Pooches shape your kid’s personality

Dogs and children are an amazing combination – four paws and two tiny feet make the world so beautiful with their crazy antics and host of memories to cherish. In the process, kids learn a lot of new things, which make a better individual. To find what kids learnt from their precious paws, we spoke to children with pets in Pune and here’s what they shared.

Teaching compassion…

Yash and Krisha Shewani with Tyson

Liana and Kaylan Fernandes are younger to their pet Dusty, who is an Indian mix breed. “Well, we don’t just like him, we love him. He came along before we were born and so we have grown up with him and consider him a brother. We cannot do without him for a day. No matter what, he has always been there for us, cheered us up and kept us company and we have done the same for him as well. The first thing we do when we come home is to look for Dusty. We share the same room; while we sleep on the bed…he sleeps on the bean bag next to the bed,” they shared.

“Dusty has taught us how to love animals, especially dogs. We have learnt how dogs live and behave. All animals are our friends and we must take care of them,” they added. As a matter of fact, Liana wants to become a vet and take care of pets in future.

Neha Godambe and Maya, her Havanese pooch, make quite a pair. “It is said that a dog is the man’s best friend, and indeed it is true! She is considered as a part of the family and she has changed my life. Every day, I wait for the school to end and rush back home as seeing a wagging tail greeting me at the door makes me immensely happy,” she said. And Maya has taught her compassion and loyalty. “Besides, never ending love and carefree nature are the most important qualities that we can learn from our pets,” she added.

Being responsible…

Yash and Krisha Shewani, share their lives with Tyson – a Boxer, have different reasons for liking him. While, Yash feels safe when Tyson is around him and adores him for his playfulness as he is the best fielder he could get for cricket; Krisha loves Tyson because he is faithful, loyal, trustworthy, affectionate ….eventually a part of her family. Both of them have learnt the same thing from Tyson – responsibility…. that came with feeding him on time, walking him at his timings, and bathing him on Sundays. “We have also learned to love and respect animals through Tyson,” they added.]

Unconditional love…

Saee Risbood is the cute pet parent of even sweeter Lab called Snowy. “Snowy is very beautiful. She always listens to me. She is loving, caring and protects me. She plays hide and seek with me. What I learnt from Snowy is loving everyone in the family, even if they scold you sometimes. Also I learnt to obey instructions,” she answered sweetly.

Nikita Borges loves her Cocker Spaniel named Scamper and said, “His love knows no bounds and he is what any person should strive to be. He taught me that it is possible to love someone more than life, cherish what one has and to take joy in simpler things.”]

Buneshte Hakhamaneshy is a lucky chap. He is blessed with a family of dogs – Prince (Great Dane), Buddy (Great Dane), Coco (Labrador), Angel (Doberman), Lilo (Great Dane +Lab mixed), Dazey (Neopolitan Mastiff), Sugar (Labrador), Joey (Dachshund) and Pixie (Dachshund). Asked why he loves his dogs, came a quick reply, “Because no matter how long it is, whenever I go back, they love me just as much! They have made me realise that love is truly unconditional and it is possible to love everyone. Besides, with them around, we never have to worry about rats and snakes attacking us.”

Good behaviour at all times…

Apurva Shirgonkar loves the innocent eyes of her Pug named Rio. “His innocent eyes always please me, no matter what mood I am in. He’s always a good company when no one is around and whenever I come back home, he always greets me with the same excitement,” she told. And Apurva has learnt a few things from Rio as well. “He has taught me to behave politely and affectionately, irrespective of the conditions and circumstances,” she added.

Not just playmate…

Janhavi Gadgil is blessed with a Beagle named Toffy. “I always wanted to have a pet. Even though I like all sorts of animals, dogs are my favourite. We got Toffy just two months back and it was a huge surprise for me. She is naughty, playful and most important of all, absolutely cute! When she becomes naughty, it becomes almost impossible to stop her as she makes an extremely innocent and cute face when we catch her red handed!”

“Toffy has brought a lot of joy into our life. We are going to train her as a therapy dog as my younger brother is a special child. So, Toffy will be a great help when her training as a therapy dog is complete. It is also a great fun time – learning new facts and tactics of training dogs. I and my brother do not even realise how time flies when we play with her. It is more tempting to play with her than watching TV, etc! With her long, floppy ears, Toffy is a very cute dog. She is also very adorable. She has helped us to follow the healthy regime of ‘Early to bed, early to rise’. She wakes us up in the early morning at 5:30 am and so we must go to sleep at 9:30 pm and the credit goes to Toffy!” she said.

What’s more? “She has also made me understand that we must be responsible. Having a dog is like having a child, a new member in the family and we have to do our best to nurture this relationship. I love Toffy a lot because she loves all of us unconditionally. She is the most wonderful dog I have ever seen,” added Janhavi.

Love has no language…

Sonia Athalye loves her mixed breed pooch Erro as she loves her and her family unconditionally and can always bring a smile to her face. “My dog has taught me that love doesn’t have a language,” she added.

Whew! Our children are actually much more mature than we thought them to be…! So, if you are planning to bring home a pooch but are not sure whether it would be a right thing to do with your child around…take the plunge…you will never regret it!

(With inputs from Neeta Godambe of It’s Pawssible and Shalaka Mundada of PetSitters, Pune’s premier dog luxury resort. Neeta is a certified canine trainer & behaviourist and a dog agility trainer while Shalaka has done a Certified course in Kennel Management from Canines Can Care and a Certified Canine Behaviourist under John Rogerson, UK.)