Beautiful and charming, a Reiki master, an active social worker, an artist, an animal lover… Bollywood actress Rati Agnihotri spreads grace and love wherever she goes. She is the cynosure of eyes for her whole family, including her three Labradors, who have stolen this show stealer’s heart and Rati proudly says, “My dogs are my life!” In conversation with D&P, Rati shares more about her love for dogs.
One name that always comes to our minds when we think of Bollywood love flicks is the legendary ‘Ek duje ke liye’ and we still remember the sensational damsel ‘Sapna’ aka Rati Agnihotri. Over the years, Rati Agnihotri has seen all walks of life and today this talented actress is known not only for her screen presence but also as an active social worker, promoting awareness about cancer, AIDS and animal welfare. Besides being a Reiki master, she is also an artist and has excelled in candle-making, rock sculpting, stained-glass painting, etc. Some of her well-known Bollywood movies include ‘Tawaif,’ ‘Shaukeen,’ ‘Coolie,’ ‘Mujhe Insaaf Chahiye,’ etc. After a gap of 16 years, she made a comeback in not only movies (‘Kuch khatti kuch meethi,’ ‘Karma, Confessions & Holi,’ etc) but also well-known TV shows like ‘Jhalak Dikhlaja.’
This pretty lady has deep emotional bond with animals and dogs in particular. Ever since she was a child, she has been blessed with the company of dogs. “My dogs are my life (And all we dog lovers will surely agree!). I always had dogs and have spent the better years of my life with Labradors, Alsatians, German shepherds, Boxers, Dalmatians and even street dogs. At one time, we had seven German Shepherds,” exclaimed Rati enthusiastically.
On asking about the memoirs from the past, Rati replied, “Every moment spent with my dogs is special. Their love in unconditional and they are my babies. Each one of them had some particular habit and I loved them all.”
Today, her house echoes with the antics of her three golden Labradors – Ralph (6 years old), Tobler (2 years old) and Asterix (1 year old). “Ralph and Tobler were gifted by one of my friends in Bangalore while Asterix is Ralph’s son. All three are different but very entertaining. Ralph is like a robot, Tobler is my bodyguard and Asterix is a joker,” tells the svelte actress proudly.
So who’s the favourite amongst the three? “Just as we can’t choose between our children, I cannot choose between my lil’ doggies,” came a diplomatic reply from our star. “I love their unconditional love and the way they welcome me when I get back home. They care for me, guard me and even relieve my stress and tiredness.” Even the doctors would agree that our pooches help in relieving stress and anxiety!
Now, let’s see what makes this star’s heart miss a beat? “I love anything and everything about them…they are my life. I simply love the way they look at me. They know how to connect through their eyes or body language. Their look says it all – I know what they want at that particular time. No matter how busy I am, they know how to get my attention. It’s just a look on their face that makes me leave everything and spend some time with them,” tells Rati with a twinkle in her eyes.
“My Labs simply adore me and each one wants to make it to me first, so there is always a ruckus who reaches mom first,” tells Rati and we all know how magnetic her persona is! “For them, a special treat consists of huge bones or cans of tuna or sardines,” she tells laughingly.
“Inspite of my busy schedule, I spend time with my Labs. Every moment at home is spent playing, training, cleaning and indulging in their antics. They don’t leave me alone and even sleep in our bedroom. Whenever it is feasible, I take them for a vacation with me to places like Khandala and Poona,” adds Rati with a smile that had left millions of hearts speechless in her early days. The radiance of smile is still there and we all wish her to keep smiling that way!
So what is their favourite activity together? “I love to train them with goodies. I have taught them how to speak and sing (ofcourse in the doggy language!). They are also trained to give a high five and they simply love to dance with me.” How we wish we could shake a leg with this dance diva as well!
Any annoying habit of the dogs? “Annoying for my family, but not for me. When I sleep, they sleep over me and I am squashed! My husband Anil and my son Tanuj also love dogs and our involvement is the same but it’s just that I spoil them more.”
When it comes to their nutrition and exercise, like all responsible pet parents, Rati is also very particular. “I take care that they get healthy diet and follow proper exercise regimen. I also don’t let them indulge in things that are not good for their fur.” Great going Rati, that’s like a good pet parent!
Rati advises all readers to love their pets as much as your child. “My son would kill me for saying this, but you need to love your dog like a baby. Give them that little extra attention as they cannot speak or ask for something,” concludes Rati on a happy note.