Love when shared, multiplies –
Meet Himanee Bhatia and her lovely pets
Himanee Bhatia, an Indian actor, author, host, and producer. She became a risk consultant at KPMG at 19, a lawyer at 22, an actress at 23 and a producer at 26. Her brilliant performance in the film Blink, got her the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award and the honourable Satyajit Ray Icon Cinema Award, both for Best Actress on OTT.
–by Himanee Bhatia
She topped the list of 20 Inspiring Women to look out for in 2023 in the NYC Journal, and the only Indian. Himanee shares about her pets and her pet-parenting passion!
Love for animals right from an early age
Yes! I’ve had pets all my life. My first pet was Gambi, and he was there with us before I was born. I also had a stray dog I had taken in at the age of five years. Over the years, especially during my growing up years I’ve had many pets. I have always loved animals. I’ve had 10 dogs of which three were – Lhasa’s and Shih Tzu’s, and seven indie stray dogs who I had adopted and a stray cat.
Memories that are etched furever!
I share my life with: Fido, age 5, Shih Tzu and Brandy, age 11, Indie. There were so many special memories with my pets. I remember Fido ate up my script once and ran away with my lingerie all over the house. Fido is also a really romantic dog. There was a beautiful dog staying close by and he fell in love with her and kind of dated her. I even have a picture of them kissing! She left him for a golden retriever and that left Fido heartbroken. I remember he didn’t eat for one whole day. Since then, he has been single ready to mingle. Whenever I travel, he looks at my suitcase and knows I’m going somewhere. He has tried sneaking his way in the suitcase many times, thinking I wouldn’t notice and he’d come with me.
I have also done a road trip with Fido from Delhi to Manali. We stopped at Chandigarh and he was busy making human friends everywhere. He even went on the hot air balloon in Manali with me. He is the best travel buddy ever. He was fearless and hugged me with his tail wagging when we were up in the air.
Another very cute thing Fido does is, when I’m upset, he comes and puts his paw on me. He even puts his head on my shoulder and licks me, short of saying ‘It’s okay’. I remember being really upset about something and crying, and he came and licked my tears and put his chin on my forehead to calm me down. He understands emotions so well.
He is also an actor, and I make sure he gets credits in whichever film I can get him in. He has acted in two films, one which is on MX player and one that’s on Jio Cinema. He has been given credits in the casting section as well. Our recent film is releasing on MX player called ‘My Brown Eyed Boy’ – it’s a story of me and him, a girl and a dog who love each other more than the universe can imagine.
Brandy is Fido’s best friend. Together in the park, they steal a football or two and come home like they’ve got a trophy.
Spend time to strengthen your bond of love
Fido is with me 24×7. Right from watching TV, listening to music, playing fetch with him, travelling and going on road trips with him, taking him to dog friendly restaurants, and taking naps together. We also go on drives together and I have my evening coffee on the terrace while reading and with Fido sitting on my lap.
Brandy is an indie stray dog so he likes his independence. He stays in our basement and plays with us there. He doesn’t like coming inside the house so we have a bed and blanket right outside our door. He is a very independent dog and spends time with me mainly at night, after his busy day at the park.
He is a really funny dog. Every second female dog breaks his heart. He is a tiny Shih Tzu but growls at dogs like a rottweiler, thinking he is some kind of gangster. Whenever we start the car engine, he runs and jumps in the car because he loves drives. He loves scooty rides. I remember it was my birthday, and the delivery boy came on a scooty to deliver my cake, Fido went and sat on his scooty. He started playing with him. If we don’t open our room door for him, he puts his ear on the door trying to hear us and puts his head down to watch us from the clink. He is very human like and thinks of himself as some kind of detective. He has acted in a lot of my short films. He isn’t an easy actor to direct. He and I have also done a music video together. Everyone has loved Fido’s performance.
Giving unconditional love a new meaning
I love how emotional Fido is. When nobody understands me, Fido will just look into my eyes and knows when I need him, when I’m upset or just in need of a friend. He is my best friend, my travel companion, my partner in crime and adventure buddy, also my emotional backbone.
Be ready for the responsibility
A pet is your family. When you understand this simple fact, everything will come naturally to you. The problem with people today is they treat their pets like stuff toys. It angers me how they abandon them. I would like to ask them – would you abandon your baby? Then why would you abandon your pet?