Celebrating One Year of Blogging!

I am so elated at this moment to celebrate my one year of Blogging; to say that I am cherry and merry just does not do enough justice to my feelings! I remember, for the longest time I wanted to start my own blog to share my life experiences, and, the importance of dogs in my life. But somehow, my actions were always blocked by an invisible anxiety. Had it not been for my friend & business partner, who learnt about my passion and encouraged me to act on it, I wouldn’t be having a toast of completing this wonderful one year of Blogging.

Today, as I am typing this, at one side I feel nothing has changed. But on the other hand, when I reflect on the past year, everything has changed; except for Junior and his unconditional love. Allow me share my experience of Blogging in the past year.

It started with, I was sitting in my partner’s office having a light hearted chat with him, where I mentioned about my dream to start a blog. He lent an ear and then opened his browser, booked a domain, made me a profile on WordPress and told me to get started. I was flabbergasted. But that maneuver gave me a push, and, finally made me work on my dream. Initially, I was scared as I didn’t know how to work on WordPress and honestly, I didn’t even know where to begin with or which topic to start off with first. Nevertheless, my friend helped me out in that as well.

Isn’t it staggering, this past year changed everyone’s lives! The pandemic ruined so many beings than built a living. Many breathed their last, numerous lost their jobs and houses, the depression rates are at all-time high. And now, all of us are limping back to normality. Whereas, for me, it was a good opportunity to build my blog and share my raw experiences with all of you. I also took a new turn in my career and started a new business. Junior fell seriously ill and recovered. I got divorced. I also relocated. Woah! So many escapades and yet, here I am; sitting with my cup of tea and Junior by my side. So many changes, yet somethings never change.

Blogging has helped me to share my piece of ups and downs without being judged and without any fear. I am so glad I got at it; or else my fear would have always kept me away from this wonderful experience to all intents and purposes of openly being who I am.

In true words, this is honestly a celebration as I have received a lot of feedback from friends and followers telling me how some of my posts have inspired them in their personal lives and how they look forward to read more every Thursday. Nothing better than being a tribute in uplifting someone’s soul, right!

Besides personal life, I also got a lot of insight about dogs wellbeing which time and again I anticipated in sharing here. It wasn’t that I always had something to write. There were days when I struggled with topics to share. Into the bargain, I have even been rebuked by my friend for not sharing much about dogs sometimes. Nonetheless, I always had a comeback in a way that, “I am a dog mom, I have a personal life as well. I can always share that side of my life. And for all that we know, Casper and Junior have always been my strong pillars.”

It has been overwhelming to read comments, appreciation and even criticism. All this only pushes me to be as authentic, and, raw as I am, and deliver useful content to help anyone out there. I have also shared my other hobbies of cooking and painting which too received a good response. Whereas that’s just a part of me, I will always want to be known as a proud Dog Mom.

I would like to thank each and every one of you for being a part of my journey, for encouraging me and for your continuous support. It gives me immense pleasure to share this gratitude with all you people and I am blessed to have a very supporting family and microscopic but profuse friend circle who have always been a brawny support system in my life. I will continue sharing rightful and veritable posts and your sustained assistance is highly appreciated. Thank You!!!

Tricky Moments

Have you ever had a moment of blank out; a moment when something so scary happened, that within a matter of milliseconds, millions of thoughts rushed through your mind, squeezing your heart with the pressure equivalent to a zillion tons! I have gone through this more than a few times, and, as many of you may be assuming by now; it was not due to my ex or a failed relationship, but rather due to my dogs! While some of these moments were really scary, others were funny. But as it’s said, life is about moments. The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experiences, whether good or bad. Sharing some of my bad and good experiences where in some I cried, and others I laughed.

Let me start with the scariest, and, worst moment with Casper. When my ex-husband and I lived in Mumbai, we would set off to our farm house in Karjat every weekend. Of course, Casper would always be with us, and, we would all get time to spend with our other two dogs (Coal and Ruby) in Karjat. Casper too would get an open space to play, swim, and socialize with Coal and Ruby. Since there were no restaurants or vegetable market next to our farm house, we would always make a quick stop at a restaurant which was half an hour away from our farm house, pick up some food and then proceed to the farm house.  This one time, when as usual we stopped at the restaurant, I opened the car door to get out taking all precautions that Casper doesn’t come out. But somehow he managed to escape. My ex-husband had already walked a few steps towards the restaurant and I was near the car. I tried getting close to Casper (biggest mistake) but Casper thought we had to play, and, to my horror, ran straight towards the highway. I let out a loud cry because I saw a truck approaching, and, within a second I thought I had lost Casper today. Hearing my cry, my ex-husband immediately ran towards Casper. By then I had already closed my eyes and started crying hysterically. After a few minutes, I heard my ex-husband calling me and telling me to open my eyes. I opened my eyes and saw Casper was in his arms – safe and sound. He had a narrow escape. I still get goosebumps thinking about this day.

Besides that, I had a very funny incident with Casper. My whole family along with Casper and Junior had gone for a long weekend to Deolali. The house that we have in Deolali is in a society which consists of 6 bungalows. All the bungalows were filled as it was the Diwali weekend, and everyone had come there with their family and friends. I was scared because I had 2 dogs with me and there were a lot of kids. Thankfully, Casper and Junior were welcomed with open arms and everyone had a great time. One morning, when I went for a shower, I had given my dogs responsibility to my brother in law to just keep an eye on them till I get free. My brother in law got up to have water and in no time, Casper and Junior ran out of the house, and, managed to enter all the other 5 bungalows, steal their breakfast, and, came back, almost smirking! I had come out of shower by then, and my brother in law briefed me as to what happened. A few moments later, I saw my neighbor coming towards us, and I was relatively sure that I was in for an argument to keep my dogs under control. I was so scared that I told my mom to face her and tell her sorry. But instead, she gave some food to Junior, and, told my mom that Casper was leading the way and alone ate all the food leaving nothing for Junior, so she came to feed Junior. Ha ha ha ha!

Let me share some events about Junior. Before that, let me brief you about the difference between Casper and Junior’s behavior. Casper’s recall command was very weak. Since he was my first dog, I didn’t have much knowledge about training dogs and followed whatever the trainer told me. So for Casper, if you get close to him, he would feel that it’s time to play catch and cook, and he would start running in the opposite direction. As for Junior, he is well trained but post Casper’s death, if any person or dog comes close to him, he feels they are approaching him to play.

When Junior was a puppy, his favorite place to hide was below the divan (a kind of an Indian sofa where you can spread your legs out and relax). On a regular day as I was running errands, I realized I hadn’t seen Junior around. I searched everywhere in the house and couldn’t find him. Panic struck, and, I started searching for him in my apartment tower, asked the watchman, went on the road, etc. but he was found nowhere. I came back home to call my ex-husband. Just then, I thought about looking below or near the divan; and that’s where I found Junior looking at me right in the eyes with that innocent look as if he never heard me calling out his name. I was overwrought for 30 minutes in looking him and calling out his name, but Junu acted so innocent. And as we all know, we get hypnotized by those puppy eyes and cannot stay angry with our fur babies. In true sense, this was a mini heart attack where I was terrified, eased and chuckled all at the same time.

One morning, when I was walking Junior, there was a stranger standing near a building waiting for the watchman to open the gate. When I looked at him, I noticed he looked a little nervous and was desperately waiting to enter safely in building because he was already scared of the stray dogs. He too noticed us walking towards his direction, but we were just taking our usual rounds. As we reached a little closer, out of nowhere Junior unpredictably ran towards that man. Since I wasn’t expecting this, the sudden tug made me let go of the leash and Junior started jumping on that already petrified man and that man started screaming “bachao-bachao” (help-help in Hindi) and started perspiring as if a lion was let loose. I wanted to laugh my lungs out that moment, but as soon as I could, I got hold of Junior’s leash and pulled him away from that man. I have never seen anyone run as fast as that man into the building in my life. I felt sorry for him, and, guilty for laughing, but this time someone else experienced a mini attack because of my dog.

Life is indeed full of moments, good or bad; that there are so many other big and small occurrences, like once Junior was left without a leash at the beach and he ran so far in the water that my friend just jumped in with his clothes and shoes to bring him back, or once Casper and Junior were locked out in balcony by my maid unintentionally because she thought they were in the room, and when I came home and couldn’t find them, etc. But all these moments make life worth living. There is no good without the bad and there is no bad without the good, like Yin and Yang. The best thing is, All’s well that ends well. Be precautious but don’t miss out on any moments due to stress or fear. Learn from the bad ones, and, cherish the good ones. We must slow down, and remember, how precious it is to be alive, to love, and, be loved.

My Dog had Pancreatitis

Since the last few months, Junior was throwing up bile. There was no consistent pattern to it and he would randomly throw the same at any odd hour. After a series of tests, the Vet finally figured out that he had Pancreatitis.

When the Vet informed me that he has a doubt that Junior is suffering from Pancreatitis, the first thought that came into my mind was that Junior’s pancreas are damaged or not functioning properly and he has got diabetes and will be put on insulin. My heart sank and being a “google doctor” only worsened the anxiety!

Bile Vomit

What is Pancreatitis? How did Junior get it? What were his symptoms? Let me explain you everything here.

Pancreatitis happens when the pancreas get inflated. That’s an organ near the stomach that helps digest food, and, control blood sugar. Experts aren’t quite sure what causes pancreatitis but in Junior’s case, we assume it was a sudden change of food. Although, we too aren’t 100% sure as Junior had showed symptoms from a few months before and it escalated when I changed his food.

The first time Junior threw up bile was when I started his treatment for Staph disease; that was in April 2020. But that time, we assumed it was due to the acidity caused by the antibiotics. Ever since, every two weeks Junior would throw up bile. And each time we assumed something or the other like hot weather, eating too fast, heavy rains, heart problem, arthritis, etc. Junior’s vomits soon increased from once in two weeks to once every week.

We got his blood tests done in July to rule out any major illness as this was one of the symptoms that Casper had displayed when he was suffering from Liver Cirrhosis. You know how it feels when you have already lost one dog at an early age, all the bad memories come flashing back when your other dog is suffering too. I was beyond paranoid and anxious as Junior would not stop throwing up bile no matter whatever treatment the Vet gave him.

There was one day when I took him to the Vet for a checkup, and Junior barely made it home because he was heavily palpitating and his temperature was not coming under control. That day I literally thought I had lost him. Junior’s blood reports came back and they were all normal (by God’s grace). That day, the Vet suggested we do his heart checkup and referred me to a heart specialist for Animals. I got an appointment and got the checkup done. Fortunately, his heart too was absolutely fine. Now we were confused as to what could be the problem since all this reports were normal. Then we took the traditional route and did some lifestyle changes for Junior like change of walk time, change in his meal time, the portion of his meals, the duration of his walks, etc.

The day Junior had heavy palpitations and temperature

But despite all our efforts, Junior kept throwing up. I was sad and heartbroken seeing my child suffering from months and somewhere I was failing to get him cured. Then I was talking to a friend of mine who’s dog suffered from similar symptoms. She told me that it could be due to Bravecto. Bravecto is a chewy that kills ticks and prevents fleas’ infestation in dogs. I have given Junior Bravecto twice before and so did my friend. Her dog was vomiting and was put on saline and she doubted that we had fed our dogs with pesticide which is poison because if a chewy can kill ticks, then how harmful will it be to the dogs too as we feed them that. Somewhere, I too agree with her and will never be feeding Junior Bravecto again.

I went to the Vet again after Junior’s next episode of vomiting. Before I could ask him anything, he suggested I try changing Junior’s food brand and contents. I did so and he was fine for a week, but all hell broke loose the next when Junior threw up 9 times in 24 hours. That was the first time in his life that he had thrown up so much. Junior was given injections, put on saline as he had dehydrated, given medicines, but nothing worked.

When he threw up 9 times in 24 hours

That was the time the Vet said that he thinks Junior may be suffering from Pancreatitis. Let me tell you, there are several reasons why dogs vomit, so it is very difficult to find the cause, especially when all the reports are normal. And besides his reports being normal, Junior did not have any loose motions or was never lethargic. So in his case, we took months to know what Junior was actually suffering from.

In September 2020 we did his ultrasound and it confirmed inflammation of Pancreas i.e. Pancreatitis. I was advised to immediately withdraw food and water from Junior for 48 hours. The first 24 hours was zero food and water, and the next 24 hours he was given ice cubes and little vanilla ice cream. Junior started responding and stopped vomiting. After 48 hours, the vet started a Pancreatitis medication course and put him on a Veterinary diet food. He also warned me that since we are starting food again, Junior may vomit once or twice, so not to panic. Since I was already in panic mode, the vet assured me that Junior was not critical, and if I followed the instructions well, he will make a slow but full recovery.

Feeding him Vanilla Ice Cream
During treatment

I followed all the instructions of the Vet to the dot and Junior kept improving every day. Today, Junior is off all medications, has not thrown up in more than a month and his daily routine is back to usual. The only thing that continues is the special diet which I have to give him for 3 months before we start his regular food. The vet informed me that Pancreatitis is not an illness but a lifestyle condition which can be managed with proper care and knowledge. I am glad that Junior is on the path of recovery before it was too late and as we doubt, I will never suddenly change his food and always follow the vet’s guidance.

Junior’s symptoms were:

  • Bile Vomit
  • Palpitations

Diagnosis:

  • X Ray
  • Blood Work
  • Ultrasound

Treatment:

  • Withhold Food and Water for 24-48 hours
  • Pancreatitis Medicines
  • Low Fat Gastrointestinal Food

All of the above may vary from dog to dog and case to case. Pancreatitis doesn’t mean your dog has diabetes. Please do not use any home remedies and it is always advisable to consult a Vet at the earliest.

He is back to his naughty self again and we are happy

Goals that are not written down are just wishes!

I have always been fascinated with the idea of having a bucket list. A list of things that I want to do before I die. But when I sat down to write it, I surprised my own self on seeing how long it is and probably some of them impossible to achieve.

A bucket list opens the context for your life. It is a list to identify everything you have ever wanted to do, whether it is big or small, purposeful, or random. It’s just like planning all the highlights for your life. Even though I already set goals by default, I still found many new things to do while writing on my own list. It was an incredibly insightful exercise. What is more, coming up with my list gave me new-found enthusiasm knowing what I have planned for my life! It’s a reminder of all the things we want to achieve in our time on Earth so that instead of spending our time on pointless things, we direct it toward things that matter to us.

But the admirable thing about my bucket list is that Junior is a part of everything that I want to do, and I would not do even one single thing without him. I cannot help but wonder, any guy that I meet next would either be extremely frustrated with me for having Junior with me everywhere or love me to the core for having Junior everywhere. Because there are some activities in my bucket list that I would love to do with my partner, and of course Junior tags along.

So, without further ado, let me share my not so short 😊 bucket list with you all:

  1. For once, make Junior run free on the beach. No leash, no fear of him running away
  2. A photoshoot of Junior and me in the mountains
  3. Go trekking with Junior and my partner and spend the night below the starry sky and a campfire burning keeping us warm and cozy
  4. Junior playing in snow
  5. Go swimming with Junior
  6. Junior being present when I get married
  7. Having a baby and Junior and her becoming best of friends
  8. Taking Junior on a road trip with my partner and me and visiting various places along the way
  9. Giving Junior a bike ride
  10. Carrying Junior once in my arms like a baby. (Junior and me weigh the same, so I cannot carry him as he is heavy for me)
  11. Have a beautiful small comfortable house and Junior having his own space and bed and photo frames of Casper and Junior everywhere
  12. Being kissed in the rains
  13. Travel to Leh-Ladakh on bike
  14. Visit a few countries like Alaska, Ireland, Russia, Poland, South America, Cambodia, and South Korea
  15. Learn to dance
  16. Have a holiday home somewhere in the woods. (A wooden rustic cabin)
  17. Have a toned body with some abs
  18. Sky Dive
  19. Forgive my past lovers
  20. Have a surprise birthday once
  21. Open an animal shelter
  22. Open my own café
  23. Travel abroad solo once
  24. Being proposed that sweeps me off my feet
  25. Sit in a Sea Plane
  26. Having a carefree day. No worries, no stress. Just a happy day
  27. Become a Tarot Card Reader
  28. Visit Kedarnath Temple
  29. Eat local food of every country I visit
  30. Travel to all states in India
  31. Have a bachelorette trip to Bali
  32. Attend a Halloween Party
  33. Have a professional photoshoot with my partner, Junior and me
  34. A trip to a haunted house
  35. Being loved unconditionally

Besides wishing to do the above, I have already accomplished some of my goals which I have stroked out my bucket list. They are as follows:

  1. Start a blog
  2. Bungee Jumping
  3. Sat in a hot air balloon
  4. Scuba Diving
  5. Photoshoot with Casper and Junior at the beach
  6. Road trip with Casper
  7. Taken Casper swimming
  8. Started a business
  9. Studied Law
  10. Studied IATA
  11. Seen the Midnight Sun in Norway
  12. Seen the glow worm caves in New Zealand
  13. Visited 6 Flags (something I wanted to do for a long long time, and finally visited 2 years ago)
  14. Live alone
  15. Own a dog
  16. Slapped someone
  17. Getting married. (though divorce was not on my list)
  18. Run a Marathon
  19. Drive on the Express way
  20. An all-girls trip
  21. Indoor Sky Dive

So, that is what I have for now. It is said that When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps. I will be updating my bucket list time and again as I cross items off or add new ones. I hope to document everything that I achieve, but as I said before, some of these are impossible. But I will try and achieve all my desires and having Junior by my side.

Weekly fun

A colourful picture gallery of what Junior and me did in the last week.

I made Khichdi with Gatte ki Sabzi. A combination of Gujarati and Marwadi Cuisine. Extremely healthy and delicious.
Cooker Bread Rolls with Potato and Mayonnaise stuffing.
Painted this for my brother his birthday which was on the 28th.
Junior was super sleepy but still wanted to admire Mumma 😍
Mumma was annoying, but Junior still posed 😆
My Mom made tasty Brownie/Cake for my brother’s birthday.

A letter from Casper & Junior!

Dear Mumma,

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