Friend for life

“A dog doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, big or small, young or old. He doesn’t care ifEditorialby, Shweta Khurana you’re not smart, not popular, not a good joke-teller, not the best athlete, nor the best-looking person. To your dog, you are the greatest, the smartest, the nicest human being who was ever born. You are his friend and protector.”
– Louis Sabin

We all know how true it is…we are the world for our pooches…we are their life…their love…and so are they. Life becomes beautiful when we share our life with a furry friend…they listen when we talk…they wag their tails when we are happy…they are sad when we are sad…and most importantly, they are happy when they see us…day in and day out.

For all these little but wonderful things they do for us…they ask for nothing more than our love and concern. Their life depends on us – we provide them food, shelter and care. Like children, we need to nurture them for their life. Any neglect on our end may become critical for our pooch.

A young reader of Dogs & Pups, Kanupriya Agarwal, has beautifully summed up what it means to have a dog:

“Enough time for his healthy upbringing
Enough space for him to move around in the house
Enough people in the household to look after him
Enough money for his wholesome rearing
Enough energy to keep up with his demands
Enough patience to deal with his pranks
Enough compassion to look after him when he is sick
Enough perseverance to train him properly.”

Yes… that’s what makes a responsible pet parent! And we are proud that our younger generation is compassionate enough to feel so much for their pets. It is a scientifically proven fact that children who grow up with pets are more compassionate towards living beings. If you have a child at home, gift him a friend for life – a pooch. Just make sure your pooch is well-cared for and is suited to your home and family.

We with Sparkle wish you a great festive season ahead and a very Happy New Year!


Happy pet parenting!


My friend, my mentor… I will always love you!

We met each other as kids and grew up together. When I first lay eyes on him, he was very tiny, but full of vigour and enthusiasm. He believed he could take on anyone, never mind their size. He knew he was capable of anything. This was the reason he would often get into scrapes with the other big fellows. My mother very aptly named him Alexander.

For his name, though, he was a fairly small dog; a Pomeranian – the kind with long scruffy hair and a small remembranceface. To me, though, he was the most handsome dog I had ever seen. We had an understanding. Whatever I felt, he would express. I’d feel happy seeing my father when he came home from work, and Alexander would wag his furry little curly tail gleefully. If I felt distrust for a stranger, he growled his low car-engine-like growl.

I was 17 when I lost my father. He was in the hospital for only a week before he died. It happened all too soon for me to absorb anything. I was in a state of shock.

Alexander had gone into hiding that day. All that day and for the next two days we both whimpered and refused food. He missed my father as much as I did. He was his father too. On the third day, I still hadn’t eaten anything and nobody could coax me into having even a morsel. Alexander came out of his hiding that day. He came and sat down beside me, and laid his head in my lap. Then he got up, licked my face and went on to eat his own food. I guess it was his way of telling me that it was time for me too to accept what had happened and move on.

Alexander became closer to me after my father passed away. We would wake up together, eat together and go out for long walks together. It was on these outings that I would have heart-to-heart talks with him. There were more than a handful of people living in the neighbourhood who thought that I had lost my mind. Not Alexander though. I know it must sound crazy, but it was as if he understood everything I was telling him. He was like the close confidante who silently listens as you pour your heart out and never breathes a word of it to anyone else.

I had a number of crying spells for days. All of a sudden my mood would switch and I’d be melancholy and depressed. Alexander would always be by my side, even though I’d sometimes yell at him out of sheer frustration. Not once did he turn his back on me.

He may have done it unintentionally, but he would perform funny little antics which would have me laughing till I thought my ribs would break. He helped me to overcome the grief and accept life for what it was.

Eventually, I got admission into a dental college and I had to move away and live in a hostel. He would patiently wait for me on weekends. It was as if he knew, my mother told me, that I was to come on that day. He would sit with his nose pinned to the door till I was home and once he saw me he would wag his tail as hard as he could.

I was in the second year when his attacks began. At first, they were only isolated occurrences happening once in three months. But soon they began recurring almost every day. He would let out a shrill yelp and then his body would go stiff, his eyes would roll and his back would arch ominously till I felt he was going to break it. Once the rigour had passed, he would urinate involuntarily and lie down for hours without doing anything. It was as if his energy was slowly slipping away. It was hard to see this once lively dog reduced to such a heartrending state.

Yet, you could say that he gave me time to prepare myself for his going. No rude shocks for me this time. I knew that his time was drawing close. One day when I came back from the hostel he came, a little unsteady on his feet, and sat beside me. I knew that this was it. I took him, his body frail and light now from the tumour in his brain, and lay him in my lap. He had one last attack, and then he was gone… forever.

I learned a lot from his life. He only knew one thing, and that was to love unconditionally. This April, it was his eighth death anniversary. I will miss him forever.


Friend, partner, inspiration!

“Padman was my brother (cousin), it was the love for dogs that bonded us together, that’s how was born. If I had to describe one quality of Padman that I most admired it was his sincerity and how he just could not tolerate people who weren’t sincere. I lost a Brother, Friend, Mentor, and most of all a person who taught me values in life.”


–Dr. Suresh Bhimsingh

“Padman was introduced to me just a couple of years ago and I saw a true friend in him, always ready to help. He was genuine and very good hearted. People never know how special someone is until they leave. Some people come into our lives and quickly go, leaving footprints on our hearts. And we were never, ever the same.”

–Dr. Balaji

“I had the honour and privilege of knowing Padman for over 12 years and over time came to consider Padman as an elder brother. Padman spent a fortune importing Dachshunds from across the globe, to improve the gene pool and breed in India. The secret of Padman’s success in Dachs was his consistent thirst and desire to continually learn.

Padman, your loss leaves me with a great void in my heart. God bless you my dear brother and may you rest in eternal peace. We love you very much and thank you for all you did for Dachs and pedigree dogs.”

–Gopi & Christine Krishnan – Hacienda Dachshunds, Malaysia

“I met Padman in 1992, little did I know that this would be the turning point of my life. From that point on each and every move was only ‘Anna’, the only person I know who was helpful to EVERYONE in life. All that I am today is ONLY thanks to him. Anna’s place can never be fi lled by anyone, he is with me with all my ‘Padpranpark’ ventures and with Anna’s family we will make sure that we carry on his legacy.”


“Padman was the one I always turned to for all fi nal and major decisions in my life. We all have heard of the poem ‘Footprints in the Sand’ where we question God asking him that during the most difficult moments in our lives why was there only one set of footprints in the sand instead of two (HIS and ours)? God’s answer was that in our most challenging times he was carrying us in his arms and that was HIS footprints we could see in the sand. In my most difficult moments, it was Padman’s footprints and not that of God.

I will miss him dearly but in the same breath I will also thank God for having given me the honor of having him as part of my life for 8 years.”


“I was in search of a friendly pet for my only son – Spandan, sometime during 2002. My fi rst meeting with him was in his residence when I purchased my fi rst dog ‘Bruno,’ who was just 43 days old. In the process, I came very close to him and our interaction became a daily ritual. On his encouragement, I started going to dog shows with Bruno and fi nally titled him too. I am yet to see a more down to earth, straightforward and kindhearted gentleman like him. 12th December will remain a Black Friday for me for ever. The Dachshunds and the Dachshunds lovers lost their dear father to God.”

–Subrata Banerjee, Vice President,
Jaypee Residency Manor, Mussoorie

“There is no way to describe in one word, a person like Padman, he was a dynamic human being, extremely supportive when it came to friendship or just a helping hand. I never knew him to turn anyone away.There will be a hole in KCI, now that he is no more…..Padman was an avid dog lover and a KCI member whose approachability stood out.

My eyes well up with tears…still can’t believe he isn’t around. U will be missed in so many countless ways, but never forgotten.”

–Your friend always & forever Mili

puppy care

Bring home the right pooch, the right friend

Abandonment and re-homing have become very common. Imagine the stress, tension and trauma a poor dog goes through when the family whom he considers his own abandons him..

puppy care

Rashi Raghav and Rio


They say that adopting a dog is no lesser than a process of self-discovery, whereby you get to realize and identify traits and attributes of your lifestyle and personality that perhaps you would have never thought before. This is because choosing a dog is known to be a lot about getting home a pet whose personality and breed characteristics are compatible with your own personality and everyday routine. Any clash in the same leads to unhappiness of both the pooch and pet parent. Choosing a dog whose social personality is the kind that matches yours will make things a lot easier, a lot more comfortable and defi nitely a lot more fun. While a Beagle, Golden Retriever, Bearded Collie, German Shepherd, Brittany Spaniel or a Labrador would make for an ideal socially active and friendly pet to have, a Chihuahua, Toy Poodle, Giant Schnauzer and Pekingese are more socially reserved.

Suitable to family: If you have children at home, you can choose from children-friendly gentle and lovable breeds like Pug, English Cocker Spaniel, Boxer, Beagle, Basset Hound, Labrador, German Shepherd and Golden Retriever amongst others.


Be aware of maintenance costs: When you’ve set your heart on a particular breed, do spare a few thoughts to consider whether you’d be able to afford the upbringing costs of that breed. Keeping the purchase cost aside, every dog has his own needs of food, grooming and health care.

Choosing a breed whose monthly maintenance costs can meet your budget will keep you worry-free and ensure quality upbringing for your pet. Compatibility with multiple pets: If your household has more than one pet, adopt a breed who is known to enjoy company and get along well with other animals.

Bulldog, Retriever, Poodle, German Shepherd or a Doberman are some breeds who are known for their adaptive intelligence and therefore can make for a good choice in cases of multiple-pet household.

How active you are: Exercise or other forms of physical activity being an extremely important need of every dog, this is one responsibility that you as an owner cannot avoid.

However, what you can do is to make a choice between a breed who requires intense exercise on a daily basis and one who can do with a few rounds of leisure walking 3 to 4 times a day; depending on your lifestyle regime, personal levels of preference for activity and the amount of exercise you are willing to give your dog on a daily basis.

Size up your house: While this is one aspect that is not given as much signifi cance as it should be, the size of your house is an important factor in deciding what kind of dog you should get home. While small dogs can adjust well in both big houses as well as apartments, in case of larger breeds on the other hand, it is a must to provide them with open spaces to play and move about freely without feeling restrained and suffocated.

Adaptability to climate: A fact unknown to many is that the pure breeds who are largely popular amongst dog owners are of foreign origin and hence made by nature to feel suited and comfortable in a particular climate, which might be alien to Indian conditions. Densely coated dogs such as a St Bernard, Golden Retriever or Cocker Spaniel therefore, if not kept in an air conditioned environment for most of the day, will tend to produce symptoms of illness, depression and dullness.

E1K1 (Each one keep one): Give our great Indian dogs a home as they are best suited for our climatic conditions – do open your heart and home to them.

What is unfortunate is that hundreds of pet dogs worldwide are abandoned on roads and animal shelters with the excuse of them being ‘problem dogs.’ The truth however is that, while one dog might seem troublesome and uncompromising in one household, in the other he could get appreciated and rewarded for his ‘adorable’ behaviour and become everyone’s favourite pal. What come into play in both these situations are compatibility issues. Also it is important to remember theirs is never a bad dog but a pet parent who has been unable to understand the need of his dog and match them to his own.

So, when you do go out looking for that perfect, lovable pooch to bring home, don’t just go by the angelic looks, the majestic gait or the furry coat of the puppy. Or for that matter, not even by the wants of your child who insists on buying the same dog that his or her best friend has. Bring home a dog who matches your personality and your lifestyle and you’ll rejoice your decision for a long time.

Details on various aspects you need to consider for a few breeds available in India:

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. 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, and 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 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

Keep your furry friend cool this summer

Summers can be testing time for your pooch. Here are few tips to keep your pooch cool this summer:

  • Keep her indoors during the sunny hours.sun
  • Take her for a walk early morning and late evenings when the weather is slightly cooler.
  • Give her lots of water to drink throughout the day.
  • Never leave her in the parked car as it becomes really hot and can be dangerous.
  • Watch out symptoms of heat stress such as heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid heartbeat, restlessness, etc.
  • If any of these symptoms occur, cool her body temperature.
  • Move her into a shaded or a cooler area.
  • Apply ice packs or cold towels to her head, neck and chest.
  • Give her cool water to drink.
  • Consult your vet immediately.

My best friend – Cheryl

If Diamonds are girls’ best friends… then I am an exception. Because Cheryl – Alsatian, is my best companion, come what may. We have grown up together and shared our lives together. Her role in providing support and companionship during my lonely teenage is unforgettable. She taught me how to deal with pain and be patient. She instilled the value of faith in our relationship. Losing her is the biggest emotional turmoil for me… I miss her every moment. When my parents entered the house screaming ‘surprise’ on a chilly December evening, I did not have the faintest idea that a ‘surprise’ could mean aremembrance palm-sized, black ball of fur! For a fourteen-year-old longing for a pet, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this tiny Alsatian pup bundled up in a towel, staring up at me with her big, beautiful eyes. Dad told me that she was a “girl” and put her down. To add to my joy, she moved towards me and we bonded instantly. I knew she would grow up to be a gorgeous pooch and I christened her “Cheryl.”

I willingly took up the duty to feed her and take care of her needs. We grew together and became bosom pals. She did not seem to be shaken up when I bantered endlessly with ‘teenage issues’ and always had a look that said ‘I understand honey, everything’s gonna be fine.’ She licked my face when I cried and stood by me in times of need. She was simply the best- intelligent, sensitive, agile and of course, curvy! She was truly the hottest female canine around. She would race against my “scooty” at sixty kmph and swim like a pro in the dirty pond near my house.

I was still stuck with the “teenage” tag and it was time for her to find a mate. Sure enough, she chose a handsome stud from the same species. And then she became pregnant. I eagerly awaited for the puppy squeaks. Finally, the big moment arrived and tumbled out her very first babies! I was overwhelmed and a bit scared to handle those tiny, delicate babies. Cheryl sniffed out my apprehension and nudged one of them till he landed onto my palm.

I lifted him immediately. I helped her raise her kids and babysat for her when the toddlers annoyed her with their I-want-mama attitude. I was fascinated by the way she fed ten babies all at one time. In due course, the puppies found themselves new homes and new people. After motherhood, Cheryl became a lot softer and careful when around human kids.

After a couple of years, I went off to college and we met only during vacations. Everytime I came home, she greeted me with immense fervor and clung to me as if there was no tomorrow. As the years passed by, her energy levels drooped and I knew she was growing old. I just hoped she would live to see my wedding day. She was a weak, old woman by that time but the passionate twinkle in those doe-like eyes had not dwindled. She was given all the honours that a bride’s sister deserved and even got the best ring (the one given by the groom to the bride’s sisters). I was happy that she was with me on the most special day of my life but somewhere deep down inside I knew I was seeing her for the last time. When she was fifteen, she parted with us in a silent and peaceful way- the news of which shattered me from within and weighed my heart down with grief. Why couldn’t she wait for me this one last time?

As I recuperated from my loss, I was glad that she lived a long and happy life. Today, she lives within my heart and her sweet memories bring a smile to my face and sometimes tears in my eyes too. She has taught me to be a good listener, irrespective of language barriers and to be true to those who truly care. She was an epitome of unconditional love, endurance, patience and loyalty. She has been my baby, my friend, my sister, my teacher and my companion and each time I think of her, I realize that a woman’s best friends are defi nitely not diamonds….

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

Tuffy my best friend

Tuffy-my-best-friendTuffy is my best friend – he completely understands me and we both love playing and spending time together. Tuffy is a four years old beautiful German Shepherd. He keeps a track of me and exactly knows when I leave the house or returns. I cannot pet any other dog when Tuffy is around. He also knows when he has done something wrong and whines into my heart to apologize. Tuffy also keeps my anger under control, if I shout he simply barks as if telling me to ‘Keep quiet’. When I ride the bicycle, Tuffy follows me …together we feel so complete.

My Best Friend

In our quirky new section, witty kids and their equally smart dogs share their eccentricities. Join us kids to tell everyone why you are so happy with your buddy, confirming our doubts of being Pawsitively Pawkids.

‘My Best Friend’
A dog loves one,
Without asking questions
Without wanting an explanation.
I can talk, talk and talk,
He listens, listens and listens.

A friend listens and loves,
But also wants to question,
It’s a matter of give and take,
One has to do something, For each other.

We need both-
One to give solutions, To think and to reason
To support and help, This is my friend.

But we need a dog, To give solace –
Someone, whom we know,
Who will just love and love,
Slurp! Lick! Jump! Wag!
– Vrinda Sant, Delhi

Splash your feelings here, in the form of poems, short stories or anecdotes of your loving doggy. Write us at : Dogs & Pups, 406, Sant Nagar, East of Kailash, New Delhi – 1110065 or e-mail at, marking the subject line as “Pawkids Corner.”