Wagging welcome to 2009

The new year has begun…with new aspirations and renewed spirits. While some of youEditorialby, Shweta Khuranawould have spent the new year’s eve partying, others would have quietly enjoyed the warm comforts at home. A group of five students in Mumbai had an altogether different new year bash. While they were enjoying a walk after dinner, they happened to see a woman trying to slaughter a puppy as a ritual to gain wealth. The students not only rescued the puppy, but also took him to a veterinary clinic to ensure that the pup gets timely medical aid. Three cheers to these students! What a wonderful way to start the new year!

World over, people are talking about recession and everybody is feeling the pinch but we never thought that our dogs would also face the brunt. In these trying times, a few pedigreed dog owners in different parts of the world have abandoned their dogs as they are unable to bear the high cost of ownership.

However, little do they realise that dogs are our family members and it may be difficult for them to find new homes and adjust there. A responsible ownership demands that we should be prepared to take care of our canines in all situations. These loyal friends need at least this kind of loyalty from us.

Tiertafel (Animal Dining Table), a pet welfare association in Germany has come up with such an innovative concept of soup kitchen for pets where pensioners and those on the dole qualify for free pet food buffet. It thus helps people with no disposable incomes to keep their pets at home. Today, they have 19 soup kitchens across the country, with 30 more in the pipeline. So, let us all come forward and devise ways and means to help families who are unable to keep their pets with themselves. Sparkle gives a loud ‘Woof’ of approval and wishes you all a very Happy New Year.

– Shweta

Alone Again!

Dogs are abandoned due to various reasons by their pet parents, some common reasons for abandonment are: I am relocating to another country; 001we are shifting to an apartment/area, which does not allow dogs; the dog has behavioural problems; the puppy was bought home because the children wanted him and now they have lost interest; the puppy is giving trouble, he is biting, jumping, making a big mess in the house; my schedule is very busy, I don’t have time for my pup/dog; I have to walk my dog everyday, which is exhausting; my spouse does not like my dog; my parents are objecting; my dog has a disease and he cannot be cured; my dog is old and I want to get a new pup; I am having a baby, I have to let my dog go; I cannot afford my dog anymore, it is too expensive; etc.

The list is endless. The abandoned dog sits waiting to find lost love, but only a few are rehomed and lucky to find loving families. The setbacks that the dog/puppy suffer emotionally and psychologically are immense – if suffering from a disease/old age, the dog loses his will to live. In the hour of need, apart from medical attention and care, all they need is the loving arms of their family and home.

One dog named Tomy was abandoned by his pet parents in their house in Kerala. It so happened that the family suffered losses in the business and they shifted their base, leaving behind Tomy. It has been almost three and a half years and Tomy is still waiting for his parents to return. That’s how a loving pooch is…whose love for his master doesn’t dwindle even if the master stops caring.

We all should remember that dogs are our responsibility and when we bring home a dog, we bring home a bundle of joy, a commitment and ofcourse unconditional love. We owe it to him that we will take care of him in health, sickness and in old age, when he needs us the most. Also training your pup from day one to be a part of your family is vital, which helps in avoiding behavioural problems later in life.

So, to welcome new puppies for the right reason, commitment, love and responsibility, we bring here a Playful Puppy Special, with a hope that it will help you bring home a perfect puppy, one who will be loved and who will love you in return. Sparkle wishes you all Merry Christmas and Very Happy New Year, do take great care of your bundle of joy, baby, family and friend…forever.

Bringing home a bundle of joy!

Whenever you adopt a puppy, you bring home 12-15 years of love, joy and companionship. The puppy gets a new loving home and blesses you with 001unconditional love and loyalty.

While some of you would prefer to adopt a pedigree dog, others might consider adopting our Indian pariahs, who are healthy, sturdy and of course as lovable as any other pedigree dog. You can adopt such pooches from animal shelters in your area. These animal shelters take care of the vaccination and early socialization needs of the puppy and will also guide you towards responsible pet parenting. Alternatively, you can also pick a pup from the streets near your house. There is no doubt, you will be blessed with a beautiful and sturdy canine.

A few will like to adopt a pedigree dog due to liking for a particular breed. For such pet parents, it is important to choose the right breeder. Choose a reputed ethical breeder, for whom puppy-rearing is passion to care for these amazing friends. Once you choose the breeder, take full information about the puppy you wish to adopt, including his lineage, his vaccination, his feeding charts, etc. Also, take a look at his parents and see if cleanliness in kennel is maintained. He should be able to give you full information about the breed, the pup’s family history and guide you on how to take care of the breed.

Once you are smitten by a pup, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t bring that pup home and give him your love ‘n’ care. Pedigree or stray – some things remain common – the love and devotion that one gets by adopting a puppy.

Sparkle is also nodding his head in approval and he is really happy to see lovely doggies living happily with their pet parents. He also wishes you all a safe and prosperous Diwali with your near and dear one.

– Shweta

Let’s save our precious pooches

001We turn four! And we take this opportunity to thank all our readers for their love and support to make Dogs & Pups the most cherished magazine of dog-lovers. As we celebrate the fourth anniversary of this wonderful magazine on the world’s most wonderful creatures – our darling pooches, we will continue to bring many more pages of joy, love and care for our sweet doggies.

For us the best way to celebrate is to do good deeds for our pooches and make this planet a better place for them. It would come as a surprise for most of you that one of the world’s rarest dog species – the Bakerwal dog- is reared in India by the Gujjars and the Bakerwals in Hindukush and Himalayan belt of the Indian subcontinent. These rugged and courageous shepherd dogs were bred to protect livestocks of the nomadic Bakerwals and are capable of protecting large herds of sheeps and goats. But, it will be shocking to know that this rare species of dogs will soon become extinct.

The Bakerwals are trying to relinquish their nomadic ways and in an attempt to climb higher altitudes, their dogs are being killed near the Line of Control (LoC). Also, a number of dogs succumb to throat, rabies and other infections due to devoid of proper vaccines and medical care. As a result, there are just a few hundred dogs of this breed left. Isn’t it a big setback for the Indian sub-continent to lose this precious breed? They are our country’s heritage and we need to protect these sturdy pooches from extinction.

Sparkle nods his head in approval and wishes that some NGO takes the matter forward and preserves this rare species, of which all Indians will be proud of.

– Shweta

Kudos to all dog lovers!

Dog lovers around the world have proved that when it comes to raise a voice against the atrocities our dogs are facing in any part of the world, 001geographical borders are meaningless. Yes, we are talking about the inhuman activities that are taking place in Kerela.

This has agitated the dog lovers not only in Kerela but also in other parts of India as well as abroad, where people have organised protests against this mass killing of dogs.

It is really heartening that we all have come forward to protect our four-legged companions from such unfortunate fate. Our canines have a right to live and it is our duty to ensure that they are safe and happy.

Even though we cannot change the life of every stray dog but yes, we can gift them a better place to live by educating and creating awareness among people on how to make life better for them. Now, that summers are here, it is a good idea to provide clean drinking water to the strays in your locality. Also, please remember that whenever you start your car, do not forget to chase any dogs who have found respite under your car to protect themselves from the sun.

With this spirit in mind, let us all work towards a better place for our canine friends. Sparkle is thanking all dog lovers for their support to keep his friends safe and happy.

Let’s Color our Canine’s Life

Holi is just round the corner and we all look forward to this colourful festival. Well, Holi is undoubtedly the festival of colour but it is not a good idea001 to celebrate Holi with our darling pooches as they can harm their coat. But yes, it seems to be a good time to add colour to their lives. Just like Babu does!

Well, Babu is a 35-year-old who earns a living by looking after the belongings of devotees at Shri Shaneshwar temple at Dongri. He also cleans cars and combined together, earns around Rs 5000 per month. He loves dogs and with his meager earnings, feeds around a dozen stray dogs in his area, besides taking care of their nutrition needs. He buys them milk, eggs, biscuits, and sometimes even meat for them. He may go without food at times, but he always feeds the dogs, such is his canine love!

Another incident that calls for an applause is how Nani, a 3-monthold kitten, who had fallen into a 30-ft deep dry well, was rescued by animal lovers in Kalyan. She was trapped in the well and was kept alive by people who used to send her food in a bucket, which was lowered in the well.

For centuries together, pariahs have been our unpaid protectors. A friendly pat on their back, little food and clean drinking water is all that makes their tails wag. It was really jolting to know that 13 puppies were stuffed into a gunny bag and thrown away, what an inhumane act by humans! But, bravo for the Prajakta Dudhmande, a housewife in Mumbai, went to locate these puppies and managed to save them.

Such inspirational people definitely add colour to life. This Holi, let’s all come forward and bring a difference to the life of at least one stray in our locality. So, here’s wishing you a very Happy and colourful Holi from the team of D&P and yes, of course, our dear Sparkle sends a big woof to all of you.

Dearth of dog-friendly homes

001It seems that problems of dog lovers will never end. While we are fighting for the rights of our pooches for more dog-friendly places like parks, hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, etc, few of us are looking for dog-friendly homes. Yes, our darling pooches are not comfortable even in our homes now.

More recently, a few housing societies in Mumbai have decided that pets cannot be allowed in the lifts. It has created a lot of problems to the dog lovers, residing in such flats. Dogs need to be taken out for walk and for their nature’s call 2-3 times a day and since it is not possible to use stairs every time (specially for people living on third floor and above), they are being deprived of their right. A few housing societies even have a blanket no-pet policy, while a few others charge a monthly fee for keeping a pet.

Dogs are our family members and human-canine bond has been respected and cherished from time immemorial. They teach us loyalty, friendship, love and care. They are the support for the aged, security for the children and companion for the youth. It is our responsibility to give them a comfortable life…a small price for their lifelong love and companionship. Housing societies, thus, should come forward and take care of everybody’s interests rather than making rules, which favour one segment only.

Sparkle is equally worried about his furry friends and wants all of us to come forward and fight for their rights. And, we definitely won’t let them suffer; after all, we are the proud pet parents. With this in mind, we wish you a very Happy New Year.

Apathy of pet parents

While pet ownership has given way to the concept of pet parenting, there are still a few people who have not imbibed this new concept and cases of 001neglect and abandonment of pets still exists. The recent example being that of a 6-year-old Rani, a Boxer in Mumbai, who died due to her parents’ negligence. Rani was rescued by In Defence of Animals (IDA) from her house. Her condition was pathetic – she was covered all over by maggots and totally dehydrated. She was a typical case of prolonged negligence and undernourishment. IDA tried its best to revive her and find a new home for her, but Rani left for her heavenly abode…leaving us wondering how cruel life can be to man’s best friend. And Rani suffered just because her parents had no time for her. Very sad indeed!

Time and again, we have been stressing in our magazine that one should adopt a pet only if one is ready for the care and commitment it requires to raise him. Pets are like our children and need continuous love and care. They depend on us for all their needs and we simply can’t shrug off the responsibility, once we bring a pet home.

Let us all pledge this Christmas that we will take good care of our pets and would not let any pet suffer due to parent’s passivity. In case you notice a neighbour ill-treating his pet, speak to him. If he does not relents, report to your nearest animal welfare organisation and help the pet end his miseries. Remember, a pet needs a loving and tender home, not just a shelter. Sparkle is giving a loud woof of approval and prays that people are more responsible in their commitment and care towards their furry angels.

A pup in a pub!

More and more pet parents are realising the need to spend their time with their pets and look for ways and means to be with them 24×7. Though it is 001a welcome step but sometimes it can cause ill effects to our darling pooches. Nowadays, pet parents have started taking their pets on vacation, office, parties and even pubs…. Though it is a wonderful idea to spend time with your pet, but doggies in a pub???

A couple in Shaldon, Devon, regularly took their pet Collie Archie to a pub, ever since he was a pup. There he developed a strange liking for cigarette smoke. He loved to sniff the smoke and watch it disappear in air. After smoking was banned in pubs, Archie could not get his share of nicotine and started showing all the withdrawl symptoms. The poor dog is suffering just because his parents could not distinguish between what is good or bad for him.

This incident makes me realise that people are still not aware about how to take proper care of their canines. Dogs are like children who cannot differentiate between right and wrong. It is our duty to guide them and take care of them. We cannot let our children suffer and so we should strive to become responsible parents and not let our pooches suffer!

It is with this thought that we have started D&P’s journey into its fourth year. Congratulatory messages have poured from all directions from our wonderful readers. We are trying our best to live up to their expectations and make D&P a true friend of all tailwaggers and their parents.

We have turned three!

As a child learns walking, taking one step at a time, ‘Dogs & Pups’ also started its journey three years back. Step by step, we have managed to ‘woof’ 001into the hearts of like-minded readers, who wish to give their canines the best of everything – love, care, nutrition, health, grooming, training – not to forget the prettiest dog accessories and joyful vacations.

We, at D&P, have tried to present the perfect blend of everything you wanted to know for your loving pooches. The fan mail we receive from our readers is testimony to the fact that we are moving in the right direction. We value the love and encouragement from all our valuable readers, advertisers and contributors for helping us spread awareness about major canine issues.

We believe in responsible pet parenting and strive to make this world a better place for our four-legged friends. Each dog is different but some things remain common for all – their unconditional love, loyalty and companionship. Whether you are blessed with the love of a pedigreed dog or a stray, you all would definitely agree!

But, there are still a few people who believe that strays are nuisance to our society. A couple of months back, a stray dog and cat were beaten up by a few people in Mumbai, just because a Parsi couple in their society was kind enough to feed them regularly. Even though such inhumane incidents disappoint us, but we should take them as motivators to doggedly fight for the rights of our canines.

It is this determination and courage, together with your valuable suggestions and support, which keeps the team of D&P going. Sparkle sends a big woof to you all!