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Unveiling The Bond

Have you always had a canine companion at home? Were you raised in a family which appreciated and adored animals?

Yes, we have always been animal lovers and our entire family has pets. I grew up with a pair of Pomerian aka Bunty & Babli and then I had a husky. After that, Shelly came in my life who’s an American Coco spaniel and is currently 16-years old. I have lived half of my life and Mumbai career with her. I have my fur baby ‘Emma’. She’s my daughter and the apple of my eye. So, I have always been an animal lover but Emma made me a pet mother.

What are your earliest memories of having dogs around?

I was in school when Bunty and Babli came in our lives. I was very possessive and protective about them. They used to sleep with me and I was in 5th standard, I guess. Those days, you aren’t really aware in terms of what’s good or best for them etc. So as far as what I remember, I used to share my Maggi with them which definitely isn’t allowed. As a child, I wasn’t aware and then of course mom used to see and scream and yell after that. So yes, these would be my memories.

How and when did you get your present pooch home? What’s the name?

Well, like I said earlier, Sherry came in my life long back and is currently 16 years old. I have lived half of my life and Mumbai career with her. And my little one, my fur-baby, her name is Emma.

Do you groom/ bathe your fur baby? What part do you play in grooming?

With my earlier pets, I never groomed them myself. With Sherry also, I used to do everything to take care of her. However, she was always a dog to me. I used to take care of her paws and other stuff and be protective about her as a pet owner. But with Emma, it’s different. It’s the feeling of my newborn with her and so, each and everything is done by myself. In fact, Emma is the one who needs to be fed also. She likes to be in the bathtub with her toys and so, I bathe her and give her a grooming massage with aroma therapy. I clean her paws and each and everything is done by me except the haircut part.

Are they allowed on the couch and most importantly, the bed?

Well, my house name plate is of Emma’s name. What more do I have to say? So, she is not just the owner of the house but also the owner of our lives. So, of course she’s allowed everywhere. In fact, she’s the one who decides where we are allowed and where we aren’t. (Smiles).

Where do you draw the line when it comes to pampering them with treats? What is their favourite food and treat?

Well, we do have it in the back of our mind but we don’t have constant planned measures for it. For us, the health and nutrition of our baby is of utmost importance and we don’t want to spoil her food habits with too much of anything. As parents, we are quite caring and sensitive and hence, we draw the line when we feel we need to base on her food consumption pattern and routine for that particular day. We don’t have a fixed way of going at things. We give her home food. She likes curd rice a lot and those little bone shaped treats. We keep sugar and sweet items entirely away from her as it’s not good for them. So yes, we are indeed careful in the best way possible.

Do you play with your fur baby? What is his/her favourite game?

Yes certainly we do. Whenever we are at home, primarily, our entire attention is for our daughter and hence we do play games. From giving her rewards of treats to playing fetch, tug of war and cuddles, we give our all to her always.

Have you ever taken your fur babies for vacations or picnics? If yes, how was the experience?

Oh yes, we certainly have. We do take our fur baby out. Our little daughter is very young and she always needs her parents around. So, there’s no way we leave her. We choose pet-friendly locations according to her convenience and that’s how we plan our travel.

Who is their favourite person in the family? Any special reason for this?

Well, given the kind of love both my husband and I give our little one, we both are her favourites and we know it. But yes, if I am allowed to take a bit of cute liberty here, I will always say that she loves her mother more. (Chuckles)

Have you ever adopted or supported a rescue or homeless pup?

Yes, I have always come forward to do my bit in these situations whenever I have such cases or instances come up in front of me. Given the schedule we have, it’s not always that you can do a lot even if you want to. But then, I am connected with some nice rescuers who are always there to join hands with me and help. Besides, I am always there to contribute my bit towards feeding such beautiful animals. So yes, I always do my bit in the best way possible and will continue to do so.

Do you see yourself as an advocate for the cause of animals? Have you ever come up for animals that need to be adopted or spoken of animal rights?

Yes. After Emma happened in my life, I am more vigilant about things around and I am more actively involved in terms of getting pets rescued and let them be in a safe surrounding and atmosphere, adoption centres. Prior to Emma, I was a pet owner and it was a different feeling. However, because she is my newborn, the attachment is unexplainable. Hence, I totally get the feeling of having a fur baby in the house and I want every fur baby to do well, so much so that I am even looking forward to starting a hospital along with an NGO for strays in Emma’s name. So yes, if Guruji blesses me, you will soon hear it from us. 

What’s that one quality that makes a dog so endearing to you?

For me, everything since I am personally very attached to my fur baby. But I guess it’s the innocence and sheer trust they have on humans that makes them that endearing.

Who looks after your pooch when he/she falls ill? Any favourite vet?

It’s only the mother who takes care of the child. So, God forbid, if any time she gets unwell, definitely, I am a mother patient mother. However, my husband is an impatient father and he panics a lot. So, in the smallest situations, he would want her to be rushed to a hospital whereas I always see and analyse and then take her. So, after Emma happened in my life, Vatic is the most trusted place where I used to go. I know there are multiple controversies involved due to the recent Thane case. However, if I ignore that, overall, my personal experience with Vetic has always been good, especially the Gurgaon Vetic.

There are many stray dogs and cows roaming the streets. Do you think we all should consider building a shelter for these creatures in the near future?

Yes 100%. If I had the bandwidth and the kind of finances that’s needed for this now, why not? Because otherwise, I will be a boot-strapped company. I would have definitely opened a shelter somewhere close to Delhi-NCR. Here, space isn’t an issue whereas in Mumbai, Maharashtra, space is an issue. In the near future, I am not sure of a cow shelter but a dog shelter and hospital, definitely yes.