Two are better than one!

Over the years, if there is one thing I have learnt, it is to try something different, even if you don’t think it will work. Trust that little voice in your head that says, “Wouldn’t it be great if…” and then do it. You will be surprised as to what you can achieve with this little thinking. You will never be happy if you hold on to things that make you sad.

In spite of having Casper and comprehending that things will turn out for the better between my husband and me, it once again went stagnant. To be honest they never really had improved and it was only figments of my imagination hoping for them to get better.  We had reached our comfort zone. We were in that phase where there was no drama, nothing good or bad happening and we got used to it. During that time, we got Casper mated and soon he became a father to a litter of 8 puppies. I was elated; never had I imagined that I would ever be so happy over a dog being a father to 8 puppies. Around the same time, we received a call from a relative that he wanted to adopt one of the puppies. So, we bought one of them home, got him vaccinated and cleaned, and he was all ready to be adopted into his new home. Unfortunately, the relative never came over to take him, and upon inquiring, we were informed that he had changed his mind and didn’t want the puppy for now!

We had ended up in quite a predicament and were clueless on what to do. We already had Casper, we were struggling with our marriage, my husband was frequently travelling between Mumbai and Dubai, and, I singly did not have the dexterity to handle two dogs. We had no choice, but to put him for adoption. The puppy was adopted three times, but, lamentably, was returned back to us every time for various reasons.

Call it destiny or whatever it may be, but after the 3rd time the puppy was returned back to us, I decided to adopt him myself and keep him with me permanently. My husband was completely unsupportive of this thought. But I was rigid and had made up my mind; for I couldn’t see the puppy being adopted and returned for lame reasons all the time. After all, he was a living creature with a heart and not an item which one can simply return if they don’t like it! Junior entered my life accidentally. Yes, I named him Junior; after all, he was my Casper’s son!  My husband had made it crystal clear to me that he had nothing to do with Junior and would play no role in bringing him up. I had absolutely no idea as to how I would bring up Junior alone along with Casper! But a little voice inside me told me, “Do it”.

Sometimes, destiny leaves a door a little open and you walk right through it. But, sometimes, it locks the door and you have to find the key, or pick the lock, or knock the damn thing down. And sometimes, it doesn’t even show you the door, and you have to build it yourself. But if you keep waiting for the doors to be opened for you… I think you’ll have a hard time finding a single happiness, let alone that double portion.

Today, when I sit back, and think, keeping Junior was one of the best decisions of my life. Everyone needs a friend or a partner in crime. I had a father and son duo. “We all have flaws, no matter how hard we try to tame sometimes still eludes us. If you give me your flaw, I’ll handle it flawlessly, and I give mine, you’d do the same. That’s when two is better than one; else, we’ll have two aggravated untamed flaws.” Both Casper and Junior were my babies. I became The Accidental Dog Mom, twice!

With Casper and Junior, everything doubled. Double the trouble, double energy required in running around, double the efforts in training them, double the expense, but also; double the joy, double the love, double the affection and care, double the happiness. What also doubled was the knowledge of how to handle and look after two dogs under one roof. Having said that, I would like to share a few tips with my dear readers of how to handle two dogs, and why two is better than one:

  • It is recommended to neuter the dogs. It calms them down which makes it easier to handle them. The negative side to this is, they start putting on weight. But with proper exercise and nutrition, weight can be easily managed
  • Both the dogs play with each other, burn their energy, get tired and go off to sleep. This gives pet parents more time to themselves and their personal work
  • It is easier to manage them in public as they both are stuck to each other and don’t get hyper when they socialise with other dogs
  • If one dog is scared of something, then the other one is there to comfort him. Like Caspu was super scared of crackers, and Junior would always be by his side to snuggle him

Of course there are pros and cons to everything. But, trust me when I say this, at the end of the day, it is worth it. Casper and Junior were polls apart. Casper being the calm and composed one, on the other hand, Junior was a handful. But, if you follow the Vet’s and Trainer’s instructions properly, and not to forget to give them a lot of love and devotion; you will become a pro.

Today, I once again can see the difference between having two dogs and one dog. I have to devote a lot of my time for Junior. Specially to play with him, burn his energy and socialise him. He is well trained, but being a Dog Mom, I feel extremely guilty of leaving him home alone while I go for work. Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day!

Limitations are self-imposed!

You know what’s the worse feeling in the world? The worse feeling in the world is when you are with someone, but, you still feel alone! You feel you don’t belong anywhere. Sleeping right next to the person you love every night but those few inches in realty are more than a million miles. The life, the home, and, the family you had made, were falling apart like a crushed dream. Have you ever had that feeling where deep down inside you know this marriage is not going to make it through, but, you aimlessly wait for a miracle? You wish, pray, to the extent desperately hope, for your partner to change. You have endless conversations and efforts only to realize that everything is fine for 2 months and then you are back to the same old situation. I have realized It happens to everyone as they grow up. You find out who you are and what you want, and then you realize that people you’ve known forever don’t see things the way you do. So, the best thing to do is keep the wonderful memories, and move on!

Casper coming back into our lives was a big ray of hope; as for once, me and my husband both wanted something together and would spend time together discussing him. I am sure all of you are probably baffled by the idea that how can a girl who is petrified of dogs, not only decide to adopt and raise him, but eventually turns out to be a dog mom. Honestly speaking, I am perplexed myself till date about how the events of life have unfolded and carved me into what I am today.   

Whenever we got Casper home, my husband would go for his work for couple of hours and then come back and work from home. In those 2 or 3 hours, when I was home alone with Casper, I used to be terrified and keep Casper confined inside his crate. Then one day, my husband got annoyed and gave me an ultimatum that either I work on removing my fear of dogs or he would have no choice but to give Casper up. I was super happy not touching Casper and only seeing his little paws dance around the house, but giving him away was not an option I could accept. So, with great courage, and a task which was no less than bravery on a battlefield for me, one day, when my husband went to work, I sat down in the centre of the living room and told my maid to remove Casper from the crate and leave him free. Casper came running towards me and started licking and biting me with his small teeth. For the Initial few minutes I literally froze to death; almost like I was a helpless goat in a field, faced with a tiger and inevitable defeat. But after the initial few excruciating moments, slowly my fear started to evaporate from my body. All I could feel was love and the feel of a tiny gentle soul trying his best to get all the attention from me that he could.  For the first time in days I took Casper in my hands and hugged him and there was no feeling in this world better than this. Things were fantastic for quite some time. He bought us a lot of joy and happiness. From a breaking down marriage, to looking forward in anticipation for a better tomorrow; that’s the magic Casper had done. Even though we only saw him every 3 months, whenever we did, our joy had no limits. Each time when we would meet him, we would be surprised to see his growth from a little puppy to a big dog. We would regularly be sent his pictures and videos from the boarding lodging and that would bring a big smile on our faces. We were pleased that he was in good hands in our absence and was taken good care of.

Whenever we would come down to Mumbai, we would take Casper on short trips, buy him a lot of toys, pamper him, and, also got him trained. As I have mentioned before, I took up further studies and had to come down to Mumbai for my final exams. During that time, we had sent Casper to a summer camp out of Mumbai and had plans to pick him up once my exams were over. But, before my last exam, I had a break of 8 days, and, so, we decided to have a surprise visit to the place where Casper was. Typically, Casper would enthusiastically come running to us as soon as he would see us. But this time something wasn’t right. When we reached there, Casper didn’t move and lay still on the ground. We immediately understood that something was wrong and without wasting a single minute, my husband literally picked him up, put him in the car and drove back straight to the vet’s clinic. Our fears were confirmed and Casper was not only diagnosed with tick fever but also was in a critical state. The vet immediately started his treatment and upon asking, he informed us that chances of his survival were bleak. My world came crashing down. This was the first time in months that I realised that I wasn’t a dog owner, I was a dog MOM. My child was fighting a battle with the Grim Reaper and I wanted nothing else but for him to live.

Day and night, we were at the vet’s clinic doing everything we could; I was cursing myself every minute to have sent him to the summer camp. After 5 days of treatment, Casper finally showed some positive results. The vet told us he would make it and I was overjoyed and mirthful that my baby was going to live. In all this chaos, I didn’t get the time to study for my final exam and I decided to mark absent for it and attempt it next year. But my mother told me, “If you don’t appear for your test, you will as it is be marked as failed. Why don’t you read your books and give your exams. At least you will be satisfied that you gave your best instead of not going at all.” I took her advice, stayed up all night to study while my husband bought Casper home and was looking after him. I appeared for my exam and when the results were declared, I had PASSED.  Guess chaos is only a matter of perspective; what is chaos to a fly is normal for a spider. Giving up at the first instance of seeing a difficultly in life will surely ease that particular situation; but we won’t know what possibilities could lie ahead only if we try a little harder then. It is always better to try, give it a shot, rather give it our best shot, and then accept whatever happens, rather than not try at all and then sit and think a few years later what if we had only tired. The possibilities are ambiguous, but at least we know within us that we tried!

Within months, I had seen life, death, failure and success. My mother taught me a very good lesson which till date I remember and follow whenever I have to. No matter what, get up, dress up, and show up. This has become a motto for life. Seeing Casper near death and back to life gave me a new life. Basically, a new and stronger perspective to life. He taught me to face my fears. He showed me that anything can happen in life, good or bad and we have to be prepared for everything. He taught me how to have fun and laugh for no reason. He made me a responsible human being. Above all, he made me a Mom. Yes! I am a proud Mom and my kids have four legs and fur. As I write this, my eyes glow seeing Junior sitting next to me and once again makes me realise, I am so lucky to have this baby in my life. Casper taught me life, and Junior is the reason that I am living my life. And I always thank God, for blessing me with such beautiful babies.

Petrified! Tranquilized!! Casper-fied!!!

I was once asked, “Why do you want to get married?” And, the naïve me promptly answered, “When you are married, it is difficult to end a marriage after a fight. But when you are dating, you are not sure if you will patch up, as you are not legally bound to.” It was a very impromptu answer, and I guess, I today know, I was so wrong. As life progresses, I finally learned, and understood, that like many others (possibly), I got married for the wrong reasons. Marriage is a union of two people who come together because they trust each other, to know your partner at a deeper level, to want the same things, to even fight fair, to have an endless sleepover with your favourite person, etc. It’s not just the paper work that solidifies your love for each other, but marrying the right person should make you feel more secure. You feel and act like a team by which your lives are calm and certain. But I reiterate, I definitely married for the absolute wrong reason.

Relocating to Dubai, I assumed my life would be wonderful. Living independently, without in laws, or for the matter of fact any relatives, I thought “Wow! What fun; I can do whatever I want!” While that was true to some extent, what I had not imagined, or realized, was the same freedom also gave my husband the license to do whatever he wanted too. Within the first year of our marriage, we had already started falling apart. For me, my husband had become my entire world; there was not a single moment that I would leave him alone. I had also started working in his company and we were practically together all the time. While I was delirious, I was oblivious to the fact that he on the other hand had started feeling suffocated. I guess things majorly started going wrong because we didn’t communicate our issues with each other. Like any other girl, I had left my family and friends back, got married to the love of my life and shifted to a foreign country. I had thought, he is my best friend, he is my family, and he is my life. I was wrong and the distance between us only kept increasing.

I was dejected, and, to divert my mind, I took up further education. I indulged myself in my books, and while I was trying to not only educate myself but also save the marriage, my husband saw this as an opportunity to continue with his own life. While things looked great from the outside, from within, on some level, both of us knew long back, that we were not meant to be with each other. In all this chaos, we came down to Mumbai for a family function. My sister mentioned that she wanted to gift a puppy to her son on his birthday and gave the responsibility to my husband. My husband was more than excited as he was an insane dog lover. Two days before my nephew’s birthday, my husband came home with a very cute puppy.  As mentioned earlier I was petrified of dogs; even the mention of the word Dog would literally fossilize me. The tiny puppy was in my home and I didn’t even touch him. We took him to the vet, got him vaccinated, and gave him a bath, all ready to be gifted. The two days the puppy was in my house, he would run around, play, eat and snooze most of the time. When the day came to gift him, my husband had already become emotional, and I on the other hand, was waiting for him to go away from my house. We reached my sister’s house and surprised her son with the puppy. He was ecstatic. And finally, the puppy had a name – Casper. When we left the party and sat in the car, that moment hit me like a bolt of lightning. I started crying as I realised, I had got attached to Casper. Those two days that he was at my house, even though I was panic stricken, I had fallen in love with him. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do anything about it!

We were in Mumbai for a month and we got busy in our lives. But there was not even a single moment that I wouldn’t think about Casper. Then one day, my sister called and informed my husband to take Casper back as she was not able to manage the kids and dog, and was doing injustice to him. It was unbelievable. My eyes glowed from joy and my heart was beating faster than a humming birds wings. But it wasn’t that simple. We were residents of Dubai and had to go back. We couldn’t take Casper along with us; UAE isn’t exactly a dog friendly country. Although we had been contemplating moving back to Mumbai for a while, doing that immediately there and then wasn’t an option. My husband and I had a discussion about this and we decided to get Casper home, keep him in boarding lodging, and visit him every 3 months, till we could figure out our future address. Clearly, both of us were not ready to let him go and we bought him home. Our joy had no limits; especially because after months of fighting and differences of opinions, this was the first time that my husband and I agreed to something together and shared our joy.

Life is so unpredictable. When you feel it is the end of the road, you suddenly see a way. Today, as I look back at the last 10 years of my life, I see and believe that ‘Happily Single’ is recognizing that you don’t need or want to be rescued from your life by a handsome prince because your life is pretty awesome, as is! Bing Single is NOT a taboo – There is no need to rush. If something meant to be, it’ll happen in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Being single does not have anything to do with your past, IF you’re single, focus on being a better you instead of looking for someone better than your ex. A better you will attract a better next!

There is only one cause of unhappiness: the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them. Over the past few years, I learnt this that never stress about anything. Because whatever you over think and stress about, usually not even 10% of it happens. It’s said that there are more things to alarm us than to harm us, and we suffer more often in apprehension than reality. And, if, when, something does go wrong, you automatically get the strength to face it. Let me not deny the fact that after I got Casper and Junior, my life has been wonderful. In more ways than one, my fur babies have saved my life and turned me into a wonderful human being I am today. Even today, as I have passed through a terrifying phase of my life, Junior still inspires me every day. There is a saying, be like a dog. If you can’t have it or play with it, pee on it, throw some dust and move on. As I am excited for another positive coming up in my life in a few weeks, Junior is doing the best that he does, eat, play, sleep, repeat. And you know what; I would not want to change anything of it. I fall in love with him every single day over and over again.

Merry to Teary

Somewhere around pubescence, we have all seen dreams of falling in love and getting married to the love of our life – for girls it’s the reverie of a prince charming who will come on a white horse in his shining armour, grab her hand and ride off to a fairy tale land; Or the illusion and desire that at midnight you would lose a shoe destined to fall into the hands off a prince who would come looking for his lady love and once the shoe fits and you and him would live happily ever after. But reality is far from our delusions. Within seconds, all your dreams can get shattered. It is said that after adolescence, if one’s life is sufficiently interesting, the desire to tell oneself stories diminishes. This exactly is what happens in the real world!  

My prayers were answered. My feelings were reciprocated. We were captivated in love. Assuming nothing could go wrong, as we both buzzed from wealthy families, running the same business line, not having much of an age difference and of the same caste; we notified our families about our bond and plans to get married. My parents happily accepted my choices and wishes, but, unfortunately, and to my utter astonishment, his mother rejected me without even meeting me once.

As I mentioned before, sustaining love is not easy. Because of his mother’s headstrong disapproval, we began to quarrel and started to fall apart. I thought to myself, was our love so fragile that we couldn’t fight for it and instead started fighting with each other! It was a situation where it was him vs me, and not we vs the problem. Within months, we were from madly in love, to planning our happily ever after, to not tolerating to even see each other’s face.

Nothing helps a broken heart; not even a hot bath or a good night’s sleep. That was just the beginning of my whimsical to bottom out life which hit me like waves in the coming years. But one thing I learnt from this – You may be down in the dumps now, but take solace, in the fact that you’re definitely not the first one to have your heart broken in this world.

While my story continues with its ups and downs; a rollercoaster ride with a lot of thrill but also an unknown fear, my today is all together different than what it was more than a decade ago. This blog is not only a way for me to express my life in the simplest form as I can, but also to reach out to everyone and anyone who feels or believes all is lost. Believe me, nothing is lost. You are not alone. Hang in there and one day, you will see the sunshine. The prayers that were not answered were God’s way of protecting you and providing you with something better. Everything happens for a reason.

As I am writing this, Junior is fast asleep on the couch after jumping around all day. Once I am done for the day, I will hit the bed with Junior all cuddled up with me. Every single day I look forward to this. The warmth of his body, his soft fur and his loud snores. It feels like heaven. Nothing describes love in its purest form than a dog cuddled up with you. Oh well! He does occupy ¾th of the bed leaving little to almost no room for me to sleep. Not to forget the occasional toxic gas (just kidding) he passes sometimes from all the food he enjoys daily which believe me, I sometimes believe, is the only purpose and goal of life. But jokes apart, and honestly, I cannot live without any of this. I love coming home to him. A home filled with unconditional love, wet kisses, a super wagging tail and sparkling eyes. Yes! Junior is my home. My safe haven and the apple of my eye. I had heard about it that home can be another person. I believe it now. The person does not necessarily have to be a human!

The Prelude of Illusions!

Sustaining love is not a passive or spontaneous experience. You must work on it day in and day out. It takes time, effort and energy. We conclude that once we get the love of our life, it is going to last forever. This is where many of us go wrong, for happily ever after is usually only a figment of our imagination.

Year 2004, I was going to Sri Lanka for work. Little did I know that the trip would change my life forever. I was a Commerce Graduate, had just started her own business in the Travel Industry, and while most of my friends were struggling to find a decent job, or were getting married, I was not only euphoric, but also brandishing my overseas trip to every person I possibly could.  The business was out of passion, but of course predominantly because my father had the money to invest in my business. I was young, energetic, overconfident and snobbish, eager to swagger out to the world that I have started a travel business at such a young age.

I was introduced to a boy at the airport by my colleague, who was also travelling with us. My first impression of the boy was very mediocre. He was somewhat arrogant, a college graduate, and had recently joined his wealthy father’s well settled business. Work trips for him were just a way out to party all night and work was never really his primary agenda.

By the end of the trip we had exchanged phone numbers and little did we know that this was not the end. Soon, I started receiving forwards from him. Forwards turned to chatting, chatting turned to phone calls and phone calls turned to meeting. How did my impression for him change? I had slowly started to realize that I was moderately like him; a snob and an egoistic girl who had a rich father that provided the money and foundation to do something on my own. It didn’t take too long for me to realize that we were in fact mirroring each other. Nobody is perfect until you fall in love with them; and when you do start falling in love, all the negativity miraculously starts to vanish. You turn to overlook anything that you may possibly dislike about the other person and all you can see is the happy rainbow. All his traits I had initially disliked started to overwhelm me. All I knew was that I was falling in love with him and, I prayed that he felt the same as well. The only difference I had seen then was that this boy was a die-hard dog lover and I was petrified of dogs.

While the story of the past is for the future to tell, the today is as beautiful as it can possibly be.

I have had a great week as I fulfilled 2 major goals of my life. First being that I started this blog to share my experiences; this blog was my dream for many many many years and I am extremely content to finally get it kick started.  And second, I started something very close to my heart with someone. I know this second statement is extremely ambiguous, but the details will follow through soon enough.

My baby Junior is a little over 7 years old. His day begins and ends with me and only me, and I can say no differently about myself either. An extremely innocent soul, who is not only my lifeline, but has time and again, proven to be the one who holds me together. He knows me, he knows my moves, he knows the twinkle in my eyes, he knows the sadness in my soul and he can snap me out of any kind of bad mood that I am in faster than anything else in this world. Junior has taught me unconditional love, and believe me, once you have that in your life, things won’t really be too bad.  Dog is indeed God spelled backwards.  Me and my younger baby Junior have had a great week, as we not only enjoyed one of our mornings at the beach, but also a day out at a Doggie event held in the city, where he was showered with a lot of goodies.

Wishing all my readers a great day! Remember every day is a good day; There is always something to learn, care and celebrate!