Shining Star

Shining Star’s: Jan-Feb 14



Name: Boney
Date of Birth: May 2004
City: Mount Abu, Rajasthan
Loves to eat: Royal Canin food and milk.
Loves to do: Spending time with his pet parents.





Name: Pluto
Date of Birth: 2009
City: Bengaluru
Loves to eat: Bread, biscuit and vanilla ice cream.
Loves to do: Plays and car drive.



Name: Buzo
Date of Birth: 4th December 2002
City: New Delhi
Loves to eat: Apples, porridge, scrambled eggs, curd and his favourite Windsor biscuits.
Loves to do: Fetching morning newspaper, sleep, roll on grass, tummy scratch, getting powdered and combed.



Name: Bruno
Date of Birth: 31st October 2005
City: Allahabad
Loves to eat: Egg and Pedigree.
Loves to do: Loves to play with my dad.

John Abraham

A calendar with pictures of celebrities and their tailwaggers! Wow! What a lovely way to start a new year!!!

The 2014 calendar of World For All features 12 celebrity pet parents with their stunning tailwaggers. John Abraham is the

John Abraham

John Abraham

cover of the calendar, endorsing the adoption of stray animals in Mumbai. The eight-week-old sisters – Moon (white) and Lolo (black), and one-year-old Undi, who make a softie of tough-guy John, are up for adoption.

John Abraham supports World For All in the agenda to take care of stray animals in Mumbai, be it cats, be it dogs, be it any kind of animals. “I appreciate the effort they’re putting in and I wish them all the best. I wish all pet lovers to do their bit for the welfare of the stray animals,” adds John.

Featured celebrity pet parents…
The calendar features 12 celebrity pet parents: Nimrat Kaur, Mukul Deora, Sapna Bhavnani, Priyanka Bose, Bruna Abdullah, Ankur Vikal, Paresh Kamath, Harish Iyer, Anju Mahendru, Vikas Bahl, Ahana Deol and Gargi Gogoi. All these pet parents have adopted Indian breed animals.

Each pet parent has a different story to tell. Bruna picks up stray cats from neighbourhood and gets them neutered. The cats in her shot are hers. While, Nimrat Kaur has two cats – one of them is nine years old. Harish always wanted to have a pet but his parents refused. So, one fine day, he brought home a pet and named him Shiva, so that his parents do not throw him out.

The brains and hard work
behind the calendar…
The calendar is shot by photographer Sahil Mane and produced and art directed by Tara Kaushal. They have four dogs and two cats. They are all Indian breeds. “Our dogs are called Janis Joplin aka Jana, Naomi Wolf aka Num-Num, Steven Tyler aka Cheelu and Ervin Olf aka Oli, all named after people we really admire in the art’s spheres. Mama cat is Britney Spears; her daughter is Chini Chairman Mao, named after the building cat Chinchin who was probably her father,” tells Tara.
“I believe discrimination against strays is a bit like believing in the caste system – that where a dog/cat comes from, who his/her parents are, etc determine what they’d be like inside. Adopting strays takes a certain level of cool – when you can go beyond lineage and pedigree, and see an animal for the love he/she has to share. The calendar contains celebrity pet parents –people you want to be or know – who love their Indian dogs and cats,” tells Tara.
“People say Sahil and my animals – four dogs and two cats – are lucky to have been rescued. In actual fact, we are lucky for the love they give us every day,” adds Tara.

The welfare organisation…
Founded by Ruchi Nadkarni and Taronish Bulsara, World For All ( is an animal rescue organisation that encourages people to adopt stray dogs and cats from Mumbai’s streets and runs an active spay-neuter campaign.
(You can pick up a calendar by mailing at: or

Transforming pets into models: My assistants were engaged in keeping the animals interested… making noises, offering food, meowing and whistling just out of the shot!
Dogs vs cats: Cats are static and shy, so it’s harder to get an interesting photograph; though sometimes they prove to be easier as they stay still.
Special shooting moment: Every one of the shoots has been special, but the shoot of animal-lover John Abraham, the cover of the calendar, was especially so. The puppies he’s shot with are up for adoption through World For All– were beautiful. And then, it’s John!
Advice to pet parents trying to get the perfect shot: Patience, Patience, Patience! Create interesting pictures by exploring lower angles and getting down to their level.

Paws and their stars

Ashok K Banker

How does a writer express his pooch love? Well, it has to be emotional, loving and from the heart…here, reputed mythology writer Ashok K Banker shares his pooch love. Excerpts.

Ashok K Banker with Willow

Willow is my boss lady. She knows when I’m writing and waits me out patiently (with a few impatient interruptions!). But when I’m home and free she knows it at once and demands attention. I work from home except for meetings and travels and she is so used to me being around most of the time that she can’t stand me being away for a whole day…,” says the talented author Ashok Banker. Before you think who Willow is…he adds, “She barks and scolds me terribly if I come back late. But if I’m away on a trip (she knows because she sees me take a carry-bag or suitcase) then she lathers me with love when I come back.”

Yes, Willow is the beautiful Basset Hound in the life of Ashok, an internationally acclaimed author of mixed-race based in Mumbai. His Epic India Library is a lifetime writing plan that aims to retell all the major myths, legends and history of the Indian sub-continent in an interlinked cycle of over 100 volumes. This includes the Ramayana Series, Krishna Coriolis, the Mahabharata Series, the contemporary Kali Rising thriller series and other works. His books have sold over 1.85 million copies in 13 languages and 58 countries worldwide. No wonder he is credited with the resurgence of mythology in Indian publishing.

Pooch love…

And the tale of Ashok’s pooch love is also interesting to share. “Oh, I’m a born animal, bird and nature lover. How can anyone not be? We are just two-legged animals too after all. We share this world, we don’t own it. We are all siblings traveling on this great Ark called Earth and we should respect and love our fellow travelers. It’s not just selfless love either. This entire planet’s eco-system is based on loving one another. Only by co-existing symbiotically can all our myriad species prosper and proliferate and keep the planet flourishing. As for dogs, someone once said – Dogs are human beings at their best. That is so true. They are such beautiful lovely creatures,” he shares.

First pet…

“When I was a boy I had a Cocker Spaniel named Tippu who died before he became a year old. It broke my heart and I never owned a pet afterwards. But during the brief time that Tippu was in my life, it was wonderful. As an only child raised by a single mother who was often away for weeks or even months on end, it was great to have a companion who was loyal to me to a fault, played games all day without tiring, and followed everywhere I went. I miss him even today, the little fellow. He got tick fever and had to be put down as he was suffering terribly but I cried and didn’t want to let him go,” he shares sadly.

Another pet…decades later…

“Once I was married, my wife disliked animals so refused to have one in the house. It was only when our son and daughter were in their late teens and pleaded with her for one that I chipped in and convinced her. That was how Willow came into our lives. She’s a pure-breed Basset Hound with a strong genealogy going back several generations but by some genetic quirk her litter inherited more Hound qualities than Beagle or Dachshund (those are the three breeds who were interbred by the French aristocracy in medieval times to create the Basset Hound for hunting). We don’t really care about breeding. We love strays equally. But Willow has a beautiful red coat and gets many admiring looks and compliments from other pet parents. She is not just a part of the family, she is like the matriarch! She bosses over all of us, especially me. And we love it,” he shares with a twinkle in his eyes.

On asking about who Willow loves most, Ashok replies, “She’s closest to me because I have always been her primary care-giver. I’ve stayed up all night sleeping by her side when she was sick, no matter how messy it was, and I am as loyal as a dog to her. She, on the other hand, being a Basset Hound is notoriously stubborn and snobbish and rarely comes when called – a Basset only catches a ball if it’s coming towards her, doesn’t like to chase it! It’s always a challenge to keep her exercising because they tend to get very lazy and fat but it’s good for me too and I enjoy it. Even at six years old, she is one of the most active and playful Basset Hounds.”

And that’s not all, Ashok keeps watching on Willow’s health, exercise, diet but his wife oversees her feeding and nutrition now because she’s a very fussy eater. “My wife, daughter and I take turns brushing, grooming her but I always bathe her and keep her free of ticks or infections and mostly it’s I who take her to the clinic for nail clipping, checkups, shots or health related visits,” he adds.

Spending time with Willow…

“I probably spend too much time with her! That’s one of the upsides of being an author, self-employed, and working from home. She loves going down by the stairs – all 20 floors of them right to the lower basement of the building, then sniffing around the parking basement, walking up to the garden, doing her thing, maybe playing with a ball. Then we go for a drive, I drive, she in the shotgun seat, looking out the window, cruising slowly so she can ogle the hunky dogs – she has a fondness for young muscular yellow Labs and literally collapses at their feet if she encounters one. We stop to socialise sometimes with other dogs but she mostly prefers to just cruise. We have a favourite route I’ve been driving since she was a puppy and she knows it by heart and always turns to lick me ‘thank you’ when we take the last turn towards home. At home, after she eats, she likes me to throw an empty plastic bottle around while she chases it. She tries to catch it and bite the cap off and I have to take it away before she can catch it. Then she gets a treat or two and settles down,” tells Ashok.

Crazy antics…

“Bassets are pretty sedate but when she was younger she used to have this tendency to go diving into any water body she saw. She jumped into puddles, potholes, a swimming pool at a resort once! The swampy pond on the Lokhandwala Back Road. The ocean of course but that’s different,” he adds playfully.

What Willow likes…

“I’m always there for her. I never pass the buck or hand her off to anyone. I’ve avoided long trips because of her for years. I have never kenelled her or left her with anyone else. I don’t believe in punishment training; only in positive reinforcement. I trained her using love,

making her realise that behaving well would please me and make me happy,” he quips in.

On vacations…

Ashok has taken Willow on vacations for a few times but he laments that good pet friendly resorts are so hard to find. “She gets a bit tired of long drives as she’s getting older but when she was young she loved them. One time we all five went to a resort (me, wife, son, daughter and Willow) and there was a small pool there that was not meant for pets of course,” he remembers.

On responsible pet parenting…

“Your pet is as much your child as your two-legged children. Treat them the same way: with love and respect. They will always reward you with more than you give. Dogs yield the highest return on investment of love you will ever make!” concludes Ashok Banker.

Stars with a difference! Kool K9!

Undoubtedly, dogs are lovable, regardless of breed, size and age. But, some  are ordained to become famous, and what keeps them apart from others is their attitude and loving nature. Here are a few dogs, who have created history and will always be remembered with fondness.

Playful Pluto
Pluto – Bloodhound, the best buddy of Mickey Mouse, is friendly and loyal. His playfulness and good spirits always make him a lovable pooch. His eagerness to please Mickey makes him even more adorable. Pluto likes to be rewarded for a job well done. Kindhearted and faithful Pluto made his debut in 1930 in ‘The Chain Gang’. Playing with chipmunks and other animals, chasing balls…he loves
to do and says: “Grrr …” “Snort!” “Sniff, sniff, sniff …”
“Bark! Bark!”

Gold hearted Goofy
Goofy is a happy-go-lucky pooch with a heart of gold; his never-say-die attitude made him a big star. Optimistic and enthusiastic, with loads of positive attitude made him shine, he became an official mascot for the 1980 French Olympic team, 1981 spokesman for the German Sportlife Fund, and 1983 mascot for the first Wimbledon Tennis Jr. World Championship. The Goof’s message was, “It doesn’t matter if you win or lose; just get up, try, and, most of all, have fun” a-hyuck, a- hyuck…

Smart Scooby-Doo
Scooby-Doo, a comically nervous Great Dane, with four teenagers, Fred “Freddie” Jones, Daphne Blake, Velma Dinkley, and Norville “Shaggy” Rogers spent hours hunting ghosts or finding the rational behind mysteries involving ghost and supernatural forces. While doing this, he won the hearts of million across the world. These Ghostbusters drove around in a van called the Mystery Machine and named their gang – Mystery Inc. In 2002 Scooby-Doo hit the big screen and there also the applause was same. Kudos, Scooby!

Pradip Burman

Keeping pets is perhaps one of the favourite pastime for even the busiest people in this world. Meet Mr. Pradeep Burman, the Chairman of Ayurvet Limited, who has loved pets since childhood. His ancestral home in Kolkata was a home to a number of dogs and once they even kept a leopard.
Currently, Mr. Burman and his family share their moments with a trio (3 dogs). Their house at Shantiniketan in New Delhi is always buzzing with activity as they have two pups of 4 months and 3.5 months of age, and one dog of 6 years of age. Mr. Burman introduced his dogs seniority wise, bluestacks for pc“The first is Simba the lion, a dashound. The second is Simone, a miniature dashound and the third is Samsung, an Alsatian pup”. The drawing room was a scurry of activities as Simba was trying to prove who the boss is. Simone and Samsung were involved in a tussle. Simone, inspite of being really tiny, was giving a full battle to Samsung and was barking away to full glory.
Dogs & Pups editor had a tête-à-tête with Mr. Pradip Burman on his love for dogs. Walking down the memory lane, he remembers his pets with fondness. Thinking of them brought a smile across his face and he told that among all his pets, he particularly loved Lucy, an Alsatian.

D&P : When is the first time you remember having pets and over the years which all pets did you have?
PB : I remember having pets, ever since I was a little boy. In my home town Kolkata, we had a cocker spaniel, a pug, and an Alsatian. My uncle was very fond of pets, and he used to keep white pigeons. We even had a leopard as a pet once. Besides, we always had dogs around the house.

D&P : Which was your first dog?
PB : It was a Mongrel named Lassie. Though Lassie is a comic toon character, this one was hardly a comic.

D&P : You mentioned earlier about your favourite Lucy, could you describe more about her?
PB : Yes, my favourite pet was Lucy, an Alsatian, which was with us in Kolkata when I was barely 14! (A smile crosses his face as he remembers Lucy!) The thing which I remember and loved most about her was that she was very moviebox for windows loveable and intelligent. She followed all commands and had a very strong dog sense. She could easily recognise whether a person is friendly or not.
She would stand on her legs whenever she was fed. She loved to play fetch and also loved catching rats.

D&P : How do you manage to spend time with your pets?
PB : As soon as I get back from work, I love to spend time with my pets. They are very playful and fun to be with, especially when they are pups. Before I go out, I always play with them for some time.

D&P : What do you like most about dogs?
PB : The most striking feature that I find in dogs is that they seem to be able to speak, even though they can’t say. The way they look at you and say it all is a very lovable aspect (said Mr. Burman emotionally).

D&P : What do you think your dogs love about you?
PB : They love the treats I give them. They look forward to it.

D&P : How do you ensure that that your dogs stay healthy?
PB : I make sure that they are taken out for walks regularly all the three times. If I am home early, I take them out for a walk in the evening. My household helpers take them for morning and night walks.

D&P : Which are your pet’s favourite dishes?
PB : They love to have mutton. I also get chews for them and they really love it. As I travel so often, I always get those chews from supermarkets abroad.

D&P : Is there any annoying habits of your pets?
PB : As Simone and Samsung are pups, they love to bite which annoys me sometimes. Also, when they are given a treat they eat it on the carpet. Sometimes, their little jobs are also done on the carpets.

D&P : Tell us some antics of your current pets?
PB : Simba is very moody. If you call him and he does not want to come, he would not come. Also when you give treats to Simba, he quickly takes his treat, hides it and goes to the other dogs and takes their treats too!! Simba also barks at the person who he does not like. Dashounds are very jealous- You pay attention to something else and they would immediately jump.

D&P : Any specific tip you would like to share?
PB : Besides giving responsi-bilities to domestic help, the owner must see the dogs are properly fed, check on the actual meat and also ensure that they are vaccinated on time. Most importantly, owner should spend sufficient time with their pets (stresses Mr. Pradip Burman).

Our minutes with Mr. Burman, ended with a lot of doggy talks. His love for dogs has no comparison and he was very emotional about his dogs. The best thing that he likes about dogs is their ability to express themselves, without saying anything. One would remember the lyrics of a song “You say it best, when you say nothing at all”.