(Friends 24×7 Kolkata) First day puppy parenting

Puppy’s first day at home is special and difficult for both the pup and pet parents. Here are experiences of some Kolkata new pet parents.


Ananya Samajpati

“When I brought Goldy (Labrador) home, I took her out of the crate, comforted and let her sleep on the floor near my bed with a blanket. When she whined, I told her in a soothing voice that it’s ok. I kept the house quiet and softly played a radio in the background. Gradually, she got used to the house.”
–Ananya Samajpati

Akash and Robin

Akash and Robin

“I brought home a two and a half months old English Cocker Spaniel and named her Robin. My first night with Robin wasn’t very pleasant really. As the lights went off, she seemed scared of the new environment and I assumed she had slept off. But in the middle of night a strange smell spread across my room and I got up only to realise that she had pooped. I floundered throughout the night, cleaned up the mess and fed her. A lot of patience was required to make her comfortable.”
–Akash Poddar

Dipu and Cleo

Dipu and Cleo


“Cleo was 31 days old when we brought him in. Our first dog, something we had been thinking of for years. We had no idea of how to handle our pup, what to feed him and how to take care. So, we relied on whatever puppy parenting tips we got from the kennel where we got him from. I would say, that our first night with the pup was rather quiet, emotion charged and peaceful. The little fellow just passed out on my wife and daughter’s lap. He took to us as if he had known us for a long time.  We fed him after we had dinner. Not wanting him on our bed the first night itself, my wife  made her bed on the floor so that he was not lonely. Cleo nestled near her feet and dozed off, and as the night progressed, he snuggled closer to her arms in deep slumber.  Dawn saw him licking at her  face and we let him out on the terrace to relieve himself. It was a night of bonding between us, not even indicative of all the action that would follow!”
–Dipu Datta

Asit (R) and Rocky

Asit (R) and Rocky

“Our family travels a lot, and so I have always been against having a dog. This Father’s Day, my kids brought home a black ball of fur. This black ball of fur, whom we named Rocky, jumped onto my lap and snuggled close and drifted off to sleep. All my objections and reasons vanished as I stroked my two-month-old GSD puppy. All through the evening my family and I huddled together to watching him sleep, we were expecting him to sleep through till the morning after his long journey. But when it was time for us to go to bed, our little boy woke up and started playing, that was the end of our sleep that day and for the next few weeks to come. Now my boy is five months old and he is our alarm clock, our mischievous toddler, our ant chaser, our welcome home hug, our bundle of glee and so much more I’d run out of words. Every day with him is grand, but the very first day he leaped into our lives is a day we will always cherish.”
–Asit Samuel

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Anirban (R) and Chinni

“My experience with Chinni was very difficult in the early days and weeks. I study more though Puppy Parenting Book and Magazine as well as I already knew about the trials and tribulations with house training and crate-training. Puppies tend to piddle about every 10 to 20 minutes. You have to watch them like a hawk or they will end up using your house as their personal restroom. Chinni had some accidents here and there, but nothing out of the ordinary. The agony came in the evening. Chinni did not take to the crate! She whined, howled and cried, and barked…probably made every noise she could possibly produce, but would not relax and go to sleep. She did sleep once in a while. During those first four weeks the most sleep I got was approximately six hours, broken up three or four times a night by whining, howling, barking…. I was a wreck and I thought Chinni would never get used to her crate. The only way I was able to get her to sleep was to talk to her for 5-10 minutes, telling him what a ‘Good Girl’ she was when she wasn’t crying.”
–Anirban Chowdhury

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Aarav and Sheroo

“When Sheroo came first to my home, he was so playful and easily adjusted with his new place and we got many toys for him. He played with us till late night. Later, he easily slept in his bed with his soft toys. My son Aarav was very excited and an unforgettable moment for all of us.”
–Sweta Gupta
(With inputs from Animel Planet, a pet lifestyle store based in Salt Lake, Kolkata.)

Children and Dog

Rainy Day activities for kids and dogs

“It’s raining, it’s pouring, everything is boring!” Rainy days with stir-crazy kids and dogs can try your sanity. When your kids wail that there’s nothing fun to do, have them try some of these simple games with the family dog.

Hansel & Gretel Trails: This is a really basic activity, but kids love it! Give your children a small bowl of treats

Children and Dog

Rohan and Coco

and tell them to create a trail for the dog to follow. Keep the dog near you while the kids put a treat every 2 to 4 feet. When they have laid out the entire path, have them come back and tell the dog to sit before releasing the dog to follow the trail. They’ll follow along behind the dog cheering for each successful find.

Commando Crawl (for mid-sized dogs): Have the kids lay a trail of treats running under your coffee table from one end to the other. Teach the dog to belly-crawl across the floor to get the treats.

Dog Bowling: Arrange empty plastic two-liter bottles in a bowling triangle in the hallway and have the kids take turns calling the dog for a treat. Whoever gets the dog to topple the most pins as he races down the hall wins.

Tiny Teeter-Totter: Lay a piece of plywood on the floor. Have the kids give the dog treats for stepping on the board. Once the dog is not at all concerned about walking on the board, lay the board across a broom to make a two-inch high teeter-totter. Keep rewarding the dog for walking over the board. Remind the kids to keep their fingers away from the board while the dog is on it!

Rainy Day Come: Give each child a small cup of dog treats. Tell one child to go “hide” in the kitchen. At first the child won’t really hide, she’ll just stand in the center of the kitchen and call the dog. While the dog is trotting toward the kitchen, send another child to the dining room.

After the first child has had the dog sit to get a treat, the child in the dining room can call the dog . . . and while the dog is coming to the second child, the first child will head to the living room. When it’s her turn to call again, she’ll call and the dog will head for the kitchen only to find that she’s not there! While the dog looks for the first child, the second chooses a new spot.

As your dog gets better at this game, the kids can make it more challenging by standing behind doors or sitting in unusual places. The game is over when the kids are out of treats; then everyone can head to the kitchen for a cookie break.

Remember to use lots of treats to make these games as much fun for the dog as for the kids. The idea is to offer the children simple training opportunities in fun, easy-to-implement ways.

Don’t allow anyone to push or pull the dog to get him to do something. If the dog seems confused or resistant, look for ways to make the challenges easier. Watch for any signs of frustration—on either the kids’ or dog’s part—and step in right away to help.

Soon your kids will be hoping it rains more often.

(Colleen Pelar, CPDT, CDBC, is the author of Living with Kids and Dogs . . . Without Losing Your Mind. Since 1991, Colleen has been the go-to person for parents trying to navigate kid-and-dog issues. Because a knowledgeable adult can improve every interaction between a child and a dog, Colleen is committed to educating parents, children, and dog owners on kid-and-dog relationships.For more information, visit

It’s a red-letter day!

Every issue of D&P is very special and this an extra special one. I must tell you why? We Editorialhave featured the English Springer Spaniel this time and you know what, my life is ruled by the most adorable and lovable Springer. When Sparkle became a part of our family, we were told that he is a Cocker puppy but when our vet examined him, he told that he is a Springer mixed. Nevertheless, Springer or Cocker, Sparkle is a darling – a baby at heart who will never grow up. As the name goes, he’s our shining star.

Whether your buddy is a Pedigree, mixed or a stray – three things remain common – love, companionship and loyalty. But, still there are a few people who not only look at strays with disgust but also assault and abuse those who feed them. Several such cases of abuse have been reported in Delhi alone and animal lovers have filed complaints with the High Court. What they don’t understand is that strays are our watchdogs – they actually guard the place where they live. Not only this, strays can even be trained as sniffer dogs, just like Asha who is a sniffer dog at Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security. A little love, compassion and training – is all that is needed to make them our adorable pets.

Let us all come together and try to save our angels…they do need our love and compassion and nothing can stop us from doing that. We might not be able to adopt all of them but the least we can do is to take care of the strays in our neighbourhood.

Also, we can now sniff the festivities in air…Sparkle loves celebrations and wishes you all a great festive season ahead.


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