Making small screen debut as Shanti in 1994 on Doordarshan and with Dil Wale Dulhania Le Jayenge as Preeti on the silver screen, Mandira Bedi has indeed come a long way. The charming celebrity has gained fame and appreciation as an actress, presenter, judge and reality show participant. Mandira has also been well received as one of India’s lady cricket commentators, who really made cricket more appealing to the eyes with her flowery accent and designer dresses in Xtra Innings. One thing which many of us would not know is that Mandira is also an animal lover and has been a parent to the furry angels for last many years.
Pet love…right from childhood
Mandira loves pets since childhood…and it gives her great happiness to pet an animal. As she narrates, “When I was a small child, I had a pet parrot – Mitthoo and since then I am having pets.” This love further developed and Mandira started keeping dogs. Asking more about the initiation of this wonderful pooch companionship, Mandira recalls, “I have doggies for the last nine years. My first pet dog was Ruger – a black Labrador.”
First pooch love…
Ruger was her real sweetheart but unfortunately he recently left for his heavenly abode. In fact, he was the one who actually imbibed the unconditional love for pooches in her. “Ruger was one of the best pooches in the world, he was such a well behaved dog that I fell in love with him…he was my real sweetheart. It was so difficult for me to overcome his death…it took me long. I still love him and feel he’s around,” adds Mandira.
On asking her about Ruger’s antics, she fondly remembers, “Ruger was a real gentleman. He neither barked at anyone incessantly nor disobeyed anyone. But he had a big EGO.” She further recalls, “Ruger used to sit on the big sofa backed by large cushions in our garden. He would never change his position even if someone arrived. He used to open an eye to acknowledge the guest’s arrival. One had to pat his back to make him respond.”
Alas! We can’t challenge the law of nature; we all have to bow down. Still the love prevails. Petting and raising Ruger made her so fond of pooches that soon after he departed, she adopted another Labrador – Bonzo.
Pooches…all around the house
Today, Mandira has four pets: Buster (Basset Hound), Bonzo & Hulk (both Yellow Lab), and Blue Berry (Golden Retriever). “I adopted Hulk after he lost his family in an accident, whereas Blue Berry is the only lady in our pooch gang. Buster and Bonzo stay at our Bungalow, while Hulk and Blue Berry stay at our beach house, where we spend our weekends,” she fondly shares.
Home time is fun time
These pooches love to spend time together…basking in the sun on Sunday afternoons and this pooch gang spends fun-time with Mandira and Raj. “Our dogs love to party during weekends, they play endlessly and make merry. They never give me a tough time. The only time they are hysteric is when chew is given to them,” she adds.
“At home, we have to be prepared for another round of tantrums with Buster and Bonzo. The only thing that excites both these cuddly delights is going upstairs to our bedroom. Bonzo is tiny…he’s just six months old, so we never allow them to be together. We ensure to bring in Buster first and then Bonzo,” shares Mandira.
The spoilt brat…
“Being the smallest one in the family, Bonzo takes advantage of being notorious. He chews everything and anything…cane furniture…cushions, curtains, sofa, combs brushes….woof and even my nose,” she laughs.
Pooches…very much a part of family!
Being at a stage of life, when she would love to extend her family…Mandira wants to see her kid having great time with her pets as she says, “Me and my husband love dogs, we can’t imagine our lives without them. Sometimes when I am feeling little sad, they just come to me and put their legs on my lap and stare in my eyes as if asking…is everything fine? And believe me, my entire worries end on the spot. They are like our kids and we’ll love hem even more when our own kids play with them.”
Our best friends…
“Dogs are like children, they are like babies…they need nurturing, care and love. And when they get these…they revert back with the same in a big way…they are truly a human’s best friend,” concludes Mandira.