Bonzoi the struggling stray!

Bonzoi (circled) in the picture

Bonzoi (circled) in the picture

The poor soul Bonzoi, most of the time is hunting for food, fresh water and shelter. He is deprived of all these. Having no
other option, he usually picks unhygienic leftovers from public eating places. Subsequently he falls ill. To add to his
problems he has a large family, consisting of his female partner, who is locally known as Timmie and their six pups. The human world is pacing in speed day by day without even noticing the agony of these creatures. People are always shooing the strays away. A little kind gesture of ours towards Bonzoi and his family and millions of other strays like them, cannot change the world but can change the world for that very animal.

Mother’s pure love

A mother holds her child’s hand for just a short time, but holds her heartpawtails forever! On a cold February morning, I woke up early and greeted the sun rays by drawing the curtains apart. To my surprise, Timmie, a stray, who dwells in the abandoned plot in front of my house, was all cuddled up and was trying to hide something very precious. Needless to say, the next moment I found myself in that plot, my attachment to the stray drew me there! When I bent down to pat her, she revealed the secret. Six puffy balls, lay there, snuggling within each other, leaving me spell bound. The expression on Timmie’s face was, “So, how is the surprise, huh?’’ I had definitely loved the surprise and hugged her with joy.
Their eyes were not yet open to this world, they had no idea about the miseries they could suffer in this human world. Tiny ears twitched with every wave of cold wind. Little paws made sure that they were close to their mother. Their tender bodies cuddled into each other for the warmth and security. I couldn’t stop myself, I picked up one of the cutest creatures made by god in the heaven. The innocence on his face was capturing. He left himself, relaxed on my palm and his tiny paws clutched to my thumb. In the meanwhile, Timmie tried her best to keep her pups comfortable by giving them her body warmth.
Not only did I discover that the pups where heavenly and were a beautiful gift of god but also that the love and affection they shared with their mother was unconditional. I got to know that being a mother is the highest paid job in the world, since the payment is done in pure love. Only Timmie was the one on whom they could lean on. Only Timmie was the one with whom they could secure their nights. Only Timmie was the one who could teach them to fight for survival. It was amazing to witness this all.
Gradually, the blooms disappeared and the naked trees stood under the hot sun. Giving way to the rains, the scorching heat bid goodbye. Those tendure, thumb-sized paws now had sharp nails and strength to run and play like hooligans!
Anybody who enters that plot, be it the garbage man or labourer working in the next plot, or our help who is a regular supplier of milk to them, their excitement knows no bounds. One day, our help complained about her torn kurta and refused to serve the pups anymore. I had to sympathise with her but laughed my heart out when I was back into my room. Not anymore, are these young dogs limited to that plot now. They are familiar with every nook and corner of this colony. They follow the milk man and his leaking milk can, religiously, till he crosses the main gate of the colony.
Any new comer dog in the colony has to take permit of these dogs otherwise it turns up into a mess. Initially, Timmie was their caretaker but now her sons and daughters make sure no one hurts their mother. And she rests undisturbed.
–Kanupriya Agarwal, Delhi


Forever my baby…


Jenny came to me in November 2011 when she was barely one month old, looking flustered, scared and lost. My first sight of her, I remember she was sitting in the carton on the front seat of the car looking confused and I on seeing her remarked, “So damn cute!” It feels like it all happened just yesterday. Well, now she is of three and a half years old but for me she will always be my baby and now everyone in the house is centered around her.

She is the first pet in our family. When she falls ill everyone in the family is equally sick with worry. Although not allowed on the bed she will crawl her way into my bed and curl up next to my feet or on the pillow beside me; if she feels cold then right under the covering sheet. I just love it! Although my mother yells, I absolutely have no qualms getting up with dog hair and Jenny sitting by my side, waiting for me to get up to immediately jump up and smother me with her face. And it’s my favourite ritual of the day. She will then run to get milk with me and will keep standing on two feet till I give her some which she will swiftly slurp.

My peeping Jenny – loves to peep out, this happens every time you leave home, almost ready to jump out. Her small nuisances make me crazy about her like how she turns her head to the left side when she is confused or how she will drink first the spilled water and then from the bowl. She comes running wildly at the door and goes in circles around you till you scoop her up and give hundreds of kisses or how she drools and stares until you give her a piece of mango and kulfi or the way she sits on your lap when your mood isn’t good or how she runs and hides under the chair or bed if you scold her, etc, and it can go on. These are tiny things which have become a very important part of my life and through these things I have learnt important lessons in life like standing up for my responsibilities, acknowledging and carrying them. Jenny has made me a whole lot more loving and caring. I have stopped being annoyed almost completely. I am a better human being than I was before and Jenny has a big part to play in it. This is how we are today.

–Dr Priyam Mishra, Hyderabad

Love struck one rainy day

Love-struck-one-rainy-dayAtiny pup outside my house took my heart away. One day, it was raining cats and dogs. I told my wife that I had something special for her. I picked up the tiny furry fellow in the rain and brought him home. After an instant, I observed two states – first, my wife was angry; second my eight months old daughter Paridhi was ecstatic. I told my wife to check out Paridhi who was on the seventh planet playing with her new buddy whom we finally named Octopussy. Paridhi was blissful which made us feel very happy. After two months, we observed our Paridhi became more active in the company of tiny Octopussy. Arrival of Octopussy has made our family complete and I am thankful to that rainy day, which created love in our lives!

– Dr Pradeep Sheoran, Haryana

Sheroo my youngest son

Sheroo-my-youngest-sonIt was a normal hectic day with me rushing to school. I was driving past the commandant’s bungalow and just about to turn towards my school when I saw a small brown furry ball running after my car. My children squealed in delight on watching him chase my car. As much as I would have loved to slow down I couldn’t stop as I was getting late on the job. As the day progressed I completely forgot about him… the hectic day neared to an end…and the last bell finally rang. Tired I drove back home again to be chased by the same brown pup. My kids urged me to take him home but I refused as I already had two dogs waiting eagerly for me to get home. Since my childhood I have been an avid dog lover…but was allowed only one dog as a pet on a condition that I would take care of his grooming, walks and veterinary visits… my mom wanted nothing of it except providing the meals… and I got my first pet Silky. She was a wonderful companion and lived up to 17 years. She was a mixed breed. Guess the same genes I have passed on to my kids.

Second glance…

In the evening, me and my husband went out for our routine walk. Suddenly I heard a happy bark after me and on turning around I found the same pup running after me on his tiny legs. Amazed and recollecting the day’s experience I just couldn’t hold myself back and in-spite of protests from my husband I bent down and picked up the little urchin. I looked around for other of the same litter but couldn’t find any, so I took him across the road and set him on the grassy patch hoping that he would be safe and carried on with my walk. I don’t know what was there in that pup but I felt strongly attached to him and as I was returning I warned my husband that if again he follows me back then he is going home!

In my arms…

As I crossed the commandant’s bungalow I had a feeling of both pleasure and pain of not seeing him again. My husband who knows my nature and how stubborn I can be was just expressing his relief that the little one had found his mother and that I should not over react. Just then I heard a gypsy came to a screeching halt behind me and we turned in shock! We were just about to give the driver a piece of our minds when I saw a little furry ball curled up between the front wheels of the gypsy. I just couldn’t believe my eyes and picked up the little imp. That was him! He seemed so utterly helpless and lonely and I wasn’t going to leave him on the streets to see him dead in the morning!


Much against the advice of my vet and constant coaxing of my husband I had decided that he was coming home. Luckily for me both my angels Samba and JW showed no aggressiveness and welcomed Lucky to the family. Now the problem came as my husband would not allow him inside the house so he was to be kept outside on the porch. I made a little kennel for him with small woolens to keep him warm during nights as winter had set in. He would constantly yelp for company and I landed up spending most of my nights outside with him wrapped up in shawl with a barn owl giving me company. This carried on for two months till it got very chilly to leave him outside and I fought to have him in. Anyway I succeeded in having him inside the house.

Chosen name…

Lucky was then rechristened as Sheroo as he just would not respond to the previous name and one-day when I saw him prowling to catch a squirrel I just called him Sheroo on an impulse and he gave up his target and straight headed for my lap licking my face as if approving of the name and thus it stuck….. Lucky became Sheroo. He chose his name just as he chose his pet parent! Today, he is a handsome dog of three years and I am ever so proud of my youngest son. That was not the end… the latest addition to my small family of a dozen (myself, my hubby, my two kids, Simba, JW, my two tortoises, three turtles and fishes) is a stray kitten called Snowbell (mind you my kitten and my dogs are terrific friends!) but that’s another story to be told some other day!

– Ranjeeta Nath Ghai, Secunderabad

Exam time The curfew begins…

Exam-time-The-curfew-begins…I woke up after three long hours and Kanupriya’s hands were still working and working and working… The same dull study table, the same boring atmosphere and the same lazy me! Will these exams never end? She had the same stern look and her hands were moving to and fro with the same speed. It was enough! I couldn’t take it anymore. She even forgets my evening walk when she studies. I call it rotten, very much rotten. I got up from that dark corner and stretched to my maximum. I pushed my muzzle over her thigh and made an effort to remind her about my presence. She gave me a look of a second and then looked again into her notebook as if she were thinking of a mathematic formula and not looking at me. My effort to prompt her failed. I dragged my lazy body back to that dark corner and thought about a new idea.

Suddenly, the bulb of my mind lit and I hid behind the curtain and started making weird noises. For once I thought she was coming to me because she was concerned. But to my shock she pulled the curtain apart with a jerk and gave me a tight one. I turned into a stone. I could feel the sensation of the slap, running down my veins. My life seemed futile and I returned to that same gloomy corner. Another idea, pee and poo! That’s what my mind said. I started revolving around the dining table like the earth does on its orbit around the sun. This is my way of alarming my family members that someone should escort me to the garden for the purpose of this bare fact of life! Nobody over looks this act of mine. But in vain! She didn’t even notice my vigorous effort, leave it Mischief, find another idea. I silently crept to the drawer and pulled her sock and started nibbling it and even tore it a bit.

Moreover, secretly I pulled out an eraser from her stationary box. I was sure she would get up then. To my disappointment, she gave me a scary look and I gave up. She was the winner again. To my rescue her mother called her for evening tea.

Hurray! Now in any case she had to get up and leave her studies. Perhaps this was a golden opportunity for me. I jumped from the bed and landed on her feet. I made a puppy face that could win hearts. I pleaded her to get me out of this monotony. We both were out and after having her evening tea, she locked her room and was back to her studies. I was left all alone.

But every dog has ‘his’ day. Exams are over now. Kanu is back, fully charged, all for me! Now I have walks twice a day, extended durations of play-time, long sessions of my pawdicure and all of above, spending time together. The study table has been deserted for good and the sun is glowing blissfully on me again.

–Mischief, Delhi (Text by Kanupriya Agarwal)

My mom and me!

My-mom-and-me!Today I am a lucky person to have dog in my house and of course to help a dog outside my house. But this actually was not easy. One day in December 2009 we went to a breeder who led us to a kennel where many Labs were kept. But there was only one pup who was the fastest and cutest. He came to check who was standing, that was love at first sight. We named him Blog and called him lovingly Bloggy! I had to face difficulties as my father was not receptive to dogs. However, surprisingly after a few months he started pampering and even taking him to walks.

After a few months, a cute brown little stray came near my house. I first thought she just came in search of food but she started living there. Since that day whenever I used to go to cycling I would hide some biscuits in my pocket to feed her. Biscuits were unbelievably getting finished. This happened regularly for two months. I was just 10 years old then.

One-day my mother noticed what I was doing and she too joined the gang! We started feeding her secretly by hiding it from others in the house. When my father got to know about it he was angry at first but allowed later. She fell ill because she ate bones thrown out by butchers and her mouth got infected by cuts. Now-a-day we not only feed her but also give her medical treatment. She is loyal and protective. She sleeps in the day and guards the colony at night.

I think my mother Shuchi Arora is the best pet lover I know, she everyday takes care of our stray friend who has been around us for nearly two years now and has done a lot for our colony.

–Avi Arora, Dehradun

Oreo The Champ

Oreo-The-ChampOreo, a Lhasa Apso by breed is a star. His flowing fur mesmerises all. He is unique, joyful and mischievous, dignified and a style icon. Oreo has been a champion since we adopted him when he was three months old. He has a winning lineage to himself and belongs to a champion class family. His father, grand father and grand mother are all multiple winners of various groups.

He entered the KCI Dog Show when he was only 11 months, and has never looked back. Numerous titles that adorn his showcase are Best in Show, Utility Group Winner, Best of Breed and more…

Prominent among his achievements are consequent 4CC titles and Championship in his 2nd show. He has won laurels in various shows across Kolhapur, Pune, Goa and Mumbai.

We at the Sao Family are very proud to be his guardians and consider him to be a very dear family member. My daughter shares a special relation with him and strengthens the bond with a love band called Rakhi.

Myself, my children and the entire family is always very excited to spend our day with our little boy. We love grooming and bathing him, changing his water time to time and most of all strolling him around.

He is my kid and I can do anything happily for him. Gradually, the bond of love has become so strong that no one in the family can live without him.

–Nilesh Sao, Dombivli (E), Mumbai

Pawsome Eight

Pawsome-EightI share my home & heart with Mischief, but there are seven more angels who stay around my house.

I never start my day, my day starts me because of the lovely gifts given to me by god. Mischief wakes me daily at sharp 5:30 am for my school. I think that my alarm clock can fail, but Mischief is always charged.

I get ready for school and after giving Mischief a loving hug, I run down the stairs to meet my lady Timmie. Timmie’s eyes are most beautiful and remind me of the sun. Meanwhile, Mischief watches on and does not like me adoring Timmie.

Then my school cab arrives and I leave for school. But that is not all! I relish the warmth and affection that my buddies shower me, during every free period there is always a charm to reach home, as soon as possible. When I come back home, I get loaded with love from my furry friends. First arrives Timmie who jumps at me and barks in a very joyful manner, as if saying, “Welcome back!”

Then come the love birds – the ferocious Tilly and the snow white Kenny. They both greet me in a playful way and I offer them some treats.

Now, comes the most suspicious one, Dekstor, he never allows me to touch him but expresses his love nevertheless.

The slow walking turtle, Liza, arrives and gives me a big smile of a mile with a slowly moving tail. She is the laziest but still the apple of my eye.

There by the mountains sits Faith, the ‘Do-Not-Enter-Here’ dog. He never climbs down the sand mountain and so, I need to climb a 10 feet high sand mountain to greet him.

Now, I will make you familiar with the most speedy creature of our colony! Yes, this is the usual adjective that people share about, my always winning athlete, Bonzii. He runs like a bullet, especially on a new arrival.

After spending an hour with my pals, I respond to my eager mother who keeps constantly reminding me of the running time and my studies. Oh, it’s night now, it means dinner time and then “Good-bye”. I feed all of my pals with milk and bread, so that they do not have an empty stomach and craving soul. Then, they have belly rubs, one by one and I say, “Good night” to them. The pulse of my heart, Mischief, sleeps besides me and we all Pawsome Eight meet in our dreams! My every day is made special because of these dogs. I am just IX class student at Delhi Public School (DPS), Mathura Road, New Delhi but have inferred from all these.
–Kanupriya Agarwal, New Delhi

My soulmate

Inspite of my hard work, my performance in my college presentation was bad – I was dejected and depressed. I came home only to find myself welcomed by a loving, caring and smiling face. She greeted me with such love and affection that it clearly reflected in her eyes. I ignored her presence and went to my room and started crying. She slowly came behind me and sat in front of me silently watching me cry. I started to yell and vented out my frustration. She quietly listened to me without interfering. Then she came up to me and kissed me. Her eyes and expression were worth 1,000 words. She quietly said, “Don’t worry, I am here for you.” By looking at her calm and serene face, I completely forgot all my worries and decided to do better next time. Guess who I’m referring here! She is my Flutter, my five years old Labrador!

She is one of the most calm and loving pets you can ever meet. She is full of life and spreads happiness wherever she goes. She always inspires me to learn new things every day. She is the best thing that’s happened to me. It’s because of her I have learnt to be calm and patient in life. I have started analysing things not just mentally but emotionally as well. I am very thankful to God for creating an amazing and beautiful companion like Flutter.
–Aishwarya G, Mumbai

Pawsome analytical skills!

Pawsome-analytical-skills!I often look at my canine companion Coco and think, that the saying ‘it’s a dog’s life’ is way off the mark. I mean, she has it all – a loving family, plenty of toys, good nutritious meals, visits to the vet when she is not well in a pet parent-driven car and a housing complex filled with people who worry if she is not out with me. But I realise that her life is good because of her perspective and attitude towards life and the challenges that she faces as a sole dog in a house filled with humans.

Coco inherently knows that there are no problems…only solutions and deals with issues quite differently than we humans do. If there is a puddle of water on the morning walk path – no issue – she just looks at it and changes the direction of her walk slightly to avoid getting her paws wet and continues. She knows the art of problem solving – without having read any self-help or management books!

When her ball rolls under the sofa, she gets excited and tries various options to retrieve the ball. Each time this happens, she finds new ways to solve her dilemma. She is persistent. As a human, we most probably get frustrated if we cannot solve an issue immediately and look for easy short-term solutions rather than looking at the big picture.

What I learnt from her is that a dog approaches a problem with an open mind and engages in possibility thinking. As humans, many of us approach it with annoyance and a negative attitude, thinking of it as a hindrance rather than an opportunity to learn and grow. We set ourselves up for failure even before we begin. I’ve shared my observations with other pet parents and it appears their pet friends do the same. So, I am convinced that my dog is not a prodigy but has something that other canines know as well.

Problem solving is not only a valuable skill; it is also an art and Coco has taught me that the following subset of skills that are required as translated for the human mind. The first skill is creative thinking. You can call it thinking out of the box. The ideas will flow if you engage your imagination during a brainstorming session.

The second step is to check each option for sound reasoning and weed out unachievable options. Like a canine, be objective in your approach. The third and most important step is to approach each problem that you encounter with an open mind and positive attitude. That is the only way you will not only find solutions but better ones that work… just like Coco does!

–Vatsala Shukla, Delhi