My Christmas Gifts!

Have you ever wondered what your loving pooch would want this Christmas? To find out, here’s what Amrita’s dog Heera has asked Father Christmas.

Dear Santa, I have not only come into my desired loving home and family but also got a mommy who loves me a lot. Not only she shall buy gifts for me this year, but I want to be pampered by you too. So, here are my dream desires:A yummy bowl full of my favourite nuggets!
When the very smell of nuggets reaches my nostrils, it makes me get into a tizzy with a healthy appetite. I often think, if I were enjoying it anytime and at all times. But my folks feel that too much of it is not good for my stomach. So, it is only you who can make it possible, providing me a special bowl.

A really long leash!
O my Father! Actually, I want the freedom to walk long distances and do my own things such as chasing a squirrel without being pulled back, sniffi ng up all corners without being screamed at and also be able to pounce on any cat or dog full throttle, without being stopped. So, I urgently need to get my family having such leash that they have one end to themselves and I can feel free.

A large-size bed with lots of pillows!
O Divine Power! My family allows me to come up on their bed with them, but sharing it, I can’t keep changing my positions all over the bed on every cushion that I like. And of course, needless to say, my family will be more than welcome to share that giant-sized bed with me.

Boon for free access to all the chic dog stores in town!
O Boon-maker! I would love to just saunter in, pick up every chewy, dog-bone or other eateries that catch my fancy. I want to try their fish flavoured, chicken oil coated, mutton masala nuggets and bones that somehow my family thinks I’m too grown up for.

Our beautiful bungalow with a huge garden!
My Darling Santa! I know you can sniff my heart’s content, so needless to ask much for myself. But at least one more feeling I would like to share that I desire to get my family into a new large-size house, which has a huge garden, where I can play with all my local friends. Just because whenever I’m with my family member and meet these friends during my walks, they feel I’m an indoor’ kind of a guy. But if I have that kind of open space to play and jump with them, it shall become apparent how athletic and agile I really am.

Long life for me!
As you know Father, I’m growing older every day and the life span of my kind is not very long. I’ve just got a few more years with my family and would really like you to bless me with a long life so that I may spend more time with my adorable and loving family, whom I love from the bottom of my heart. In fact, if it’s a deal you are looking for, I am ready to give up non-vegetarian food in return.

I am looking forward to my gifts of this Christmas! Do say hi to the reindeers.

Your canine devotee,
Heera

-by Amrita Sharma

Diamonds are a dog’s best friend!!

i Love Dogs’ La Collection de Bijoux is a stunning line of dog collars that showcases over 100 carats of sparkling diamonds and exquisite jewels. These breath-taking, limited-edition collars are in a class of their own, and are most certainly the first-of -its-kind. Even the most pampered pooch will stop in his tracks for the chance to wear one of these elegant beauties.

Thousands of years ago, Pekingese dogs used to sit on the royal throne beside the emperors of China – that sounds pretty luxurious! And dogs in ancient Egypt were lavished with collars made from gold – and now www. ilovedogsdiamonds.com is setting new heights of luxury with their diamond dog collars!Pet luxuries on the rise…There are multiple reasons for the increase in luxury products and services for dogs – there are more people without children these days, or who are delaying childbirth until later in life, so dogs are acting as child substitutes for such people. This is even the case for many empty nesters who are waiting for grandchildren and in the meantime are lavishing their dogs with luxury products and services. Combine these demographics with the fact that many people have higher disposable incomes nowadays, millionaires are on the increase, and luxury is becoming available to a greater percentage of the population, and you can see how luxury for Fido and Fifi has risen to high levels!

Luxury at new level…

On October 15, 2007, www.ilovedogs.com and www.ilovedogsdiamonds.com were launched and celebrated with a big party in Torrance, CA offi ce – dogs were invited, of course! The designer of La Collection de Bijoux (designer diamond studded collars for dogs) is trained at university and has worked in the jewellery business for several years. Even though he specialized in designing diamond jewellery, but had never designed diamond jewellery for dogs, still he came up with such beautiful and luxurious creations that left all dog lovers in awe!

Inspiration behind designs for La Collection de Bijoux…

The designs are created to shower ultimate luxury and indulgence on our beloved pooches. Here, designers are inspired to set new standards in dog luxury and give dogs the same level of indulgence that we humans have – and isn’t indulging our dogs an extension of indulging ourselves. And designers here believe to treat dog collars just like a fine diamond necklace for women.

Each design as unique as the pooch…

Each collar can be customized to suit the needs of each pooch and his parent. Not even this, they can even create a matching piece for the pet parent as well. And what’s more, a percentage from the sale of each collar is donated to a charity of customer’s choice.

Present accolades…

The company has recently become the official sponsor of the AKC USA World Agility Team for 2008, 2009 and 2010. They are also actively involved in the SPCA International’s Operation Baghdad Pups, helping to rescue and safely transport U.S. soldiers’ mascots and companion animals from Iraq. The fi rst dog, Charlie, will be arriving in the States on Valentines Day, with more dogs to follow, all going to loving homes and escaping the daily threats of the war in Iraq.

Besides, they also offer premium range of dog vitamins and supplements, such as Multivitamin with Green Tea, Glucosamine and Chondroitin with Green Tea, Omega 3 with Green Tea, Reishi with Green Tea and Green Tea. All these are veterinarianformulated and are made in the USA according to strict FDA standards. Each tablet is blister sealed for superior freshness and purity. Besides, a great feature of their website www.ilovedogs.com is that they have an online vet and professional trainer to answer questions, and both guarantee a personal response within 48 hours!

Building a sparkling future…

The company intends to be the Neiman Marcus of the dog industry, by providing premium, proprietary products and services to dog lovers. They are not only a very young company, but also aim to be the leader in the market for premium dog vitamins and supplements. They are also developing other premium products such as oriental silk portrait art, an exotic leather collection of dog carry bags, as well as a silver and turquoise collection of collars.

– by Varsha Verma

Celebrating 4 sparkling years of togetherness

4 Steps towards responsible pet parenting

  • Be aware of your doggy’s nutrition needs and feed her healthy food on time.
  • Even if you are not an outdoor person, take your dog for her regular walks and exercise.
  • Take your pet to her vet for routine check-ups and regular vaccinations.
  • Spend quality time with your pet because you will love to see her wagging her tail in delight.

4 Ways to be as happy as your pooch

  • Live for today. Have you ever seen your pooch brooding over the past or worried about the future? The answer would be ‘No.’ So, live each moment of your life to the fullest.
  • Do not complain for your shortcomings. Pooches never complain if they are not able to retrieve the ball or any other act for that matter. They just try it again and again, until they reach perfection.
  • Alone but not lonely. Canines know how to keep themselves busy and happy. They love to sniff around, play with their toys, etc. And when we are back, they welcome us with a wagging tail and not a sad face.
  • Pooches love to be loved and are like babies when we scoop them in our arms.

4 Steps to know you are a doggy person

  • You and your spouse call themselves the mom and dad of the little bundle of joy. (Even your nameplate and the cards that you sign for friends have his name!)
  • Your house and its furnishings are chosen keeping your pooch in mind.
  • Your friends can see strands of doggy hair on your clothes, car, etc., but you have no time to bother.
  • You receive gifts, not for yourself but for your cootchie-coo pooch as well.

4 useful pet etiquetes

  • Train your pet early so that she learns to behave properly, specially when meeting other people and dogs.
  • If your guests are scared of your pet, keep her on the leash to avoid discomfort.
  • Groom your dog and let her look her best. Who doesn’t like well-kept hair, properly trimmed nails and odourless body?
  • Before going to a friend’s place, check out if pets are allowed to avoid unwelcome situations.

Tarot readings for you and your cuddly delight

For pooch lovers it is always a good time, but we all would love to know, what our cards have in store for us. Here D&P brings tarot cards forecast for the months of July and August.

  • Aries
    (March 21 to April 20)Pet parents: The beginning of July indicates competition and struggle. Those who are planning to settle, marry or move house and plan a family reunion, this is a favorable time.Our furry pals: The cards indicate a message to be strong and not run away from situations, you are advised to be extra careful, especially while playing or crossing the streets, be alert and stay safe.
  • Taurus
    (April 21 to May 20)Pet parents: The beginning indicates a new message for an alliance, marriage or a good job offer, perhaps a promotion and appraisal.Our furry pals: You are advised to be strong and some of you will be generating money or trophies to their parents (pet owners). There is an indication of travel for some, new homes, and new cities, so friends be prepared to get adapted to your new environments.
  • Gemini
    (May 21 to June 21)Pet parents: The beginning of the month is wonderful as you will rise above materialistic things and will be content.Our furry pals: New energy beginning, and a brilliant time to learn new tricks.A probability of shifting to new homes, new surroundings and receive goodies. Super days for pet parents and their furry pals.
  • Cancer
    (June 22 to July 22)Pet parents: The beginning calls for introspection, spirituality, following a guru and seeking a path towards deep thinking. The cards indicate triumph in assignments, alliances, new ventures and business or education.Our furry pals: There is good news for those who shall participate in games, competition, and success as appreciation is in your kitty. However, you are warned to guard your health.
  • Leo
    (July 23 to August 22)Pet parents: The beginning brings a new message linked to your heart, a proposal or a job offer, perhaps your intuition – a message from your inner consciousness. There is good news for those in love, commitment and engagement. Our furry pals: The beginning indicates a little unhappiness, not able to do the right things, however good news especially for our female pals, indicating enthusiasm, and travel.
  • Virgo
    (August 23 to September 22)Pet parents: A favorable beginning for those who are planning or awaiting motherhood, favorable time to receive positive offers, work, business , increments in salary and opportunities for better prospects.Our furry pals: Friends may have to wait a little longer for adoption, as well as mating, although you will receive gifts and will be showered with a lot of attention. Your efforts will bring you lot of quick positive results.
  • Libra
    (September 23 to October 22)Pet parents: A family member’s health should be guarded; those in professions like stocks, marketing or bankers will do exceptionally well. There is travel on the cards for those who are planning a trip.Our furry pals: A good beginning, especially the females will seek a lot of attention, a few may perhaps not make friends easily, have a hard time getting adapted to their new environment and also feel scared in their new surroundings. Be brave and be strong.
  • Scorpio
    (October 23 to November 22)Pet parents: The beginning brings contentment, basically getting what you want, material gains and interestingly spiritual gains as well. Favorable periods for those who plan to tie the knot, commitment, love and planning for future is around the corner.Our furry pals: A few sacrifices perhaps moving away from loved ones, let go of the past and look forward to a bright tomorrow. The males will be highly emotional and also feel special like a king, you all will be energetic learn new tricks and gain loads of attention.
  • Sagittarius
    (November 23 to December 21)Pet parents: The beginning indicates making sacrifices, letting go of the past, missing and trying to bond with the elderly folks especially mother daughter relationship. Health should be on guard.Our furry pals: A time to make friends, be invited to parties, get adopted into new loving homes and be a spectacular performer. A brilliant time for those who participate in events.
  • Capricorn
    (December 22 to January 20)Pet parents: The beginning indicates quick positive results in your endeavors, work, vocation or love. There could be a slight waiting period for those who seek overseas opportunities which could lead to confusion and stress.Our furry pals: The time to chill, take things easy but warning on your cards, keep your goodies and valuable litter safely. A good time to expect gifts and trophies!
  • Aquarius
    (January 21 to February 19)Pet parents: The beginning brings in new opportunities, finance, appraisals and prospective projects. Your valuables should be guarded as there is a possibility of losing or misplacing important stuff.Our furry friends: Those who seek to find new homes will be successful, the females who are expecting will be blessed with sweet, cuddly litter, strange but true you are also advised to be extra cautious.
  • Pisces
    (February 20 to March 20)Pet parents: Try to be spiritual and strong. You will be trying to take charge and control, be it on the work front or home.Our furry pals: Same as your pet parents, health is of concern, do not neglect symptoms, you will make new friends and those who hope for litter, it surely is a favorable time to bring in those sweet loving little furry pals.
– by Varsha Verma

What’s your dog’s canine-ability?

Do you know your dog’s personality? “Of course I do!” would be your most likely answer. Just like those moments when you fail to understand the behaviour of a family member, you may at times be in a fi x to tell “What kind of a dog my pet is!” Though a lot has to do with his breed and genetic characteristics, many personality traits are acquired by nature and nurture. Here’s a simple quiz to decipher your pooches’ personality and bring you closer to understanding them.

1. When you have first-time visitors at home, your dog:

  1. Leaps, bounds and climbs all over the stranger.
  2. Hides under the table with his tail tucked between the legs.
  3. Takes a slow approach and sniffs before deciding to come closer.
  4. Barks, growls and bares his teeth.

2. Your pawed friend is happiest when:

  1. There is a party in the house.
  2. Left alone with a dog-biscuit or a bone.
  3. He gets to spend quality time alone with you.
  4. He gets to chase a mouse or play a rough game on the grass.

3. How often does your dog bark?

  1. Almost throughout the day.
  2. He doesn’t actually bark, he whimpers.
  3. Only when he feels like.
  4. Whenever he sees anything strange or moving.

4. What is your pooch’s favourite pastime?

  1. Being around with people and making new friends.
  2. Cosying up in a corner.
  3. Going out for a refreshing walk.
  4. Biting!

5. When you punish your dog for behaving badly:

  1. He sulks for a while and then returns with a bang…. in a few minutes.
  2. Gets traumatized and refuses to come out of a hideout for several hours.
  3. Sulks and waits for you to come, pamper and coax him.
  4. Doesn’t really care.

6. Among the neighbourhood kids, your dog:

  1. Is a celebrity.
  2. Is petted occasionally by serious dog-lovers.
  3. Is approachable but moody.
  4. Is a terror and makes kids scamper away even when he steps out to pee.

7. On meeting another dog, your dog:

  1. Rubs noses, paws the “new friend” and bites on the muzzle.
  2. Pushes his ears backward and lies on his back with the tail tucked between the legs.
  3. Sniffs up the new dog from all angles and makes calculated moves
  4. Meeting another dog? You must be kidding!

8. During a drive in the car, your dog:

  1. Loves to stick his head out of the window and catch the fresh breeze.
  2. Can’t help peeing and throwing up all the way.
  3. Has his initial hiccups but settles down soon.
  4. Catches up on sleep.

9. Your doggie’s soft spot is:

  1. Scratching on the under-side of the neck.
  2. A gentle stroke on the head.
  3. A firm rub all over.
  4. A wrestle.

10. Does your dog ever run away from home?

  1. Doesn’t really “run away”…but may go out for a stroll by himself.
  2. Wouldn’t even think about it!
  3. Sometimes, but doesn’t go too far.
  4. Yes! Stays out for days on end and comes back rotten.

Your Scores :

Mostly A’s: “Page 3 Personality”: This doggie survives on social contact and is the life of any neighbourhood. The “A-Types” like to welcome their guests with as much enthusiasm as the host and love to be the centre of attention. They tend to get cranky and upset if left alone for long. They are also more prone to attention seeking behaviour. They are good listeners and companions; especially for people who live alone. Full of energy and life, they revel in human or animal company. However, their over-enthusiasm may sometimes even land them in troublesome situations. Also, they have to be trained so that they don’t end up being too dependant. All they ask for is lots of love, food and a little bit of pampering.

Mostly B’s: “The Shy one”: These are overtly sensitive and reserved dogs probably bordering on insecurity and fear. They would turn into a bundle of nerves when faced with too many strangers (human and animals). They scare easily and prefer to play safe in every step they take. A harsh punishment can push them back into their shell and it may take long before you can win back their confi dence. These fragile beings need to be handled with utmost care and compassion in order to build their self-esteem. Think twice before scolding them and try to do with a gentle deterring technique. Use a lot of tactile stimulation as a sign of assurance. Nurture them so that they don’t grow up to be wimps. Physical activity with a lot of inter-personal interaction helps in most cases.

Mostly C’s: “Cool Dude/Babe”: These dogs are usually balanced in their everyday behaviour and not giver to extremes. They are cautious and careful with every move and tend to be moody at times. Being intelligent and alert, they are every dog-trainer’s delight. They adjust easily to new environments but may not be very social at times. They crave individual space and at the same time, need a fair amount of attention to keep them going. This brand usually knows how to chalk out plans and you may fi nd them playing by themselves, exploring around, taking a nap or chilling out in a cosy corner. The good news is that you have an independent dog who is co-operative, not too high in his demands. They tend to look up to their parents for leadership and guidance and your parenting will eventually determine what they become when they grow up.

Mostly D’s: “Angry Young Man”: Your dog is the leader of a wolf pack, not your regular pooch which kids go ga-ga over but a rebel who resists domestication! They love challenges, adventure and freedom. He is most probably a male and an alpha one at that! The D-types are less likely to appreciate too much petting and prefer to be by themselves. They derive thrills out of chases and testosterone driven encounters. These are internally motivated dogs and are not easily impressed by toys, treats and games, which make them diffi cult to train. They are usually unfazed in normal circumstances but can prove dangerous for an outsider if provoked. Fiercely loyal and strong, they make perfect police and guard dogs. Give them adequate exercise, food and space and they are good to go!

Tarot readings for you and your furry pals

Last two issues, we carried write-ups on ‘Dogoscope,’ which informed about the characteristics of your canine angel based on their star signs. As an addendum to it, here are the tarot readings for you and your sweet tail-wagger for the months of May and June 08. Aries
(March 21 to April 20)

Pet parents: The beginning of May indicates a good time for financial investments, expansion in business or thinking about a relationship. The females, especially those at work, will be focused on money or career, will be practical and head strong. It is a good time for buying property, shifting to a new house and settling down. There is an indication of receiving an inheritance for some of you as well. Those connected with spirituality will be inclined towards the same deeply; there is a probability of motherhood as well.

Our furry pals: The cards indicate focus on family duties and time to learn a few tricks. Canines involved in events will be successful and will enjoy themselves. Be careful about their health. Expecting mothers will be blessed with sweet little furry additions to the family.

Taurus
(April 21 to May 20)

Pet parents: The beginning of the month indicates travel, overseas business connections, new assignments and career opportunities. The males can be emotional and at times have mood swings; but they will be very compassionate towards family. There is an indication for some to be disturbed regarding finances or personal issues which may lead to health problems. The elderly male can be slightly authoritative and will be in control of situations, whether personal or professional. However, the young will focus on career and it will be good to be practical, sometimes aggressive and less emotional.

Our furry pals: This is a time for celebration, be it a tour with the family or welcome into new homes. It’s time to master some tricks, receive goodies and bond with new people.

Gemini
(May 21 to June 21)

Pet parents: The beginning indicates a slightly depressing and disturbed week. Take care of your health and please do not be stubborn, instead be less defensive in order to maintain harmony. However, the latter half of the month brings a good emotional beginning, love or a new relationship, a new project or job offer. For those planning a wedding or an engagement, it is a wonderful time to tie the knot. Please do not regret the past as this only brings unpleasantness, so try to be positive and make the most of life.

Our furry pals: It is a very good time for learning and picking up new traits. They will be blessed with emotional happiness, wish fulfi lment and fun. There are good chances for travel and to be surrounded with people in the mid of the month.

Cancer
(June 22 to July 22)

Pet parents: For those who are planning to buy or move into a new house will be successful in doing so. It is also a good time to consider investments. Mid month could bring some criticism or heartbreak or a delay in job offers or starting a new venture. The elderly male or female will be authoritative and certainly have their say in personal or professional matters. People who hope for a new alliance, marriage or commitment, it is a favourable period from May onwards, so be positive and be happy.

Our furry pals: The beginning indicates a blessed time for commitment, which all furry pals are best at, being appreciated for their achievements. Cancerians are moody, and so, it is best suggested to please let them be, as we all need our space.

Leo
(July 23 to August 22)

Pet parents: It is a great time for those in love or planning a marriage or commitment as love is in the air, especially in June. Men who are generally in careers will do very well, especially doctors, lawyers etc.

Our furry pals: The beginning indicates making new friends; especially the females will be bold, courageous and enjoy a sense of importance from their dear ones. There is a good and positive indication or commitment; either planned mating by pet parents or even learning some new tricks.

Virgo
(August 23 to September 22)

Pet parents: The beginning of May indicates a good time for mother-child bonding. The mid month certainly brings positive new beginnings with regards to career and monetary gains. Favourable months to achieve your goals as your stars are bright. Motherhood is on the charts for females while males will focus on career, fi nances, business and stocks.

Our furry pals: The month indicates expectations for new home adoptions. For those planning to enter a contest, victory is defi nitely on the cards.

Libra
(September 23 to October 22)

Pet parents: The beginning indicates criticism or lack of making the correct choices, competitions, quarrels, misunderstandings, and regrets. There will be delay in a travel plan or a project may be blocked and cause some delays in its progress. You all are advised to be cautious while signing any contracts or indulging in money transactions. Some may be inclined towards meditation or even follow a Guru who will be a source of solace. This is clearly a month of ups and downs. You are advised to try to be calm, wise and practical.

Our furry pals: Older furry pals will dominate and bully others in the neighbourhood or at home. Travel forecast for some but a delay around June with regards to being adopted and finding new homes.

Scorpio
(October 23 to November 22)

Pet parents: The beginning indicates for career women a good time, new business opportunity or job offers. It also offers spirituality and an amazing capacity to handle work or home perfectly. There is a wake up call for your consciousness and a blessed time to use your judgment accurately. The month of June is favourable for a celebration, party, rejoicing and making merry. This month also brings positive messages related to love, marriage, commitment and matters of the heart. Those who are in a litigation or matters with legal issues, there will be results.

Our furry pals: A good wish fulfilling beginning and a lot of goodies will be received. The mid month indicates an average time and some will have to be on guard as there may be a bully in the neighbourhood who will try to play Boss.

Sagittarius
(November 23 to December 21)

Pet parents: The beginning is a favourable period for marriage, courtship, commitment and love, also for those who are planning the coming of a baby; this is a good and favourable time to prepare for the new arrival. The men, especially professionals like doctors and lawyers, will be very successful in their respective careers. Those expecting results regarding new ventures will see their wishes fulfi lled by month end. A very vibrant period for the younger generation, who will excel by focusing and being practical. The month of June also indicates some introspection for those who are inclined towards spirituality.

Our furry pals: The beginning indicates some regret and running away from a bully in the neighbourhood. There is a strong indication that appreciation and awards are on the cards.

Capricorn
(December 22 to January 20)

Pet parents: The beginning indicates good time for shopping, indulging in luxuries and motherhood. The month of May is also favourable for making purchases, investments, buying property and fi nancial gains. June is a good time for family togetherness. The time for making donations, helping people or indulging in social work is ideal around the month of June while the end of the month calls for some celebration and party.

Our furry pals: They will be confused, especially those adjusting in a new environment. They may feel depressed but will soon be the centre of attraction and will have loads of fun ‘n’ frolic.

Aquarius
(January 21 to February 19)

Pet parents: This month indicates new beginning of a job via email or an important phone call. It is also a good time for marriage or a commitment. You can be on a spiritual path or think deeply. The month of June indicates good results of your effort. Some of you may be juggling more than one thing at a time – job or relationship. June end is certainly a period of concern, health and work.

Our furry friends: This month calls for extra special care, with regards to health or any decisions pertaining to physical call. A lot of attention is needed for those who may show signs of ill health.

Pisces
(February 20 to March 20)

Pet parents: The beginning of the month indicates confusion, anxiety, emotional regret, etc. There is a need for spiritual help, as you are likely to be over burdened on the home or work front. You may have to make sacrifi ces and probably let go of whatever you are holding on to. The month of June indicates disturbed and diffi cult period, so you are advised to be focused and assess your issues in order to find solutions.

Our furry pals: It is time to make your furry pal comfortable in a new surrounding. There is a possibility of them feeling depressed, confused and scared, but your love will make them feel safe and happy.

Dogoscope – Woof! Blame it on the Star Sign!

Ever-romantic Gemini Pug… creatively balanced Libran Beagle… and passionately devoted Scorpio Lab… I hope most of our readers know, what we are talking about. Yes! Star sign traits are not only for humans, it’s for our caninebuddies as well. Here’s a sneak peek-a-boo on these Bow star signs…Woof! Let’s explore.

Have you ever wondered why some dogs are snappy and some amiable; why some are moody and some forever enthusiastic in life; why some have a sweet tooth and some would literally die for spicy nonvegetarian food? Well, those who don’t care much for dogs would probably shrug and say, “That’s because they belong to different breeds!” But things are not that simple. Those who love and “know” dogs, also know that every dog is as different from the other as are two fingerprints. In fact, what I’m about to say will be scoffed at by non-dog-loving skeptics, but the truth is that regardless of breed, even dogs are born with different characteristics, depending on the zodiac sign he/she is born under. Ask any dog parent, and they will vouch for the fact that every dog manifests certain traits that are typical of their signs. For many pet parents, getting to know more about the corresponding signs of their dogs also helps in understanding their canine child better and facilitates better handling. And so, read on carefully to know the characteristics of the star signs of your adorable babies.

ARIES

(March 21- April 19)

If your baby is born under this sign, you have to be prepared to be in the thick of hurricanes all the time, because Aries dogs are full of energy and known to be hyperactive. So, if you are someone who is not too equipped to handle that kind of energy level, then don’t get an Aries pup home. But if you already have one, then learn to be ready for their power-packed performances all the time, and also be ready to “forgive”, since they are likely to end up breaking quite a few items in the house. But then forgiving them will not be a problem since they shower you with so much love that you can’t stay angry with them for long. But be very careful, not to scold them in public. That’s something that does not go down very well with these four-legged Aries.

TAURUS

(April 20- May 20)

If you happen to be a parent of the Taurus pet, then you can have some breathing space, since Taurus pets are known to be quite passive and easy-going. For children, it could be a dampener, since Taurus pups love to sleep more than playing. They also take time to like people, but once they do, they are yours for life. These darlings also love to eat because of which they are susceptible to obesity. So, be ready to take them out for regular exercise – even though they may put up a strong resistance to it.

GEMINI

(May 21 – June 20)

Gemini pets are one of those for whom you can say – curiosity is killing the dogs! They like to be a part of everything that is going around them and are also prone to sulking if you refuse to include them in all activities. So, be prepared to always pamper them and make them feel wanted. They hate to be left alone and feel very lost when they have no one around them. But what’s remarkable about them is their learning ability. They get trained really fast and are a pleasure to teach new things.

CANCER

(June 21 – July 22)

Like their human counterparts, Cancer pets are very sensitive creatures. They are among the most emotional of all signs. Which is why you must keep this always in mind when you scold them or have a few nasty things to say to them. What’s more, they also get irritated very easily, especially when their private space is encroached upon. Also, keep in mind that they like your undivided attention. So, make sure you always have enough time for these moody pets of yours.

LEO

(July 23 – Aug 22)

When you are a parent of the Leo pet, you will know exactly what I mean when I say that these are the pets with loads of attitude. The sense of ownership they move about with in the house actually makes you wonder if you are a houseguest with them! They have certain elegance about their movement, which is a pleasure to watch.

They also love adventure and are game for whatever new routine or place you come up with. They also end up being leaders of the group of local strays, without having to prove their supremacy. They are in fact, ideal pets for house with kids, since not only do they protect the kids of the house very well, but also love to play with them with all the energy possible. They love to be treated kindly and they know of numerous ways to show you how much they love you.

VIRGO

(Aug 23- Sep 22)

These pets are known for their “feminine” qualities. They make terrific companions and are blessed with such intuitive powers that they know immediately when you are not well. For them, physical proximity is very important. They love to just hang around you and be in the same vicinity. They are shy and not very expressive, but the things that they do, are enough to let you know that they are crazy about you. You only need to have a Virgo pet to believe what I’m saying.

LIBRA

(Sep 23- Oct 22)

These are the easy-going types, who often do not play favourites in the house. They are known to divide their attention equally in the house and deal with all the members at an individual level. Surprised, aren’t you? But then that’s how they are. And just when you think that you can’t be mire surprised, digest that these Libran pets are known to enjoy all the good things in life. They like good food, places and yes – good play toys.

But be prepared for their major mood swings. They may be playful at one minute and sulking the other. But what difference does it make when all you feel for them is just love and more love – and vice versa!

SCORPIO

(Oct 23- Nov 21)

Pets of this sign don’t trust easily, and especially when they have had a bad experience with someone early in life. So, next time if you see your pet snapping ‘unreasonably’ at someone, even if he/she is from the family, understand that your pet is most probably still smarting under past bruise and is settling scores! They are also full of energy and like to display that at every possible occasion. They are known to be very possessive and absolutely hate it when they see the affection being shared. So, next time when you see your Scorpio pet picking up a fight for no reason, understand that there is a “good” reason – that they are trying to get even for having their affection usurped! As for loyalty, well what can I say. They are the most loyal of all the signs in the zodiac.

SAGITTARIUS

(Nov 22 – Dec 21)

These are really the fun loving types, with no hang-ups whatsoever. What is also very endearing about them is their over eagerness to please, they will wag their tails, yelp, lap and lick your face – all to please you. Now, if that won’t melt your heart for good, what will?

They also like to stay outdoors a lot. And so, if you have a house with garden, they will have nothing to complain about. But they do have a tendency to go overboard with excitement and become forgetful. However, the good news is that they need to be disciplined very often. But the little darling that they are, they don’t mind that at all.

CAPRICON

(Dec 22 – Jan 19)

The most endearing thing about Capricorn pets is that they stay young forever – in spirit that is. They have endless capacity to play, which is why they make the best playmate for kids. And just like kids, they tend to sulk when they don’t get their way. In that respect, they are just like little children (which for all dog-lovers, I think they already are, no matter how “adult” they try to be).

One very conspicuous trait about Capricorn pets is that they are ‘family’ canines. They feel most at ease when they have a lively family around them. The dogs that you see most often in paintings and cartoons and books where the dog is contentedly sitting by the sofa by the family, is most likely to be a Capricorn!

AQUARIUS

(Jan 20- Feb 18)

These are gentle and loving creatures and ones who believe in “live and let live” principle. Also, they are very intelligent and blessed with a sharp mind.

One thing that the parents of an Aquarian pet will have to strictly keep in mind is that they hate to be ordered around. They also tend to be a little stubborn and can be slightly difficult to handle when they decide not to obey orders. They are also slightly averse to too much physical display of affection. But these Aquarian dogs are the only ones who give you the pleasure of a pet with whom you can expect some kind of peer relationship. They like to treated as an adult and give their best when treated as such.

PISCES

(Feb 19- Mar 20)

If you feel that your pet is most amiable, peace loving and gentle, then it’s most definitely a Piscean. They are ideal pets as they have a very strong intuition and are very likely to be sensitive to you moods and habits.

They also don’t crave too much of open space and are ideal pets for small houses aka apartments. They have the ability to make the best of everything, even the limited space available to them.

But having said that, all that these four-legged darlings crave for is your love and undivided attention. As long as they get regular supply of TLC (tender loving care), the only characteristic they display is – unconditional love, love and more love. So, Just keep loving…Woof!

– by Amrita Sharma

about Irish Setters

Eight funny ‘n’ exasperating things about Irish Setters

Life with Setters can be anything but dull.

1 It’s fun to test your wits with these intelligent creatures. Stubborn to the core, you can break down their ‘dominating’ behaviour if you can outwit them at their own game. For instance, if you wanna get them to ‘get off the couch’, a stern command is often treated with scant respect. But involve them in a game and they are happy to do your bidding!
2 They have a little ‘knot’ on their head. That’s what some Setter lovers say is their ‘knot of knowledge’. Or others call the ‘kissable knot’. Or sometimes maybe you’d be prone to call them just ‘knuckleheads’!
3 Towel me, please! That’s what Setters say after their meal. Trust me they are very resourceful at finding their own napkins – unfortunately, it might be that lovely Persian rug that you just got back from the laundry!
4 While one Setter believes in ‘pointing’ and ‘setting’ every pigeon, house lizard, toad or every little sparrow in the backyard, the other might believe in ‘live and let live’ – preferring to laze in the sun than worry his little head over setting!
5 They are masters of counter surfing. You might find a freshly-baked cake that you left on the counter a minute ago, disappearing in the blink of an eye!
6 Spray bottles scare the hell outta the brave little Setter! Aim one and you will find him ducking for cover!
7 Setters have the most innovative ways of drinking water. It’s so boring to drink water out of a bowl, right? Straight out of a faucet – great. Better still – puddles of dirty water
8 They are big trophy-collectors. Be it socks, underwear, toys, balls, they have got to hoard them all. And, the most exasperating part is that they have to flaunt their embarrassing hoard in front of guests!

Understanding aggression in dogs

Like humans, dogs too have a personality of their own and their behaviour is often  determined by various internal and external factors and aggression is no exception. 

Out of the entire range of canine behavioural traits, aggression is one characteristic, which is by far the most misunderstood and mishandled by humans. For many ‘supposed’ animal lovers, signs of aggression or ferocity have often caused them to resort inhumane practices, such as abandonment, eliminating the incisors and even euthanasia. Then there are people who prefer to keep a distance from anything that looks dog-like. They mostly dread the idea of a dog getting close to them and commonly believe, that all dogs do, is chase and bite people. The fact is that dogs have better things to do in life than chase and bite people all day long. With relevance to the former case, it has to be learnt and recognized that there may be certain physical and psychological factors underlying aggressive behaviour in a dog.
Most people, unfortunately, remain unaware of the existence and outcomes of these factors due to the lack of appropriate education on dog psychology and behaviour. The knowledge of this would help a great deal in avoiding uncomfortable and unsafe situations for the family of the pet, for the animal herself and of course, a complaining neighbourhood.
The foremost thing to learn and understand about dogs is that, they too have personalities of their own. In this regard, it is also important to note that, each dog has a distinct personality, depending on the environment in which she has been allowed to mature. The conduciveness of this environment to the psychological and physical well being of the pooch, is what will determine the possibilities of her displaying varied forms of aggression. A proper recognition of these, go a long way in assisting a healthy co-existence between humans and their canine companions.
Protection: The sense of ‘protection’ is a very common instigator of aggressive behaviour. Dogs have a strong tendency to protect things that they find valuable, such as their food, toys, territory and even their human family members. This kind of aggression is in most cases directed towards strangers, (who, according to dogs, might snatch away or harm their valuable possessions) and normally protects houses from robbers or burglars. Dogs find growling or barking as their only protective weapons.
Fear or anxiety: Dogs and all other animals, are naturally fearful and apprehensive of things, environments and situations, which they are unfamiliar to. These unfamiliar things are often considered to have the potential of being threatening. For example, any dog who has grown up in a quiet and peaceful household, will feel startled and threatened amongst noisy, rowdy or overly active people. In such a case, a dog may bark or pounce to drive the chaos away and defend herself and her human family. From a dog’s point of view therefore, if the behaviour of an otherwise friendly passerby looks threatening or frightening, there is all the reason to act for the purpose of protection.
Ill-treatment: Closely associated with the above mentioned factor, is aggression deriving from ‘ill-treatment.’ In a case where the dog is frequently beaten or hit for varied reasons, the dog might one day begin retaliating through ferocious behaviour, due to the fear of being hurt again. It is, thus, common to see that people who are harsh with their pets usually have dogs who are aggressive in nature.
Maternal instinct: Maternal aggression is commonly observed in female dogs two to four weeks after they have given birth and derives again, from a sense of insecurity and fear. Even the most docile and friendly dog is most likely to display maternal aggression if she has the slightest intuition that her babies might be at risk. It is most advisable, therefore, to restrict any visitors to get a look at, let alone touching, those ‘Oh! So adorable!’ bundles of cuteness for the first few weeks. As far as stray mothers are concerned, it is best for doggy lovers to prepare a cosy and safe place for her and the babies in some corner in a lane, not forgetting to keep a safe distance.
Frustration: It can originate from various factors, prominent amongst them being long hours of confinement and chaining. Besides, certain ‘playing’ methods of pet parents also bother dogs. Imagine someone shaking you up while you are in deep sleep, or someone blowing air in your face, or tickling, poking or trying to stuff you in a pillowcase! One must realize that a dog too has ‘limits,’ a concept that people, mostly children, ignore when it comes to animals. This disregard is most likely to result in a rebellious response from the canine and the only way that she can express this defiance is through a show of aggression.
Play-fighting: As far as ‘play fighting’ between dogs and humans is concerned, it is symbolic of an affectionate exchange of fondness and trust. Here, we may slap and pull or grab our dogs playfully, while they playfully bite or tug our hands or clothes. ‘Play bites’ are extremely inhibited and harmless. Young dogs, however, who are still learning how to inhibit their bites while playing, might at times, unintentionally bite hard. This, by all means, must not be considered as an act of aggression, as it is nothing more than an innocent effort to return your affection.
Pain or sickness: A sick or injured dog often turns irritable and snappy. Snapping, showing of teeth or growling, however, are no more than warnings saying ‘do not touch!’ It is not surprising, therefore, for an otherwise gentle dog to bite a caring owner who is trying to examine, treat or soothe a wound or injury.
Old age: It is common for an aged dog to acquire certain age related medical problems such as impaired vision and hearing or a diminished sense of smell. As a result of confusion caused by these, a dog may not be quick in recognizing and accepting people or situations. Consequently, they tend to get startled and irritated quickly at being approached or handled too often. These reactions also have to do with another trait that is associated with the elderly, including those amongst humans, is the ‘lack of patience.’ We, therefore, see old dogs becoming snappy and less tolerant towards active puppies and ‘over-enthusiastic’ human lovers. Besides these factors, other age related problems such as arthritis also cause great discomfort and pain in old dogs, making a dog less friendly and intolerant.
Dominance: The victims here are usually the pet owners who, from the dog’s point of view, are the subordinates in the ‘pack.’ Obviously then, the dog considers herself to be the leader of the pack, or in literal terms, the leader or head of the family. The fact is that a dog is a pack animal and by natural instincts, will try to establish dominance within any pack that she belongs to. For pet dogs, the owning family, along with the other household pets, form the pack. What’s interesting, is that it is the owners’ behaviour towards the dog, which will determine the development of dominance aggression. If the owners have a habit of feeding the dog before they eat themselves, or allow him to sleep on their own beds, or submit at one bark of demand; the dog will establish a higher rank in the household and begin commanding wishes through a show of dominance aggression.
Redirected aggression: Here, a dog might attack his owner, a stranger or another animal because she is already enraged by another source or in another context. The most common example of this form of aggression is when a man, who is trying to break a fight between two dogs, grabs at the dogs’ collars, tails or legs in the process. The agitated dog will most probably throw a bite at the ‘interfering’ source, without realising who that source is and many times, even considering it a part of the other dog.
So, the next time you see your dog showing aggressive behaviour, try to understand the underlying cause, before labelling her as an aggressive dog. Remember, such behaviour can be controlled with the help of proper training.

Ode to man’s best friend

The one phrase that everyone keep saying veryThe very often – irrespective of whether he is a dog lover oroften or not – is that a dog is a man’s best friend. Even sceptics can’t help but acknowledge the truthEven truth of this saying. And what’s surprising is that everof ever since man has known since time immemorial, there is no companion like a dog for a man…

 

We all have grown up hearing stories of dog’s love, loyalty and courage. The humancanine bond is so strong that even though they don’t vow ‘Till death do us apart…,’ every dog gives his human friend the unconditional love and care till he breathes his last. It is believed that the saying ‘A dog is man’s best friend’ actually has its origin in a very interesting court battle that was fought vis-à-vis a dog. It so happened that a plaintiff by the name of Charles Burden lost his dog named “Old Drum” when the animal was shot dead by his neighbour Leonidas Hornsby. Old Drum had accidentally wandered onto the Hornsby’s property. Even though Hornsby had often hunted with the dog and acknowledged him to be one of the best hunters he had ever since, he shot him down. The bereaved Burden sued Hornsby for damages and the trial become one of the most talked about cases in history. After the jury awarded $25, the neighbour successfully appealed the ruling. The dog’s owner however succeeded in his motion for a new trial and the case shifted to Missouri. That was when Burden hired George Graham Vest to fight his case. Little did anyone know that this man would give a speech which would endear him to all dog-lovers in the world for all times to come. It was a speech that put dogs on a pedestal like never before and gave them their due value in human society.

Unfortunately, only the first portion of his speech has been preserved, which says: “Gentlemen of the jury, the best friend a man has in the world may turn against him and become his worst enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name, may become traitors to their faith. The money that he has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it the most. A man’s reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honour when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its clouds upon our heads. The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous…is his dog.”

He went on to say, “Gentlemen of the jury, a man’s dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master’s side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens. If fortunes drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies, and when the last scene of all comes and death takes the master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside will be the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death.”

And after George Graham Vest sat down, it took the jury not more than two minutes to deliberate on the case. They immediately awarded the dog’s owner more than what he asked for, because like everyone who heard the speech, they knew that the plaintiff had not just lost his dog, he had indeed lost his greatest and most loyal friend. So overwhelmed were the residents of Warrensburg by the whole truth of Vest’s speech that they went ahead and erected a statue of “Old Drum” on the Johnson County Courthouse Square in his

memory and to commemorate his selfless service. The statue stands there even today, and reminds all and sundry what a dog means to humans.

This is just one instance, there are hundreds more instances where humans have immortalised their pets. In India itself, in Tarapada village in Orissa, there’s a tomb built in remembrance of a dog named Bhalu. The canine had faithfully guarded the homes of nearly 500 villagers in the coastal district of Kendrapada. In

honour of his memory and to express their gratitude for his selfless and loyal care, the villagers placed a marble plaque on the tomb. Not only that, there are also certain specific details of Bhalu’s short life mentioned on the plaque, which everyone remembered with great fondness.

Dog owners have now accepted canines as important family members and are ready to do anything to be together. Suja Rajagopal, while migrating along with their family from US to Chennai, brought their pets along (Nubia, a mixed Siberian Husky and Conan, a German Shepherd). Even though the whole process was expensive but for them that’s a small price for their priceless buddies. People have become more responsible towards their pets and the society is changing for the better. Pets are now allowed in churches and some organizations (like Google) allow their employees to bring their pets along. For us humans, the only thing as permanent as nature itself, is the unconditional love that dogs shower on us, seeking nothing in return. And I know I speak for all those dog lovers out there when I say, that if there is one thing that God made without any defect – in body, form and soul – were the four-legged darlings. May God bless our canines, amen!

– by Amrita Sharma