Kaizad Gustad

Kaizad GustadRemember Kaizad Gustad? Yeah, the same guy who shot into the limelight with Bollywood movies ‘Bombay Boys’ and ‘Boom.’ Kaizad is also a writer and a dog lover. He is happily married to Alexandra and their dog Attapatu completes their family. Kaizad and Alexandra both grew up on vast farms, granted, they were on opposite sides of the world, but shared the intrinsic nature of country living: fresh food, clean air, playing in the sun all day and even sleeping under the stars at night. But the most significant aspect of farm living is being surrounded by animals, both wild and domestic, and always having a pack of dogs by your side acting as loyal guardians, playmates and the best of companions.

As adults, they each moved to big cities around the world, until they met in London, got married and decided to make Mumbai their home. One thing that they both wanted was a dog, a large one, and in Mumbai, they had the space to keep one. For one year, they discussed breeds they liked, talked to breeders, and basically went back and forth on the topic, never coming to a final decision.

How Atta came in our lives…

On my first birthday in India, Kaizad surprised me with a trip to his home in Karnataka. It was a magnificently huge farm, with uninterrupted land sprawling as far as the eye could see. I finally got to see the trees, stone quarries and fields where my husband used to gallivant around as a child. And as we arrived at the house, both of us starving to see animals, we came upon the family dogs in the yard. One of them was a magnificent jet black dog with sad chocolate eyes that begged for attention. He was a half black Lab half German Shepherd mix, with the impressive size of a Shepherd and the sweet temperament and striking colour of a Lab. He had been born into the family, but we learnt that he was being given away the very same day we were leaving for Mumbai, to make room for the family’s other dogs. We looked at each other and wondered if we were meant to rescue this dog and add him to our own family. Coincidentally, his name was Alex, which is my name, and it was as if fate was telling us that this dog was supposed to find us. We agreed to take him, or rather, he made sure that we took him, and off we went with our new baby back to the city. Of course, changing his name was a must, as we couldn’t have two Alex’s in the house. So from then on, we called him Attapatu (fondly called Atta), after the Sri Lankan cricket player whose sweet sounding name always made us giggle.

Atta adjusts to city life…

Remarkably, Atta adjusted beautifully to city life. We soon realised that he did not need a farm to run around on, this dog survived better on constant supplies of love and attention. And we made sure that he got plenty of that!

Life after Atta in our lives…

For the past year, Atta, Kaizad and I have lived as if we never knew what life was like before we all came together

Spending quality time…

I spend the day with Atta. He sometimes accompanies Kaizad to his office. But, whenever Kaizad comes back from a busy day at office, he plays with him.

About Atta’s needs…

This pooch is eating us out of house. He gets 1 – 1.5 kg of food per day, but we just adore seeing him so healthy and happy. He is walked twice a day to keep him fit. What Atta loves… He and Kaizad play football, and Atta has become a stellar defensive player. Our daily games and jaunts are always eagerly awaited by all three of us. They also love to wrestle.

Atta on vacation…

We take him everywhere we go; he’s the most well-travelled dog in India for sure. In fact, our number one requirement for vehicles in the past year was whether or not they have enough space for Atta to travel comfortably! So far, we have travelled with him to Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttranchal, etc.

What Kaizad loves about Atta…

He is a real man’s dog. He does not want to be cuddled all the time. He puts his head in our laps for 5 minutes and let us cuddle and kiss him for that time only.

What Alex loves about Atta…

Atta is an incredibly sweet companion.

What he loves about Kaizad…

Atta loves and adores Kaizad. If Kaizad is angry with Atta, he wilts like a dying flower. They have a very special bond.

What Atta loves about Alex…

I take care of all his needs and he appreciates me for that.

Any annoying habit of Atta…

None, he is really an angel.

Atta needs our company…

If either of us is not with Atta, he becomes depressed and does not eat or play. He keeps lying on the floor and waits for us to come back.

Tip for readers…

Be careful of ticks and the damage they can do.

On a last note…

He has brought so much joy into our lives that we are interminably grateful that he adopted us as his parents. He makes our family complete. Kaizad likes to remind Atta of how much we spoil him by singing, ‘I wanna be my dog, but my dog you see, he doesn’t wanna be me….’ You never know, one day Atta might be the next big star in a Kaizad Gustad film!

(As narrated by Alexandra)

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