Let me take you through my activities in the past week, obviously, apart from the boring routine 😁
Had we ever even imagined that in our entire life time we would be in a situation like the ones we are in today? Arrogant humanity always thought that among all living beings only humans can write a sensational story in the world! But here’s a nano organism called corona-virus – proved the opposite of this! But the fact is that the mind is more powerful than the body and it’s all a matter of acceptance! We all panicked first when the lock-down was first imposed, and, now we are adopting to this new lifestyle which has come to be known and the “new normal”.
In India, the lock-down was imposed on the 24th of March 2020 for 21 days initially. My first few days went in utter panic as to how am I going to stay at home alone with Junior. I also feared Junior’s walks and well-being for staying locked in for 21 days. But as days passed by, the fear subsided and I started to accept the realty and make adjustments to living the new lifestyle. Junior, I must say, has been such a patient dog that he too adjusted to the new normal. As such, Dogs have a keen sixth sense and usually know when they should behave how. I read quite a few articles where some people adopted dogs during the lock-down to give them company; on the other hand I also hear stories about some people who chose to abandon their dogs as they either feared contracting the virus or just didn’t have enough money left to support the dog due to going out of work. Now, after 3 months and with some relaxations in place for the lock-down, I am reading that many who adopted dogs during lock-down are giving them up for adoption again. It is said Catastrophe reveals character, and those who are treating dogs as toys are in my opinion not worth being called humans.
I am a dog mom and under no circumstances I would ever abandon my dogs. Whether I have to get married, leave the country, the pandemic, any natural disaster, lack of money, etc. My dog is my baby and just because he is an animal, does not make his importance any less. During these though times, I have tried to make Junior’s life as comfortable as I could. I agree it wasn’t easy, but, if you have the will, you will find the way. In these 3 months, I did have my ups and downs; I too got depressed and anxious for some reason or the other. But I never let that affect Junior.
We lost a young and talented movie actor to suicide around 2 weeks ago. The whole country is mourning his death; Infact, many young kids who were his die-hard fans also committed suicide as they grieved over this news. There are a lot of speculations to why he took such a drastic step; some say he was in depression due to work, some say he had family issues. While the truth has gone to the grave with him, his demise has raised many questions about people suffering from depression. The reason I mention this is because, he had a dog too named Fudge; A very cute and adorable Labrador. It makes me wonder; didn’t he think of his dog before taking his life? Where was his dog when this happened? My mom always says, when a person wants to take his own life, it is just a matter of seconds, and if in those seconds someone calls or talks to them or diverts their mind, this can be averted. I can say this is 100% true. I remember the time when I was ready to commit suicide and just in the nick of time, Casper jumped on me and started licking my tears. That was the first and last time I had ever thought of taking my life. After that incident, I pledged to work on myself and my life, especially for my dogs. Had it not been for Casper, I wouldn’t be here right now writing this. There are many people who have come forward to adopt the late actor’s dog. I hope he finds a wonderful house, and, I also hope people understand that a dog is for life, not just for a global pandemic.
Are dogs really good for you? Let me share my views on this based on my personal experience:
- Dogs are just not cuddle partners. In fact, they bring real health benefits. They help lower stress levels not only in adults but also in children. Dogs have also been linked to lower blood pressure.
- Despite of gyms being shut and the inability to go out for walks, I have been physically active because of my dog. I literally have the best buddy to work from home, who gives me continues breaks by tapping on me so that I get up from my chair and give him a treat or give him belly rubs.
- Dogs keep you mentally sane – Due to Junior, there has never been a dull or boring moment in all these days
- Dogs are very alert and Junior is usually at the door even before the bell rings. Their sixth sense make them extremely intelligent companions
- Dogs make you forget HATE; as such the word HATE does not exist in their dictionary
- My dogs not only saved my life, but If I am even just sad, they cuddle me and all my sadness is driven away. Even though I feel I am taking care of my dogs, the reality is, they are taking care of me
- I automatically become more attractive to people when I say I have a dog J hahaha true!
- I sleep well and fearless at night; I practically need no one to talk to, because I keep talking to my dogs and they listen without judging me
- My dog’s social media account has more followers than my personal account (rolling eyes)
- I have made more friends in the past few years because of my dogs
- If I am on the phone for too long, he starts growling and barking at me to hang up, sometimes it’s the best thing to end a boring phone call J
- He is the best excuse for me to come home early as I do not like socializing a lot
- I love my space and when some people want to hang out with me uninvited, I suddenly remember I have to take Junior for a walk J
Let’s all us pet parents agree, some way or the other we have used our dog’s excuse to get out of a boring or unwanted situation. Isn’t it? The only disadvantage of a dog is, their short lives. Apart from that, I am a very happy and content person now. And I cannot thank God enough for sending my dogs to me accidentally. This lock-down made me realize, we need very little to live happily, and if you have the company of a dog, life is still so beautiful even though there are speculations that the world in going to end. It’s really all about being content with what we have, and what we can make out of it. We can either sit and crib today speculating the tomorrow; or we can live today and have fond memories of it tomorrow. The only thing to remember is today can never be lived again, and the last thing we want is to tomorrow repent wasting our today!
What I cooked last week.
I come across many pet parents who are confused about spaying or neutering their dogs. First, let us understand the difference between spay and neuter. Spaying is removing the ovaries and uterus of a female dog, and neutering is removing the testicles of a male dog. It is a veterinary procedure that requires minimal hospitalization.
In this post, I will be mainly talking about neutering as I have male dogs and would like to share my experience and opinion about it. As I mentioned before, pet parents are usually confused, or at times even unaware, whether to neuter their dogs. In my professional opinion, not only as a dog mom or a former animal activist, but also as an animal lover, neutering dogs is always a good option.
“The big snip,” as some people call it, provides many health benefits beyond making sure dogs do not become puppy daddies. Neutering can cut the risk of certain diseases, unwanted behaviours, and conflicts with other dogs. In all ways, this is 100% true through personal experience.
When I had only Casper, I did not get him neutered earlier as I wanted to get him mated. As many of you will agree, Labradors as young dogs are extremely hyper. Casper was a handful for me to handle all alone, specially in public. Eventually I got him mated four times and in total he had 22 puppies. When I had gone to pick Junior up (Casper’s son), I was shocked to see the condition the bitch and the puppies were living in. While it was not terrible, it wasn’t exactly good either. It was a litter of 8 puppies; all of them where been given for adoption. Majority of the families were inexperienced, first time pet owners who did not really understand the responsibility that comes along with taking a pet in your home. This was an eye opener for me and the very same day I decided to neuter Casper. Coincidently Junior was returned three times after adoption (story mentioned in my previous blogs) and eventually I ended up adopting him (best decision of my life), my Vet suggested to neuter Casper immediately. The reason was, so that two male dogs with an age gap do not end up into a nasty fight.
Honestly, I was a little scared at first to let Casper go under the knife, predominantly because at that time, I was not completely aware of the benefits of neutering. But soon after Casper recovered from the surgery, he was a changed dog. He was much calmer and out of the blue, a very obedient dog. His walks became like a piece of cake for me as he had stopped pulling or getting excited. By no means I am saying he had become dull. What I mean is, from a hyper dog, he had become a cool harmonious dog. Seeing this, after some months I got Junior neutered too and got the same good results. The vet told me to keep a check on their weight; with the right balance of exercise, food and getting their energy burnt, they were always in the perfect weight segment.
Apart from behavioural changes, there are many other benefits of neutering your dog.
- It eliminates the occurrence of testicular cancer
- Neutered dogs are not sexually frustrated! Infact, animals become sexually frustrated when responsible pet owners do not permit them to mate and satisfy those hormonally driven urges. Without testosterone, these urges are not present, and the animals are more likely to focus their attention on their human family rather than on reproduction
- Neutering markedly reduces the incidence of benign hyperplasia of the prostate gland, prostatitis, and perineal hernias in dogs
- It reduces the number of unwanted litter where the poor puppies are sold or given up for adoption to just anyone
- It also helps a dog live a healthier, longer life, and they may reduce behavioural issues. Neutered dogs are generally less aggressive
- It is almost a risk-free surgery and not very expensive
But, but, but … as we know, not everyone thinks this way. Some pet parents that I have come across have extremely different views, which, at times, leaves me flabbergasted! Sharing some of the most common reasons I have heard from pet parents for not neutering their pets:
- I have heard some say, “I cannot see my baby in pain.”
No one can, but this is a painless surgery. And post-surgery also the dog is not in pain and practically gets back to his routine in no time.
- I have heard this a few times, “How can you take away what God has given!”
What they fail to realize is by neutering, I am only ensuring an accident free and healthy long life for my dog!
- One specific person had once told me, “Mating is a natural process for which I will not get him neutered.”
Believe it or not, his dog is 4+ years old now and till date he has not got his dog mated. His dog humps on everyone he meets and is barking all the time out of sexual frustration.
- The best one I have heard till date, and I just have to share, “There are not benefits of neutering. All these are vet created to earn more money from surgeries.”
Honestly, to people so blinded with their own judgements and refusing to listen to scientifically proven expert advices, all I can say is “No Comments!”
As per my personal experience with my dogs, I would like to conclude this blog by saying, “Spay or Neuter your dogs.” My dogs are extremely well behaved, ideal body weight, healthy and happy.
Another picture gallery of all the fun Mumma and Baby had in the lockdown.
The featured picture is of Quinoa made in Tomato Puree. Healthy, delicious and filling. Yum!
Astrology is a debatable subject; some do not believe in it, some do. But the fact remains that Astrology, no matter true or false it is, is an integral part of our lives. After all, few people admit to belief in astrology, but I am yet to meet anyone who doesn’t know their star sign!
Some days ago, I came across a post on Dog Astrology and started wondering if anything as such even existed. I did a little research and was surprised to learn that people do believe in Dog Astrology. Personally, I do not believe much in Human Astrology, and this intrigued me now to going through posts on Dog Astrology. I thought of sharing my views on this and also, I would love to know your thoughts on the same.
A post on Google says, “Of course, your dog’s breed plays a major role in their behaviour, but their astrological sign plays a role in their personality. Just like people, the sign that your dog was born under creates an imprint on how they perceive and interact with the world around them.” According to Junior’s birth date, which is 21st May, he is a Gemini. I went a little deep into it and this Sun Sign’s personality trait in dogs say, “A Gemini dog is emotionally versatile and can present many different, seemingly contradictory thoughts or actions within the same day.” Now, if I take this in literal sense, Junior is in the same environment since 4.5 years and basically follows a routine which was made to fit his walk timings, meal timings and energy levels. So the above statement, or let me say prediction isn’t true in his case. It also says, “At their best, Gemini dogs are the life of the party, barking and howling at literally anyone or anything that crosses their paths.” This can be true to some level as Junior loves playing with anyone and everyone, but never barks or howls. Furthermore, that post also mentioned weaknesses of Gemini Dogs. They are: Indecisive, changeable, superficial, nervous and nosy. Again, Junior has no such traits. But then it mentioned their likes, which were: Talking, music, travelling, puzzles and games and attention. Now all these are somewhat true to Junior’s nature.
But, later when I settled in and pondered a little, I thought to myself, aren’t all dogs attention seekers, irrespective of their Sun Signs? I believe, most of the dog’s love travelling or interactive games/puzzles. I was confused and so I thought of reading a post about their weekly prediction, just like how we humans have. It said, “Gemini Dog is likely to be slightly underweight. He or she will be difficult to train. Make sure to invest in a sturdy leash and a solid screen door.” As you can guess, none of this was true for the past week.
By now, I was sure that probably, there is nothing such as Dog Astrology. But I was still curious, and so I read a few reviews on Dog Astrology to know what people in general think about it. To my shock, I read a comment of a person who wanted to mate his dog with a particular Zodiac Sign dog ONLY. Another one said, “I am a Virgo Woman and don’t want the same things as Virgo Dogs.” I really didn’t understand this, but it was a weird statement. There was another comment which said, “My Sagittarius dog has the same drama queen vibes.” And of course, there were some who didn’t believe in the same like me.
I know this is a contentious topic, just like human astrology. But to me, this was extremely new and very surprising. An astrologer has said, “Everyone and everything has a birth chart. Your business has a birth chart. Godzilla has a birth chart!” In India, where I live, astrology is extremely common. Many people consult an Astrologer for many things; some for basic decisions like a daily routine and some for major decisions like even marriage. From questions about starting a business or an auspicious time to get married; each have their own reasons to believe and the amount they choose to implement it. But for me, Dog Astrology is definitely not a thing. Would love to know your opinions!
Apart from that, there was a serious discussion between Junior and me. Take a look.
I cooked quite a few dishes last week. Posting pictures of some of them. Being a vegetarian, and due to lockdown, I have found enough time to try new recipes.
Also, the featured picture is of Paneer Pulao.
As I love to paint, and I trying painting or sketching or colouring atleast once a week, here’s one which I made last week.
Just for a little laugh, Junior’s weird sleeping positions 😁
A dog is the only thing on Earth that loves you more than he loves himself. We have all read and heard this before. But have you thought what he must be thinking throughout the day? Now that I am spending 24 hours with him because of the lockdown, I got pretty curious and tried to interpret his thoughts in my way. You always know what a dog is thinking. It has four moods. Happy, sad, cross, and concentrating.
4.30am: (Alarm rings) Mumma wake up. It’s time to feed me.
4.31am: (Mumma still trying to open her eyes) You are already a minute late. Wake up and give me food.
4.35am: Ok Mumma, you have 30 seconds to freshen up and then take me for a walk.
4.45am: (On walk)
- Oh! These car tyres look interesting. I should smell all of them and pee on one of them.
- The stray dogs are fighting. I should participate and show them who the king is.
- This human is walking close to us; I think he wants to play with me. I should jump on him and let him know that I too am interested in playing. (Ignores Mom and her instructions throughout the walk)
- Every day I feel Mumma has changed my name to “stop that” or “what’s in your mouth”.
5.15am: (Back home) That was a good walk. I am tired and should sleep now. I have a long day to go to help Mumma in her routine. She cannot do anything without me. (Starts snoring in 10 seconds)
9.00am: My bowl won’t fill itself Mumma. Pour in my breakfast. (Finishes his food in 0.5 seconds and sits in the kitchen staring at Mom)
- Do you think an active handsome good boy like me is appeased in the crumbs that you feed me?
- (Mom gives a Carrot and sits to have her Tea. Junior finishes the Carrot in 0.3 seconds and sits in front of Mumma). Feed me that biscuit you are having. I hope you know that sharing is caring.
9.30am to 5.00pm: Mumma is leaving the room where I am in. I think I should follow her. She might need some help.
- Mumma got up again. Maybe we are going on some adventure.
- Someone is at the door. I should run first before Mumma opens the door and protect her.
- Mumma is using the toilet. I should join her. She doesn’t like being alone.
- The room is cold. Mumma must be shivering. I should sleep on her and leave 3/4th bed empty.
- Mumma is watching TV. I should aimlessly stare at her. Maybe she will feel pity on me and give me a snack.
- Something smells good. I should sit right next to Mumma while she eats her lunch and drool so that when she accidently drops something, it directly falls into my mouth.
- Why is Mumma hugging me every 30 minutes? I am not a baby. I am a grown up boy. I feel embarrassed. (Comes and sleeps on Mumma’s lap whenever she is sitting on the couch)
- I just drank all the water in the bowl a minute ago. When I came back, it was full again. Is the bowl haunted?
5.00pm: Yay! It’s time for my third official meal of the day. I am so excited.
5.30pm: (Brings toy) C’mon lazy bones. Move your ass and play tug-of-war with me. Let me show you who rules this house. (Plays tirelessly for 20 minutes)
6.00pm: (Mumma is doing Yoga) She needs assistance. I should be as close to her as I can. What if she falls while doing her exercise? (30 minutes exercise turns into 45 minutes, extra 15 minutes to move Junior from the mat)
7.00pm: Thank God the maids are not allowed in this lockdown. Or else Mumma would never learn to do her own work. (Mumma is sweeping and brooming). Wow! Mumma just cleaned this spot. I should walk over it and see how it feels. (Dirties the place again)
7.30pm: Oh no! My last meal of the day. Doesn’t Mumma understand? Four meals are not enough for me. She keeps telling me I will become fat if I eat more. But look at me. I am dying of hunger. These humans have no feelings at all. But I will continue giving her puppy eyes till she ply’s in and gives me 10 meals a day. After all, where there is a will, there is a way.
8.00pm: (Mumma is cooking dinner) I should sit in the kitchen even though it is hot there. My Mumma needs supervision or else she will cook everything and will not have pity on me to feed me some potatoes or cheese.
8.30pm: Look at this selfish human. Having dinner alone without even offering me anything! I need a lawyer. Or can someone come forward and adopt her?
9.00pm: I am done for the day. I am super tired after assisting Mumma all day long. She is sitting with her laptop/art book to work/paint. I should sleep right behind her chair, just incase she needs my help again. (Sleeps with all four legs sticking out in the air and snoring loud)
10.00pm: Mumma is on a video call with her family. I should be a party to it and let everyone know that she is mine.
11.00pm: Mumma has finished all her work and calling me in the bedroom to sleep. I will give a deaf ear till she personally comes out, picks me up and takes me in the room. I work hard. I deserve this pampering and attention. In return, she will get some wet kisses from me.
It was a beautiful day. Mumma and Baby sleeping soundlessly! All’s Well That Ends Well! After all, it’s not what we have in life, but who we have in our lives that matters.
A colourful picture gallery of what Junior and me did in the last week.
We would like to start by saying WE LOVE YOU, A LOT.
We know you are tired single handily taking care of everything to give us the life we deserve. But let us tell you this, whatever you have done, is enough. We are grateful to God to have a Mom like you. We know you consider us as your child even now and treat us no less than a human baby, but you are the best, and in our next life, we would like to be born from you as your child.
You take care of our every need; You give us every comfort and luxury in your capacity. There have been times when you skipped your meals to save money and buy us food so that we do not go hungry. There have been times when bad people have come to attack you because of us but you stood like a shield in front of us to protect us. And even today, you do not settle down in life with anyone if they are not ready to accept us. Yes, it’s only Junior now, but we know when you stood against all odds to keep us when everyone was forcing you to remarry and give us up for adoption. Unlike some out there, who have abandoned their dogs, or gave them up for adoption because they had to shift to another state/country for work, or marriage, or who had a baby, or got a partner who didn’t like dogs, you never gave up on us. Sometimes, we wonder what we ever did to get so much luckier than some of our other friends who have to live through all the pain.
You have sacrificed a lot for us. Your own comfort, your sleep, your health, your likes and dislikes all are secondary for you when it comes to us. But we also know, you are very happy with what you do because we are with you. Sometimes, you are so silly that you get happy when we poop – like seriously mom, its poop!
We have heard you telling people that we keep you healthy mentally and physically. You keep telling us we are good boys and we wag our tails, even then you have a big smile on your face. We love to dance with you when you dance for no reason. Then you tell us, “sit down and let me clean the cobwebs.” You take us out for drives; we enjoy poking our heads out of the window, and feel the breeze. You bring us Vanilla Ice Cream some times, and we relish over it. Although mom, one cup really isn’t enough! Did you even know it literally takes about 5 slurps for it to get over!
When we were younger, you cleaned our poop and pee without complaining. You didn’t even shout at us when we destroyed your favourite shoes or ate the wiring of CCTV in the house – now that I think about it, those wires were yummy indeed! You trained us and worked on us so that we are good boys most of the time. You laughed when we slept in funny positions. You always removed time for us from your busy and messed up life. You didn’t even move an inch when we slept on your lap even though your legs went numb. You have stayed up all night when we fell ill. But we know, you did all this only because you love us as much as we love you.
Then, when Casper crossed the rainbow bridge, you slipped into depression. But gathered yourself back again only for Junior. We were sad to see you sinking in that time. But the strong woman that you have been always, you once again got back in action.
Today as I turn 8 years old, you are very happy, but sad too as I am turning old. You have noticed my slow walks and breaks while climbing the stairs. You have also noticed that now I play only for 15-20 minutes at a stretch, unlike before when I could play for hours. You keeping looking at my face every time like there is no tomorrow. Maybe I cannot entertain you much like before, but I will try my best till the end of my life to keep a smile on your face.
Mumma, thank you for being the best Mom. We know you thank us for coming into your life and keep telling everyone that we have adopted you and this is our house. It takes a very strong person who has seen rock bottom quite a few times to still stay committed to us. Being a single mother is not easy, but you have showed the world how joyful it is to have dogs in one’s life.
We have heard some humans say the Phase, “It’s a Dog’s Life”! We are not exactly sure what it really means, but with you we would live a dog’s life a hundred times over!
Your good boys,
Casper & Junior