Love for our Pariahs

Christmas, New Year, gifts and holidays, the year always ends on a happier note. Every New Year brings with it a whole new world for us. Here’s001 wishing all the readers of Dogs & Pups a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR. As northern India shivers with winter chill, it’s very heartening to see people giving warmth, love and most important, food to our beloved Pariahs to beat the cold waves. I heard of a family who inspite of their meager income did their best for two little pups who came looking for warmth and shelter. Not only did they feed these furry angels but also provided them with warmth at a cozy corner in their small room to cuddle up with the family. What an amazing gesture!

What caught my attention also was that certain people who in order to keep our great Indian Dogs warm have made warm corners for them in the streets or back alleys by giving them old clothing for their bedding and a few lucky pariahs have even got dog coats. Kudos to the spirit of caring and sharing.

But the truth is that with a few lucky ones who are being cared for by the communities, still there is a vast majority for whom every second is a challenge and are living against all odds – winter, summer or rain. So let’s all gear up and be more responsible towards our community pets.

The second week of February is rather special as along with Valentines Day comes the Random Act Of Kindness Week. Sparkle hopes that you spread love, cheer and kindness not only to your furry angels but also to our pawfect pariahs.

Shweta Khurana

Only the best will do for you

While reading the Times of India on the 4th of October, I was pleasantly surprised to see a St. Bernard peeping out of the logo. Surprised –? I looked 001again – but there he was, sharing this prized positioning with other animals. And it was then I realized that it was World Animal Day – a day to celebrate with our pets.

World Animal Day celebrates and respects our relationship with all life forms, to acknowledge and be thankful for the roles they play in our lives. The best part is that it is celebrated enthusiastically world over, irrespective of beliefs, nationalities and backgrounds. It is indeed a common platform wherein people come together to celebrate the priceless bond they share with their pets.

Like me, Sparkle too, was very happy with the celebrations of World Animal Day and he gives a few tips to make this day special for our pets:

  • Be the best pet parent/guardian.
  • Routine vet checks are a must – though I am really scared of them!!
  • Sniff life together on your morning, afternoon and evening walks (More the merrier!!).
  • Definitely go for picnics and holidays together.
  • Food is always welcome.
  • Most important?–?spend quality time?–?I particularly like playing fetch and the scratch on the belly is the best.
  • Presents?–?they are always welcome?–?especially if it is a yummy chew or a squeaky toy.

Meanwhile, here’s wishing you a Very Merry Christmas and A Very Happy New Year from our entire team. Also let’s ensure that each and every day, we give our darling pooches – THE Very Best….

Shweta

Protect your friends

The Chinese animal signs are a 12-year cycle used for dating the years. 2006 is the Chinese year of the dog, which was celebrated with much fanfare in China. Along with the celebrations, came the most tragic incident in the Year of the Dog, which has left all the canine lovers across the world, totally speechless. Yes! I am talking about the case ‘China kills 50,000 dogs over 5 days in Rabies campaign.’ It has shocked, outraged and saddened people across the globe. Never before we have heard such an inhuman and barbaric act towards man’s best friends. If this was not enough, the recent news of Saudi Arabia’s religious police banning the sale of the pets, has increased the dilemma of pet lovers. The love and solace which comes with the company of our cuddly furry angels is simply beyond words and the thought of them suffering at the hands of humans, is totally disgusting.

Beyond boundaries, Sparkle calls all people who have compassion and care to unite and help the various welfare organisations, who are working for the cause of such helpless canines. Let us all come forward and make 2006 the ‘Year of the Dog’ in true sense.

Shweta

In Wonderland

The holiday bug does not only get us, it gets our canines too. This summer, Sparkle had an escapade to Dhanaulti, a small town above Mussourie,001 nestled with a panoramic view. At 8500 ft above sea level, this place was a haven away from the sultry heat of Delhi- fresh air, awesome mountains, rain, cold it had it all. The best part was that Sparkle loved it too.

Though I would have loved to know what he thought, but looking at his gait, expressions, attitude, playfulness, keen eye for both sight and sounds, I felt as if he was saying- I’m loving it.

Generally in Delhi during the day, Sparkle would find his corner (where he is least disturbed by cuddles!), curl up and declare with a growl “Hey folks! It’s siesta time for me”. But at Dhanaulti, it was different – he would not even let us sit for a minute, either it was romp time, walk time, sniffing time, rolling time or just pure fun time. Not to forget his swimming adventure in Rishikesh, where he splashed, swam and played fetch with his favourite driftwood (they were all his favourites). He would wait in anticipation, jumping all around me and splashing water, asking me to throw his prized driftwood in the water – to which he would swim and get it back, eagerly awaiting the next fetch and swim. It was such a great feeling to see so much of excitement, enthusiasm and exuberance in him. His joie de vivre left me spell bound.

Here’s hoping during next holidays, you all can plan a trip with your canines. But before moving out, do find out whether your destination is pet friendly. Also it is very important to ensure that your pet is trained and does not harm the hotel premises or disturbs other guests. Do carry all your pet’s requirements- so you and your lil’ darling can have –“An Holiday To Remember”.

Shweta

Friends indeed!

The word friendship conjures many beautiful images of warmth, togetherness, trust, etc. A bonding which is felt, shared and enjoyed both in happy and testing times. While interacting with a number of people, it was great to learn that each one of them shared this special feeling with their furry friends. And everybody agreed that their lil’ darlings exactly understood the need of the hour. A romp in the park, a quiet confession, a hug to give and to get — all form part and parcel of this beautiful bond.

But, how do we show that we love them too? How do we build this precious relationship? Interaction???? Apart from taking care of them in terms of health, nutrition, grooming and care, a lot depends on our interaction with them. They need the mental stimulation, games and quality time from us. To promote this everlasting relationship through interaction between the doggie and their people, Mumbai has a new club called K9-Klub in Chembur. Similar event was organised by In Defence of Animals where the doggies and their owners could play games, the mere objective being to have fun together.

Each one of us would love to know exactly what our doggies think. But, the amazing part is how they exactly know what we are thinking and also convey what they want. The idea is to get their work done either by hook or by crook – and generally it’s by crook!!! If one member of the family doesn’t give in to their wishes, these lil’ devils know exactly who in the family will do so. So their little mischief starts — the soulful look, excited bark, and throwing tantrums — and you thought only babies knew how to throw tantrums!

And for all the people who are owned by their lil’ pets – here is a checklist to know you’re a doggy person when…

  • Your room is full of dog beds, chew toys, collars, leashes etc.
  • You meet other people with dogs, and first question is how is their dog?
  • Your parents give up on grandchildren and start to refer to your dogs as “your kids” or your children. (Bonus: they start to call them “our granddogs.”)
  • No one wants to ride in your car because they know they’ll get dog hair on their clothes.
  • You reach into your pockets for change, and treats, dog kibble, chews fall all over.
  • The highlight of your day is spending time with your dog.
  • All of your clothes have dog hair on them, even when they come back washed. (Anonymous) Sparkle definitely agrees and he knows I’m totally in his control…
    Shweta

A stray thought!

Tail wagging, eyes hoping, seeking love, attention, food – you can easily spot them keeping a watch in your neighbourhood. Here’s a dog who is 001lovable, adorable and tough, with a determination to survive and living life against all odds. Heat, cold, rain, traffic, fights, no veterinary care – this brave heart goes through it all alone. Yes they are our own – The GREAT INDIAN Dogs – a term given by Mrs. Maneka Gandhi.

We have got a continuous feedback to create more awareness so that these angels too can get some help and support. A lot of organisations, individuals, shop owners, restaurants, local vendors are doing a great job in taking, caring and protecting their neighbourhood sweethearts. Vaccinations, animal birth control, creating awareness among children, emergency care, adoption drives- a lot is being done. But still there are so many more who need that care, which needs to come from each one of us. Little actions and kind gestures can help them live more healthy – simple things like driving carefully, providing water, raising voice if you see cruelty, supporting organisations, which are working for a cause etc, all can make a difference.

One such initiative has been taken by a group of students in Noida by Adhiraj and his friends who collectively contribute and take care of the furry angels by taking them to their local vet. Kudos to the students who along with compassion have taken action and have created a neighbourhood watch!

Another instance I would like to share is – one day I spotted a little child comforting a pup who was frightened, both sat in complete harmony and comfort – the pup just needed one friendly gesture to become happy again.

Sparkle also has a trio who watch over him, communicate with him and even come for walks with him. They are Sparkle’s buddies – they all love to communicate with each other. I really wonder what they say and share!!!

Sparkle hopes that you all had a great Holi and also asks you to take care of the homeless canine angels of your neighbourhood and around. As Sir Winston Churchill puts it, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”

Shweta Khurana

Doggy Day Care – A vision for tomorrow

Life for the city dog- a continuous wait – looking forward to the return of her guardian, in which the long hours are mostly spent sleeping. And when the clock strikes the time of return- the bundle of energy is all set for play and activity, which are at times met enthusiastically by the guardian while other times the lil one has to wait till her pet parent indulges.

Now imagine a situation where you are at work and your pooch is also having the time of her life interacting with doggy buddies, playing , romping, using mental and physical energy and if possible in natural environs. This would keep her mentally active and stimulated. Dogs are social and it is very important getting them socialised with their fellow companions. Lack of socialisation also leads to behavioural problems, which is also a big reason wherein certain people abandon their pets. The other benefits are that the dog is not bored and has a purpose and interest and can enjoy joie de vivre. Even certain small breeds have high energy levels, which can be properly channelised in a day care facility. A day care facility would also make the gaurdian happy as one can see one’s pet healthy and happy.

One such initiative taken by Rajesh and Shailendra in Gurgaon is called Kennel?1, which is a complete doggy heaven. A place where Sparkle had a ball, made buddies, romped and was completely happy, which was evident the moment he reached there till he slept at night, totally contented. I then made a resolution to take him there more often.

So here’s from Sparkle and Team of Dogs and Pups -wishing you all a great 2006, making resolutions with a difference-may it be exercising your lil’ darling, taking them on vacations, camps, socialising them, finding out places which are dog friendly- so that together you can enjoy this special bond and celebrate the whole year through.

Shweta Khurana

Need of 24/7 pet care

Owned by our furry angels, making their wish our command – a new phase has come where we can actually pamper our lil’ babies. A lot of people 001have started addressing themselves as pet parents and share the feeling that these darlings are an integral part of the family, who not only give love, but keep the family together and they cannot think of life without their four-legged sweethearts. The foremost thing as responsible pet parents is the health and safety of one’s pet, which makes me wonder, God forbid if emergency strikes at an unearthly hour, who do I call? Where do I go? What do I do? Now imagine a pet care centre which is run 24/7, doesn’t that feel secure? As the number of people who share their lives with their canine babies has grown and is growing everyday, it becomes essential to have facilities that take care of their furry angels. So hoping in the coming year, we have facilities that take care of this need. Till such time comes, it would be good if one could speak to one’s veterinary doctor and be aware of the numbers at which they can be contacted at. To be on the safe side, keep these numbers handy with all members of the family.

Also in times of natural calamities, while ensuring our safety, we must ensure the safety of our pets as well. Recent instances of earthquakes and floods rendered many pets homeless and many succumbed to the vagaries of nature. But, there were a lucky few pets who were saved and protected by pet parents. Kudos to those pet parents!

On a lighter note, the nip in the air is back and it’s time again to look forward to festivities, goodies and wait for Santa. Ensure that your lil’ one is warm, cosy and cuddled with you.

Sparkle loves this time of the year and woofs a very Merry X’mas to you all.

Shweta Khurana

Life’s true joy!!

To run in free abandon, to sniff to one’s heart’s delight at all the new smells, to explore endlessly, to splash in water and try to manage the breaking waves, to catch a driftwood from a river bank, to chase butterflies and birds, to look at utter amazement at monkeys and wonder where they come from, to bark with a purpose and show how important one is, to sit at the beach and enjoy the cool sand, to always want to run out and play, for one’s canine these above and more would be life’s true joy. But come to think of it, how many of them actually get a chance to experience such living, specially if they are city dogs. Where can we go for holidays with our pets to give them a break and to make them experience the joy of living. Our lil’ bundles of joy are always contented but at the end of the day they should get more. One often wonders which park is dog friendly so he can have his daily romp. Or even other destination in the city where one can go and enjoy with one’s canine are completely NIL.

On one such occasion – thinking that this is the least we could do we decided to go against the norms and started looking for pet friendly places and to my amazement managed to find one. A beautiful place called Naukuchiatal (Uttranchal) where during the monsoons it feels heaven has come to earth. Guess Sparkle thought that way too. Sparkle was in utter amazement of the place and must be thinking, “God!!! Why didn’t I know before such a place existed.” From running, playing, sniffing, chasing birds, warning monkeys, splashing to catching driftwood, he did it all. Not a moment during the day did he rest – he was all over the place – I guess completely intoxicated.

Hope you all can take your darlings to hideaways where they too can experience the joy of living. Do share your getaways with us, so together we can compile places. Do watch out for our Nov-Dec issue for a write up on Sparkle’s escapades in Naukuchiatal.

Till then Sparkle woofs ‘Bon Voyage’ to all.

Shweta

Celebrations!

Dreams often come true, simply go ahead and chase them – you might just catch one some day! Nostalgia overwhelms me as I review the past 12 months. I dared to dream and the 6 issues of ‘Dogs & Pups’ that lie on my table, prove that the dream has turned into reality. Calls for a celebration, don’t you think? That’s right! Dear readers, we are a year old. Thanks to my team for daring to dream with me and being able to share this dream with you. It is through this magazine that we all are able to share a common platform, express our love for pets, relate our experiences and create awareness by disseminating relevant information.

The very fact that you have ‘Dogs & Pups’ in your hands is testimony enough that you love and care for pets and most probably have one. Having said that, you also are the lucky recipient of unconditional love and life long devotion.

Loyalty, devotion and love to the nth degree makes us dedicate ‘Dogs & Pups’ to our beloved canines.

Metro living brings its share of stress which often rubs off on our pets. We travel so often, get cranky after a hard day, are irregular with timings. But no matter how good or bad a day the dog has had, whatever time you choose to come in, wherever you come in from, he is always there at the door wagging his tail as he welcomes you home.

Talking of celebration and fun time, Pooja Sathe in Mumbai took the lead in organising a two-day camp for canines who were accompanied by their two legged friends. Here, all the dogs had a field day, spent quality time with their owners, and dog-lovers got to meet each other as well and exchange notes. A cousin of mine grumbled about how cold and unfriendly New York city was until she indulged and got herself a dog. Now, she has a host of friends and ‘Bailey’ is known by his name on the street where he lives!

Cheers! And in this day of terror and strife here’s to love and loyalty!…so let’s keep in touch through future issues of ‘Dogs and Pups’.