have big hair.” He smiled and went back inside.
I wondered if she could really see up that high. I thought she was chasing His red robe, but anyway, I felt better about the whole incident. “Who is He?” I thought. “You pray for an Avatar and you get one, is it that
easy?” I had many doubts.