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“Paw-Tales” l Mar-Apr-2006

A am Attapatu
I am Attapatu Hi there, my name is Attapatu, and don’t ask me if I’m a Sri Lankan cricket player. I’m not, my parents just thought it would be amusing to give me that name… now you understand that my parents are a bit off their rocker, if you know what I mean. I am a 4-year-old Black Lab/German Shepherd mix, but don’t let the Shepherd part fool you. I’m as cute and sweet as any Lab, just a lot bigger. I guess that’s why people always cross the road when they see me walking towards them. What’s up with that? Have you ever heard of someone being mauled by a cute cuddly Labrador, I mean come on! I am treated like a king! I have my own bed, access to all, no leashes and have all the local little girls fawning all over me. What more could a guy ask for? Not to mention the fact that Mom serves me fresh hot chicken meals every night, in fact. I think Dad is getting jealous. But one thing I don’t understand is why they speak to me like a baby. First of all. I’m no puppy. I may be four, but in dog years, I’m 28 years old, that is the same age as my Mom. Wouldn’t you feel stupid speaking like a baby to someone your own age! Secondly, it’s not as if I don’t understand what they are saying. I do, it just works to my advantage to let them keep thinking I don’t… after all, if they knew my secret, they would expect me to listen to them whenever they tell me something. That would be the end of happy pets all over the world! Basically, what I’m saying is if you want a good life, tonnes of love and attention, no need to worry about jobs or bills, and permission to act ignorant… then you need to be a dog in my house! As my Dad likes to sing, “I want to be my dog, but my dog you see, he doesn’t wants to be me…” – Attapatu & Alexandra

“Paw-Tales” l Mar-Apr-2006

What’s so special about a Saint Bernard?
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened” – Anatole France
People like us who own a Saint Bernard, know what wonderful companions they can be. These gentle giants really become part of the family. But, as much as we love and enjoy them, we do want you to know a little about what’s involved. Well, they are BIG DOGS.  Sure, you know that, but do you know how big they really are? It’s one thing to pick up a cuddly twenty-five pound ball of fur, but you’re really buying a dog who will be as big as you are. Try putting a grown one in the back seat of a car!!
There was a time when I considered myself a walking encyclopedia about dogs since I was in close association with them for many years, but trust me, I was faced with the reality about my misconception only when I brought these two balls of fur home and now I’m reduced to just wishful thinking…”Wish I knew everything about them and many a times I’m left wondering… What if they could speak?”
Believe me, nobody can fully understand the meaning of ‘love’ unless one is owned by a dog. A dog can show you more honest affection with a flick of his tail than a man can gather through a lifetime of gestures.
Over the years, I’ve realised that the best part about your pet is the way he lets you know that you’re important to him. He looks into your eyes and finds contentment in simply being near you, he will run all over the yard, fetch a soggy tennis ball and bring it back to you. He wakes you up in the morning by pushing his cold wet nose in your ear and snuffing loudly. He shreds newspaper all over the house, because it’s fun even though he knows he shouldn’t. The way he comes over to me when he is sad; the way he wedges himself near me when I am sad to console me; the way he pounces on crickets in the garden and the way he looks perplexed when they escape; the way he loves you, even when you are impatient with him and have no time for his morning game; the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him; all in all, the way he finds wisdom beyond words. You can attach as many adjectives as possible to describe a dog and Saint Bernards live up to each one of them.
As someone once said: “He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog.
You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.” Today, I can proudly say that I
am what I am a human being only because of my dogs.
– Anurag Kakkar

“Paw-Tales” l Mar-Apr-2006

Unconditional love
I have always had pets, but never a dog. So when I asked my 15-year-old daughter Payal, who was busy with her pre-boards, whether she wanted a pup, she almost threw away her books and rushed to search in the newspaper classifieds. We wanted a small shorthaired dog on a shoestring budget and the pet shop offered us a mix of two breeds (a Pug and a Miniature Pinscher), who straight away rushed into Payal’s arms. We felt as if he was custom designed for us!
Anyways, we named him MnM (Mischief Monger), fondly called Emmy, and he has lived up to his name. He is super active. ‘Hyper’ is what many people call him.
Being tiny but made up for his size with a larger than life personality, the little fellow brought us good luck. Within three days of his arrival, Payal got a one-year scholarship to study in Germany. After she left for Germany in July 2005, Emmy spent his entire evening barking at imaginary doorbells and waiting at the door until I went and told him that she will be back only after a year. He gave me a sad look and then walked away silently.
Meanwhile, as all my free time alternated between his feedings and walks on the terrace, I realised the wonderful bonus point – I began to lose weight – without any effort. He is also a great learner. His latest trick is a pirouette and he looks like a ballet dancer! He has also been remarkably cooperative when we leave him alone although he gives the noisiest welcome on our return.
Emmy is very friendly as he takes on the mantle of companionship very seriously. He fills my lonely hours with lots of love, fun and frolic. He has also taught me the true meaning of ‘unconditional love,’ a term I had heard often but have felt it highly overrated. Thank you Emmy, my son.
– Nanda, New Delhi

“Paw-Tales” l Mar-Apr-2006

My buddy – Buddy
‘No’ was the only word, which was uttered by my parents, when I asked for a dog. But after much persuasion, I now proudly have a nine-month-old Pug named Buddy.
I brought Buddy home when he was just four-month-old. My heart just melted when I first saw him. He fit so well in the house with his sweet and friendly disposition.
Buddy loves to share my pillow and blanket, run all around the house, loves food, walks and car rides. He is possessive about his toys, likes his medicines (weird) and relishes whatever has been given to him. He follows me everywhere in the house and even into the bathroom, which is very funny. He is cute, playful, loving, huggable and a lot more. It was always my dream to have a dog and now that I have one I don’t ever want to lose him for anything in this world.
My mother was scared of dogs but now she’s just in love with him. He’s treated like the smallest child of the family and has won over everyone’s heart with his unique antics. We all adore him.
–Ameya Sirsat, Mumbai