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“Paw-Tales” l May-June-2006

Love needs no words
My two dogs Snowey and Lalu are my most cherished treasures and we all love them for so many reasons. Snowey- a real darling came into our lives five years back and loving Lalu followed him afterwards. Lalu came to us wounded and we provided first aid and medication to him, and instantly mutual bonding developed and we poured him with all our love and care. When my mother was unwell, these two were always by her side like guiding angels. Snowey and Lalu – God’s messengers, always followed her like a shadow. It was because of their unconditional love and care that my mom could recover. I still cherish those affectionate moments. And whenever I am in distress, they somehow sense it and always try to calm me down. Once when I lost my PT scarf, and I was crying, they licked my face and went out to search my scarf and found it. I felt that through their deep gaze, they are trying to say, “Don’t cry dear, we love you”. Their unspoken emotions and care always moves me. The love and affection of Snowey and Lalu have filled our lives with all the joys and happiness of the world. – Trupti Satam

“Paw-Tales” l May-June-2006

Sun, Sand, Sea… and Sundar!!!
Sundari- as the name suggests, is our beautiful 9-month-old GSD girl. She accompanied us to our trip to Goa, and we all had a gala time. We had many memorable incidents that are worth sharing. We all went by car. She slept on the lap of my friend all the way to Goa while I ended up sleeping in the rear of the car.
Early morning she enjoyed her breakfast at Countryside hotel. The caretakers were very friendly and gave us a cottage with a small lawn so Sundari could roam around freely and play football with the girls. For lunch, a whole plate full of 6 mackerels was laid in front of her, which she polished off in minutes.
While some of us would hit the sack early, my friends and Sundari would drive down to check beach parties, small parties in the shacks along the beach happening at Vagador and Baga, late in the night. They would then have some dessert at Café Coffee Day and come back at 4 am only to receive a sound scolding. Sundari loved the beach and ran around in circles to show us how happy she was to be there. She never gave us a chance to complain and was at her best.
At our ancestral house in a small village in Goa, Sundari had loads of fun. She went with us for morning swimming sessions and played with the river streams. One morning the river was in full force and Sundari decided to jump in while we remained on the banks. She swam hard but went out of sight after she was sucked in by the speed of the water. And even before we could stop screaming, the little devil was bouncing up and down the rocks coming towards us. She had scared us out of our wits. She enjoyed the meal consisted of chicken, curd and rice, after having that, she loved to doze-off till late evenings.
Later in the beginning of 2005 we brought home another dream – Rewa, our first ever Labrador. Sometimes innocent, sometimes mischievous, their cute and lovable antics have filled our lives with more fun and joy. They are let loose twice a month at Gorai beach and twice a month at our farmhouse. One thing that we all are looking forward is more holidays with Sundari…for sure!
– Mugdha A M

“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

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 July-Aug 2004

Taking me by storm Storm Front Batra, a German shepherd puppy,  came to us at a time when I was not ready to look at the possibility of another four-legged friend, having just recently lost our beloved four years Dobermann Nero to kidney failure. My husband suggested we go to our friend’s pet shop to “play with the puppies” to cheer ourselves up. That decision was  to enrich our lives forever…
At the pet shop, it was the dark uncontrollable German shepherd pup who  caught  my  attention  and  heart and  I thought of him  that night and the next night and the night after. My amused husband lovingly christened him Storm Front Batra on day three. Storm was two months old and he came to us exactly three days after Nero’s death.
Used to greeting me with a gigantic jump each time I got back home, all this had to be changed once I got pregnant. On the first day back from the doctor, I took his two paws in my hand and explained to him how “ mummy had a baby in her stomach” and his jumping could hurt it.  It was like we had made a connection that afternoon, till date Storm has never greeted me with a jump again. A loving wag, a kitty brush and wet slurps, yes, but never a jump again!
In the past four years, Storm has been the center of our universe, the universe shifting slightly  after the birth of our first child but once again firmly in place today.
Storm  – the love of our lives is totally intimidated by our two and a half year old daughter. Scared by her fidgetiness and her whisker pulling, he steers clear of her path, clearly terrified of her hands, he charges to me for total protection.
As I write, Storm is trying to nudge a biscuit off Ameera, not managing to get a bite in without dropping his ball which is tightly secured in his mouth, aaah life is back to normal.
And I, his Mama, bask in this glory.
–Aparna Batra

“Paw-Tales” l July-Aug 2004

Pati, Patni or voh!
I am not the usual dog lover. I never had a pet, not even the occasional low maintenance gold fish or parrot. My disdain for dogs is probably hereditary. As a child, my mother was attacked by a pack of stray dogs and the fear of dogs has been transmitted to me through her genes.
The twist in the story is that I am now married to a family of dog lovers. For the last seven years before my marriage I had been the single child, my only elder sibling had moved out.  From being the focus of attention of the family, I found myself in a situation where I was competing with OSCAR. Oscar is a Golden Retriever, aged 3 years and the blue-eyed boy of the family.
Before we got married, Oscar and my husband were roommates, or rather bedmates. Hubby used to wake up with Oscar, silently waiting for him to flutter his eyelids. Sometimes, he would wake up with Oscar lapping his face. All that has changed now.  I am sure my husband misses the male bonding that he once shared with Oscar but he never dares to admit it.
Oscar now sleeps with my in-laws. Initially, my mother-in-law i.e. Oscar’s mother would bang on our door to wake up hubby for Oscar’s morning walk. However, that was met with strong opposition from me. Getting up at 6.00 am in the morning is absolutely criminal.
But, this is not the end of it. Though we have been married for barely six months, husband has a picture of Oscar as a screensaver on his mobile. And you know what his explanation is, “You’re my bibi and Oscar my baby”. Husband cootchie cooes to Oscar and me using the same sweet nothings. I wonder if Oscar has ever noticed this! Even if he has, thank God, he is not complaining.  I sometimes wonder if dogs also feel jealous like women.
But, things are gradually changing. Oscar and I are now getting to know each other. I allow him into our room but he can only put his front paws on our bed. Maybe, it is only a matter of time that he would find his way back into our bed and into my heart too.
–Sadhvi Narang Mathur