Posts

Jump with joy – with Pooch love!

New Year is not just the beginning of a new calendar, but it is much more – new hopes, Editorialnew aspirations, new resolutions, etc – in fact, it gives us an opportunity to jump with joy and start afresh.

A UK survey was recently conducted to find how important pets are for pooch lovers, especially women and there were some interesting findings. As many as 25 percent women would dump a man if their pet did not like him…. hmmm… whoever said women can be wooed with hearts and chocolates should think again! And 50 percent women say their first ‘hello’ to their pet when they are back home… no wonder why pets are so excited to welcome them at the door! Not only this, 33 percent of women would sleep on the floor besides their sick pets. Other findings indicate that almost half of the pet parents are ready to incur any expense on their sick pets and 60 percent celebrate events like birthdays, Valentine’s, Mother’s and Father’s Days with their pets.

We recently conducted an opinion poll on Facebook on a select group of women (pet parents) who are dedicated to their furry babies and here’s what we found: Almost 100 percent women say ‘hello’ to their pooches first when they get home… there are no two answers about it. Similarly, all we interacted agreed that they love to talk to their paw friends.

Pets are always a part of celebrations at home…that’s a fact that all our respondents shared. What about pets and partners – Nishi Chand says, “I already told him before our marriage that I love animals and can never live without them… thank God he is also an animal lover.” While Ranjeeta Nath Ghai puts it, “You have to be on the same track if you have to live together…”

We also posted a question wherein we asked if they would sleep on the floor if their pet was ill and we got some really interesting responses. As Stephen Game shares, “Ill or not, I only sleep on the floor… I sleep on the floor for them and them only!” While, Manesh Krishna, Vatsala Shukla, Alka Paul, Tanvi Nagpal and Sahana Saran say that their pets sleep with them every day on their beds. Now, that’s what we call pooch love… kudos to all our pet parents!

Let’s all woof into this New Year 2013 and Sparkle is refusing to step out for walks as temperatures are dipping in northern India. Take care!

Purring joy…

What would you do if you find an injured cat on the street? Probably you would feel sorry for the cat and wish she gets well. Would you try and take the cat to safety?

One evening, I was taking a walk with one of my friends when suddenly a streak of black ran near our legs. I looked down to see a really thin cat looking up at me and mewing. Before I could think how to reach, the cat started rubbing herself against my legs and purring. I, very cautiously, started petting her and she started purring even more. I picked her up against my friend’s warning that cats can be very dangerous. I took her to the park and sat down on the grass next to her. She climbed onto my lap and I could feel that she felt secure.

Since I have two dogs at home, I was little apprehensive and called my mother outside. My mother also instantly liked the cat. She brought her some milk to drink, which she lapped away hungrily. It was then that I discovered that she was hurt on her hind leg. We took her to the vet, who treated her wounds and gave her an injection. We told him that the kitty couldn’t be left in the streets because we were sure she won’t survive and we couldn’t keep her in the house because we have dogs.

We decided to get one of our dogs and see the kitty’s reaction. But when we got my dog out (I was holding her by collar so that she wouldn’t frighten the kitty too much), the kitty started hissing and struggling to get out of my mother’s arms. The plan failed, but we knew that we couldn’t just leave the kitty on the streets because she looked like a domesticated cat who was abandoned. Since we could not risk the life of this kitty, we decided to leave her at an animal shelter, where she would be cared and may even find a good, loving home. We found a good animal shelter and left our kitty in caring hands.

I only spent three and a half hours with the cat but I feel I have developed a strong bond with her. When I grow up, I would love to work at an animal shelter and spread awareness about animals. I also request all pet parents never to abandon their pets as this is extremely cruel to them. That kitty was lucky to be rescued and sheltered …let’s all make this world a better place for all!

puppy care

Bundles of joy– Welcome!

puppy care

Flops and Zooey

‘Canine Gestation Care’ is quite a tricky area and many pet parents are not aware of the dos and don’ts pertaining to the same. A lot of myths and lack of proper knowledge can make a pet parent go completely wrong. Here’s how to make this time easier for your expecting dog.

It’s an amazing experience to see your dog deliver a litter of cute tailwaggers…but a pregnant dog requires a lot of care and attention and there is just no scope for negligence. To make things easier for all you pet parents wanting to see a healthy litter springing into action, here’s how to take care of the expecting mother.

Identification markers of pregnancy…

Just because mating has taken place does not mean that your pet dog is pregnant. Mating may or may not be successful so it’s always wise to confirm with the help of an ultrasound around the 30th day post mating. The female dog till then may act completely normal but with the onset of the second month, she starts demanding more food and increase in appetite is a good sign of knowing that she has conceived successfully. Also as the gestation proceeds, you will see abdominal enlargement along with the mammary glands becoming fuller and slightly bigger.

Gestation period…

Considering the extreme variation from case to case, the Canine Gestation Period may last for anything between 57 to 69 days post mating, the average being 61 to 63 days. The last 20 days can be very demanding as pet parent needs to take special care of the diet and overall well being of the pregnant dog.

Nutritional needs…

You may continue with regular food for the first 30 days but special nutritional requirements have to be met in the following 30 days. A diet high in protein and calcium is ideal for foetal growth. It’s a better option to get packaged kibble meant for gestation rather than experimenting with homemade food formulation as you may not get the proportions right. If gestational diets are not available, you may pick up kibble meant for puppies as puppy food is high in protein and calcium too. The last 20 days are the most important as foetal growth is very fast during this stage and any nutritional deficiency can interfere with the normal growth and development of the pups. At any point of time, do not force feed as the dog may have reduced capacity towards the end due to intestinal compression. Feeding smaller and frequent meals is ideal for the latter part of the pregnancy period.

Curbing physical activity…

The pet must carry on with her regular walks, however, during the last 15 to 20 days of gestation, you must make sure that she doesn’t overexert herself. Playing with Frisbees or jumping on couches can lead to complications.

Knowing when it’s due…

Around the 45th day you need to get another ultrasound done to check the progress of the pups. The

puppy care

Dr Sarita Gulavane

ultrasound helps in making sure that the bone formation of the pups is complete and there are no skeletal abnormalities. However, the ultrasound done on the 30th day gives a better idea of the litter size as the accuracy of gauging the number of pups is higher during early-to-mid gestation and lower towards the latter end of the pregnancy period. Checking the heart beats is another way of ensuring that the pups are in good health. Post 57th day, you must check her temperature regularly as the rectal temperature falls below 99oF when she is ready to deliver. The milk glands get filled about a week prior to whelping and the female dog usually starts digging into the floor or bed to seek a safe environment for the pups to arrive. A yellow vaginal discharge is often seen around this period which is absolutely normal. Any discharge that is green, red or brown in colour should be reported to your vet. You can also ask your vet to teach you to monitor the movements of the puppies so if you suspect anything abnormal you can immediately seek medical help.

Watching your pet whelp…

Whelping is different in each case. Some female dogs do it all by themselves in the middle of the night for the pet parents to see a clean and calm litter when they wake up the next morning while a few female dogs go into labour pains and often seek attention and help from their pet parents. A few of them use their natural instincts and manage it all very smoothly while a few may just look too baffled and in such cases the pet parents must know what needs to be done.

Keep your vet posted and carefully make your list of questions understanding what needs to be done when. You can watch out shivering or even vomiting due to anxiety. The uterus starts to contract and the cervix begins to dilate. As the pups begin to come out, pet parents should ideally just watch from a distance as the mother dog may get more anxious seeing too many people around. The mother herself manages to break open the amniotic membrane which is a thin sac enveloping each pup. If she snips the umbilical cord herself, let her do so. If she can’t manage to do it, you may help her by snipping the cord with a sterilised blade. Do not forget to tie a knot before cutting it off.

Clean the pups thoroughly with a towel and massage their backs to allow blood circulation. Clean the nasal discharge which may obstruct their breathing and then allow the pups to suckle on the mother for their first feeding. The mother will instinctively consume all the amniotic membranes and placentas herself but if she is not doing so, do not force her to have them as too much of placenta consumption can cause diarrhoea.

Whelping is a very tiring process and the mother dog may take brief breaks to rest. If the gap between whelping two pups is more than two hours, you need to call your vet.

Watching out for complications…

Just like human pregnancy, canine gestation too can pose complications which is why you must know exactly when to call the vet for medical help. A very common syndrome is ‘uterine inertia’ wherein the cervix doesn’t dilate sufficiently making it difficult to expel the pups out. This is more common in small breeds with a small litter size of one or two pups. In such cases, it is advisable to have your vet around at the time of whelping. ‘Foetal Resorption’ is another complication that could arise wherein the foetus technically gets reabsorbed into the body almost making it look like the pups vanished overnight. This syndrome is linked to infertility in some dogs.

Aftercare…

Once the pups are out, the mother may act quite unpredictable in some cases. At times they become too possessive of their pups and in such cases, pet parents must let the mother handle her puppies. A few mother dogs refuse to feed their pups so you as a responsible pet parent must make sure that the pups are fed in time. This can be done by holding each pup manually close to the mammary glands of the mother and help them suckle. Puppies can’t regulate their temperature so it’s important to keep them in a warm environment to avoid hypothermia which could be fatal. Also watch out for ‘Fading Puppy Syndrome’ which is rare but quite disastrous, wherein the milk of the lactating mother gets infected and ends up poisoning the pups.

A word of caution…

Most importantly, do not administer any drugs to pregnant or lactating dogs without consulting your vet. Deworming tablets, vaccinations and all other drugs could be injurious to their health and could also lead to abortion or birth defects. It’s indeed an amazing experience to watch your pet become a mother, but you as a responsible pet parent must provide her with a conducive environment and emotional support to help her take care of the little ones. You may start weaning the pups slowly by the 4th week. You must remember that mother’s milk is extremely rich in antibodies, hence a good duration of natural feeding would equate to life-long immunity for the pups who are all set to live a happy and healthy life ahead.

(With inputs from Dr Sarita Gulavane, Assistant Professor, Department of Gynecology, Bombay Veterinary College, Mumbai. She has been practicing specialisation in small animal reproduction and ultrasonography over the last 20 years).

Multiply fun and joy at vacations

The problem…

If your holiday plans are always hampered or have you worried about leaving Bruno with a neighbour or a relative, a kennel that is hygienic, safe and would care enough when you are away on your travels, most of the time one ends up with canceled plans or short breaks or simply worrying about your pet instead of enjoying your holiday.

The solution…

Mahindra Homestays, a part of Mahindra Holidays and Resorts India Limited, offers over 350 homes across 52 destinations and 15 states of India and about 50 percent of them are pet friendly. The homestays that allow pets have hosts who love having pets around and one can’t miss that they also are pet owners, making them empathise with a pet’s needs. As Jaideep Singh of Madhu Pushp Bhawan, Rajasthan puts it, “My pet name is Johnny and since most of the people do not allow pets in their hotels, we give the tourists a facility to stay with their pets.” Their own pets also usually get along well with the paw guests. Safety of all the pets and other guests are also taken care of.

Your pet stays with you and is allowed to roam free (if everyone is comfortable). The best part of such a trip for your pet is that these homes are huge and have a lot of space for running around and playing (unlike city homes). The pets also get to have the company of other pets and new people. Usually pets stay is not charged but this would depend from home to home and on the length of stay and on special requirements for your pet.

Various types of houses including heritage homes (havelis, tharavad houses, palaces etc) or plantation home and farms, and city homes with modern touches (like in Kochi, Jaipur, Delhi) and rural homes (Ladakh, Kewsing, Sindhudurg) are part of the portfolio giving a traveler enough choice of experiences and culture but with a wide range of prices to suit all budgets. One can even choose to experience a real rural lifestyle by visiting their homes in Spiti, Pali and Ladakh.

The experience…

The essential homestay experience is similar to staying with relatives or your closest friends. You may go out with your pet or leave him behind in loving and caring hands knowing that they are looked after. “Normally, pet parents take care of the pet, we just guide them,” told Jaideep Singh. For their feeding, usually the hosts are happy to feed them whatever their own pets eat but if you bring along dry food that’s taken care of for their meals too. You can see the staff or the host even taking your dog out for a walk, however, some homeowners may expect guests to ensure that the pets do not create a mess. As Priyanshika Sur puts it, “My daughter’s (pet) name is Persia and we took her on a vacation at one of Mahindra Homestays venue.

The staff was very friendly and we had a good time. It’s a great effort of Mahindra Homestays.”

For more information visit: www.mahindrahomestays.com

breed profile

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: the little bundle of endless joy

An active, graceful, well-balanced dog, very gay and free in action, fearless and sporting in character, yet at the same time gentle and affectionate…that’s how a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is. Come fall in love with this wonderful breed.

A royal heritage…

“History tells us that King Charles II was seldom seen without two or three spaniels at his heels. So fond wasbreed profile King Charles II of his little dogs, he wrote a decree that the King Charles Spaniel should be accepted in any public place, even in the Houses of Parliament where animals were not usually allowed. This decree is still in existence today in England. As time went by, and with the coming of the Dutch Court, Toy Spaniels went out of fashion and were replaced in popularity by the Pug. One exception was the strain of red and white Toy Spaniels that was bred at Blenheim Palace by various Dukes of Marlborough. This Spaniel was later known as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and this particular colour, which is still very popular and common, was named after the Blenheim Palace and is called the Blenheim colour. These dogs were also very common with the French ladies and were used as lap warmers,” told Dinkar.

Loving and lovable…

“The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a delightfully affectionate, playful, intelligent little dog who repays his owner’s care and attention with an endearing devotion,” told Dinkar. Cavaliers are not kennel dogs and do not like to be left alone. Because of four hundred years of close contact with their owners and their development as lap dogs, they make wonderful companions. They are happy, outgoing, loving little dogs who want to love you and be loved, to run and play in a safe place, and to sleep in a soft bed – preferably their owners, but they’re willing to negotiate on that point! They get along well with children, cats, and other dogs.

Physical attributes…

The skull is slightly rounded, but without a dome or peak. It should appear flat because of the high placement of the ears. Eyes are large, round and set well apart. The colour is very dark brown, giving a lustrous, limpid look. There is a slight cushioning under the eyes, which contributes much to the sweet, gentle expression characteristic of the breed. The muzzle is well tapered, well covering the mouth level and lips. Ears are set high, but not close, on top of the head. They are long, with plenty of silky feathering, and wide enough so that when the dog is alert, the ears fan slightly forward to frame the face. His long and silky coat is very soft to the touch and is free from curl, though a slight wave is permissible. Feathering on ears, legs and tail is long, and the feathering on the feet is a feature of the breed. Their height is around 12 to 13 inches at the withers and the weight, proportionate to height, between 13 and 18 pounds.

They are available in four colours – Blenheim (rich chestnut markings well broken up on a pearly white ground), tricolour (jet black markings well-broken up on a pearly white ground), whole-coloured rich red and jet black with rich tan markings over the eyes, on cheeks, inside ears, on chest, legs, and underside of tail.

Bundle of energy…

Cavaliers are active and sporting little dogs who require regular exercise. They have an instinct to give chase to just about anything that moves, and should either be on a leash or in a fenced yard in which to run. They should get a minimum of two good walks each day (in addition to potty walks). If their owners want walking companions, Cavaliers can build up over time to much longer walks. Regular exercise is recommended. “But, if you are a couch potato, they will share that with delight and if you like to walk for miles on end, they will equally delightedly do that,” told Gabriele G Pollmeier.

Living with children…

Cavaliers love to interact with their owners and enjoy activity and play, making them especially close friends and confidants for children. They are excellent with children, but the age of the children is an important factor in choosing a puppy. Because Cavalier puppies are so small, it is better to get a young puppy only if the family has children above the age of five. An older puppy or adult dog will be more suitable for such families. All children, of course, need supervision to ensure they do not hurt the pup/dog.

Taking care of puppy…

Just like any other puppy or small animal, feed excellent food only, keep lots of fresh clean water available, play with the puppy when he is awake, and let him sleep when tired and do not disturb when he sleeps. Give him plenty of attention and training. Do not scold or punish him, added Gabriele.

Living with other pets…

Cavaliers are the ultimate groupies and are usually delighted to have the company of cats and dogs of any size. If you have a large dog, you will need to watch your Cavalier puppy carefully while he is small. Because Cavaliers are spaniels with a strong sporting instinct, they should be watched closely around birds and other small animals as well. In households where no one is home during the day, the companionship of another dog or a cat is highly recommended.

Groom me beautiful…

The Cavalier does require regular grooming. A great deal of time and effort is not necessary if the dog is brushed and combed thoroughly at least once a week. Knots and tangles are kept to a minimum if the Cavalier is free of parasites and combed regularly. Ears need particular attention and should be checked and given a quick combing every few days and daily in shedding season.

Cavaliers do shed, particularly in spring and fall. They also shed a little all the time. Their nails should be clipped and the hair between their pads trimmed once a month. Cavaliers are naturally clean dogs.

Health…

All dog breeds have their own set of health problems that they may have, so does this breed. Some of them are Heart Murmurs, Mitral Valve Disease and Syringomyelia (SM) is rapidly emerging as a severe inherited condition in Cavaliers. It is a progressive neurological disease that varies in severity. Hence it is important that one buys a pup from a reputed breeder.

On a concluding note…

“They do very well as therapy dogs as well as dogs for handicapped people. They are excellent dogs for the elderly and for young children,” told Gabriele. “I personally feel this breed is perfect for most types of people except for the extreme outdoor person. They adapt really well to apartment living and love being with people. Unlike most small dogs, they are not snappy, protective and that noisy,” concluded Dinkar.

(With inputs from Dinkar Singh, he has recently introduced the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for the first time in India and Gabriele G Pollmeier, AnGa’s Star Kennels & Eulenburg Cavalier King Charles Spaniels; www.angasstar.com).

My loving Cavaliers – always like puppies
My two-year-old son just adores our first Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who came to us when she was barely two months old. They love playing together, but we take care that he does not hug her too tight! Our male Cavalier is more sensible and just backs away when he sees that our son wants to hug and kiss him. They are totally house and lap dogs and just love to sleep with us in the bed. The female likes to sleep on our pillows and inside the quilt where as the male loves to sleep behind the pillow with his head on the pillow. They are very gentle dogs in a small very manageable size and look so sweet like puppies even now when both of them are more or less adults.

– Dinkar Singh

6 tips to bring home the pawfect bundle of joy

For many households, bringing home a puppy is an impulse thing. Let’s get a puppy, which breed, the discussion starts and finally the hunt begins and ends in no time. But there is much more to it…

Puppy Care

Akbar & Oscar

 

  1. Match the puppy with your lifestyle: Each breed is different, not just in size, colour, coat etc, but in their unique traits which enable them to do a particular type of work. You have to see if those traits match your personality and lifestyle. A mismatch is always uncomfortable, more so for the dog. So don’t just go by the looks of the dog, choose the right breed keeping in mind his requirements and yours.
  2. Choose a responsible breeder: If you are going for a pedigree puppy, choose a reputed breeder who has time to talk to you regarding the breed, his needs, the parents and of course the puppy and his care. A responsible breeder will and should also be interested in the person buying the puppy and how he or she plans to keep him and if it will be a good match. The breeder should not just be interested in selling the pup.
  3. Do not just pick up the puppy on impulse: Most people see a litter of adorable pups and choose the one who looks sweet, without even realizing if that puppy is suitable for them or not. In fact, you can determine the personality of a puppy by seeing how he behaves in the litter. For example, an over-confident pup may be a handful for some to handle.
  4. Get him home at the right age: Age does play a vital role in the pup’s/dog’s personality to be developed in the coming months and year. I have been noticing that when pups are taken away at about six or less weeks of age they mostly tend to have some behavioural problems. The right age to get a puppy is at least eight weeks. The reason for this is that the mother and the siblings teach the pup a lot during this time and it is very important for them to be together.
  5. Weaned off: Pick up a pup only when he is weaned off mother’s milk.
  6. Be ready to pay the right price: Another important observation is that generally breeders tend to try and sell their pups as soon as possible. This is because as the pups grow, they need a lot of care and the cost of feeding them can go up quite a bit, especially in giant breeds. At times, this is also heightened by the prospective puppy owners as they want a cheap puppy, so if you cut out the rearing part of the puppy which should be done by the breeder, you can get a cheaper puppy as the cost is then transferred to the new owner. But that is not right. Quality does come for a price and prospective owners should be ready to pay for it as the puppy they buy will generally live for the next 10 plus years with them and hence they should get a mentally sound, pure bred and genetically healthy puppy rather than an unhealthy one who may have problems later on in life, whether medical or behavioural.

Happy hunting!!

(Dinkar Singh has kept Rottweilers for about 20 odd years with occasionally showing and breeding. He has recently introduced the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for the first time in India. Dogs are his passion and hobby, not his business.)

Bringing home a bundle of joy!

Whenever you adopt a puppy, you bring home 12-15 years of love, joy and companionship. The puppy gets a new loving home and blesses you with 001unconditional love and loyalty.

While some of you would prefer to adopt a pedigree dog, others might consider adopting our Indian pariahs, who are healthy, sturdy and of course as lovable as any other pedigree dog. You can adopt such pooches from animal shelters in your area. These animal shelters take care of the vaccination and early socialization needs of the puppy and will also guide you towards responsible pet parenting. Alternatively, you can also pick a pup from the streets near your house. There is no doubt, you will be blessed with a beautiful and sturdy canine.

A few will like to adopt a pedigree dog due to liking for a particular breed. For such pet parents, it is important to choose the right breeder. Choose a reputed ethical breeder, for whom puppy-rearing is passion to care for these amazing friends. Once you choose the breeder, take full information about the puppy you wish to adopt, including his lineage, his vaccination, his feeding charts, etc. Also, take a look at his parents and see if cleanliness in kennel is maintained. He should be able to give you full information about the breed, the pup’s family history and guide you on how to take care of the breed.

Once you are smitten by a pup, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t bring that pup home and give him your love ‘n’ care. Pedigree or stray – some things remain common – the love and devotion that one gets by adopting a puppy.

Sparkle is also nodding his head in approval and he is really happy to see lovely doggies living happily with their pet parents. He also wishes you all a safe and prosperous Diwali with your near and dear one.

– Shweta
Dog Training

Joy through the tunnel

Tunnel is a fun agility equipment, and you can easily teach your pooch to go through it and see them have loads of fun as well. Here’s more on the types of tunnels and tips on how to train your pooch.

Agility training is fun for both, you and your dog. One of the interesting equipment is a tunnel, which is Dog trainingusually made of plastic/nylon sheet, measuring around 10ft or more. They can be of two types:

  1. Pipe tunnel: It’s a simple tunnel with both ends open.
  2. Collapsed/Chute tunnel: It’s a tunnel where one side is open and other is a collapsible cloth.

Tunnel training is easy and here are a few tips to make it even easier for you and your darling pooch:

  1. In the beginning, keep the tunnel length to its minimum. Keep it short for first few sessions and train your dog with lots of encouragement. Use treats to lure him into the tunnel but do not push him through it. Slowly increase the length as your dog gets used to go through it.
  2. You can take someone’s help during the initial training. Ask that person to hold your dog at one end. Go to other end and call him over other side. Only praise when the dog comes through the tunnel. Treat him at the other opening of the tunnel.
  3. You can also keep the treat at other end and try sending the dog through it from one end. Also you can run with him to encourage him to go through it.
  4. Anytime your dog gets scared, reduce the length as per his comfort level and continue practicing.
  5. Train tunnel from both sides and do not allow him to re-enter the side which he came out from.
  6. Some dogs get over excited around the tunnel. Practice a bit of sit/down at the beginning of tunnel, it gives you proper control over the dog.
  7. Desensitizing your dog in the tunnel is very important. Practice at various places and during various times of the day.
  8. Once your dog is trained for tunnel, you can work on time and speed.
  9. Training for chute tunnel needs an extra effort. Take someone’s help in the beginning of training to hold the cloth up until the dog gets used to it.
  10. While training, tunnels should be properly fixed to the floor with proper tunnel holders to avoid any accidents.
  11. Most of the dogs love tunnels and learn them fast, but some less confident dogs may need extra time and care while training them for tunnels. The handler can also train the dog to work on his both sides.
  12. You should not allow your pooch to attempt the tunnel unsupervised or let him go through it as a play thing.

So, what are you waiting for…get, set and here he goes…right through the tunnel.
(Pooja Sathe is trained under Northern Centre for Canine Behaviour and Training, UK.)

–by Pooja Sathe

Bundle of joy- indeed!

Whenever I saw the Hutch ad, I would marvel at the cute little doggie (Pug) and wonder if such dogs actually existed. Never did I imagine that I simbawould be the parent of a similar one!!

On 13th September, I was sleeping after coming back from school when my dad came into my room, hiding something behind his back. And then suddenly popped out the cutest lil’ Pug puppy- my Pug puppy!!

I knew from that very day that I am going to actually LIVE my dream…when I come back from school now, I do not just head for the bed, because I have an excited little Bundle of Joy waiting for me, yelping with happiness, welcoming me heartily.

Bundle is the cuddliest little thing I have ever seen. I can hold him close when I am upset, play with him when I am happy, and I can just spend hours looking at him, watching him play. He did take a long time, though, to get toilet-trained, and sometimes we still end up with accidents in my bedroom. But, he is very close to my heart and nothing upsets me.

Bundle grunts, whines, and makes noises to vocalize his emotions…and even mutters in defi ance!

Life with “bundi’ is amazing and I would like to thank my mom, sister, and maid for helping me look after him and making my dream come true.

Life’s true joy!!

To run in free abandon, to sniff to one’s heart’s delight at all the new smells, to explore endlessly, to splash in water and try to manage the breaking waves, to catch a driftwood from a river bank, to chase butterflies and birds, to look at utter amazement at monkeys and wonder where they come from, to bark with a purpose and show how important one is, to sit at the beach and enjoy the cool sand, to always want to run out and play, for one’s canine these above and more would be life’s true joy. But come to think of it, how many of them actually get a chance to experience such living, specially if they are city dogs. Where can we go for holidays with our pets to give them a break and to make them experience the joy of living. Our lil’ bundles of joy are always contented but at the end of the day they should get more. One often wonders which park is dog friendly so he can have his daily romp. Or even other destination in the city where one can go and enjoy with one’s canine are completely NIL.

On one such occasion – thinking that this is the least we could do we decided to go against the norms and started looking for pet friendly places and to my amazement managed to find one. A beautiful place called Naukuchiatal (Uttranchal) where during the monsoons it feels heaven has come to earth. Guess Sparkle thought that way too. Sparkle was in utter amazement of the place and must be thinking, “God!!! Why didn’t I know before such a place existed.” From running, playing, sniffing, chasing birds, warning monkeys, splashing to catching driftwood, he did it all. Not a moment during the day did he rest – he was all over the place – I guess completely intoxicated.

Hope you all can take your darlings to hideaways where they too can experience the joy of living. Do share your getaways with us, so together we can compile places. Do watch out for our Nov-Dec issue for a write up on Sparkle’s escapades in Naukuchiatal.

Till then Sparkle woofs ‘Bon Voyage’ to all.

Shweta