I cook, I eat, and I enjoy.

Dal and Potato Pancake
Spinach Noodles
Thread Paneer
Maggie Noodles and Ginger Tea
My Dad’s birthday celebration
Old age should look like this. When I paint 🎨
I am an annoying Mumma 😁
Oldies relaxing
He wants to have coffee 🤣

Do NOT be a Google Doctor

This is such a common issue these days. Everyone thinks they know everything about their body or symptoms they have by just a simple search on Google. If you Google a symptom, or just any symptoms; you will be inevitably told that you have some grave disease or illness like Cancer or most probably you are getting a heart attack. Symptoms tend to reflect the fact that something is wrong. Assuming that you know what’s wrong with you can delay a much-needed trip to the doctor.

How many times have you been sick and decided to Google your symptoms? I guess – all the time! We all are guilty of this. It’s cheaper than going to the doctor, and obviously, home remedies are always there to our rescue. Let me get this straight. In today’s times, not all home remedies are effective, and trying to study your symptoms on Google is not a clever idea.

Looking for answers about your symptoms on Google is practically a nightmare. A simple headache will be classified as a brain tumor out there. You are basically inviting more trouble. And this is not applicable for only humans; but dogs too (or any pet). Let me share my personal experience for the same.

Whenever Casper fell ill, I was quick to turn up to Google for all my doubts. Instead of giving me relief, my anxiety increased each time. Google results are not reliable. And the Vets have studied and practiced for many years not to be faced by a Google doctor. Every time I would go to the Vet and bombard him with questions which I had searched on Google. Eventually he got tired and told me to not come to him if I felt Google was a better doctor than him. And you know what, I was always wrong, or let me say – Google results were always over exaggerated than the actual problem.

For Junior, I made it a point to never open Google. Sometimes, I do get tempted, but then I immediately keep my phone away. Trust me when I say this, we misdiagnosis ourselves, we freak ourselves out, we delay in getting actual help, some home remedies turn out to be harmful and dangerous, and in turn, our pets suffer.

Doctors spend years in college for a reason. Google is only good when it comes to searching for a good doctor, checking spellings of a medication and reading about general medication which has already been prescribed. Health misinformation is the biggest symptom of our increased anxiety. This can lead to weaken immune system leaving you more vulnerable.

Your habit of Googling your symptom is bad for your health. Getting a professional help at an early stage will prevent grave diseases and also save on a lot of bucks, which you would have spent by misinformation from Google and ended up in an emergency situation.

This will not only save your life, but also your pet’s life. Diagnosing your pet’s symptoms online will give you the same results as of yours. It’s a slippery slope. And our pet’s health will go downhill in no time. Online symptom checkers are almost always wrong, and most of times; even home remedies. There are many harmless and without side effects medical options available, please opt for that as prescribed instead of becoming a doctor at home as well. Times have changed, weather has changed, and our living style has changed. Therefore, many age old home remedies are not effective anymore. However, no one even knows about our pet’s health better than the vets. So NEVER try any home remedies on your dogs. Do not risk their lives just because you think you are an expert after doing some searches on Google.

Becoming a responsible person means being able to consciously make decisions which is for our betterment, as well as for our pets. By taking professional advice from a doctor or a vet will save us a lot of trouble. All the doubts in our heads also gets cleared, we do not increase our anxiety and we give our pets also accurate diagnosis and treatment, which in turns leads to a healthy and long life for all of us. Make yourself and your pets happy, and DO NOT Google your symptoms. Google a good doctor and approach them.

It’s Ok to Not Be Ok

It’s really OK to not be OK. Everyone has their own struggles, and it’s OK to struggle. There’s no shame in admitting that you need help, and it’s the first step to becoming OK. While it’s easy to let emotions cloud over our judgment, the challenge in life (and at being successful) is being able to control yourself. “Not only is it ok to not feel ‘ok,’ it is essential. It is essential to feel your emotions every now and then to understand which area of our life needs a change or needs to let go off. 

I know this topic has been discussed a lot of times before, but today I am going to talk about my personal experience. The most important life lesson I have learnt from not being ok all the time is, “Everything will be ok in the end. If it’s not ok, it’s not the end.”

Ever since my separation, my life has been a rollercoaster ride. Sometimes I am screaming out of joy and sometimes tears are flowing down my eyes out of loss or fears. Many a times I even questioned myself if my divorce was worth it, and most of the times I feel I am better off alone than being in a relationship where I had to question my self-worth every day.

But is life only about marriage, relationships or partners? Woefully, 90% of the times – YES! It is said, that it is very important to choose a good life partner as majority of your life revolves around them. Find the Yin in your Yang. Throw out the idea of perfect, as none of us are. But having a trustworthy partner by your side clears a lot of stumbling blocks.

Take me for example. I have everything I need. I have a source of income, a beautiful dog, a house, my parents and siblings, extended family and some friends who genuinely care, hobbies, beauty, and education. Looking at me, everyone feels I am a very lucky and a strong girl and lack nothing. Infact, many even advice me to stay single all my life as being with a partner will increase my responsibility and headache…..ha ha ha ha!

But the truth is; I am lonely. Not depressed, not sad, not suicidal, plain lonely. There are days when I cry my eyes out of fear. Fear of dying alone. Fear of not finding the right partner before I become too old, fear of not having kids as my body won’t be able to take it as I age, fear of keeping all the love within me that I have to share. I am not ok, and it’s ok.

Life cannot be spent alone and it is very important to have a trustworthy and genuine partner. Majority of the people regretted and confessed on their death bed of not spending enough time with their loved ones or cheating on their partners. Human bonds are made out of emotions and the emotion LOVE is supposed to create the strongest bond known to the mankind, love heals like no other medicine so if you feel unloved or unworthy due to someone’s comments or actions regarding you, let that toxic piece of shit go. No matter how much time it takes for you to be okay, take your time and value the presence of people in your life who are holding you altogether no matter how bad the situation is, just hold onto them and most importantly HOLD ONTO YOURSELVES and trust me YOU WILL BE OKAY and bursting with happiness again.

One of my cousins’, who is a Tarot Card Reader, was telling me that, majority of her clients, infact 99% of her clients have questions relating to only Love and Relationships. She said; everyone’s life is only revolving around boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife. Infact, even their careers and money matters are directly/indirectly connected to their partners. No one is happy, but no one wants to change their own self. My cousin always advises her client and others in general to love yourself first, feel your emotions and “it’s ok to not be ok all the time.”

This is exactly what I practice. When I am not ok, I just be with myself and let my emotions flow. I don’t do anything to stop it. Sometimes it gets too overwhelming, so that time I ask for help, like I call someone up and talk to them or meet someone or exercise. Besides having everything I need and more, I am still not ok. Every so often I keep thinking about the past. Or fear of the future. On occasions I even dwell too deep in fear on a simple statement when someone asks me about my dog’s age and their average life span. I fear losing Junior. At times, I fear losing my parents as they are turning old. Earlier I was ready to get married to a guy who was living 1000s of miles away abroad. But now I refuse to even leave my city, forget even another state. This pandemic made us change our priorities.

You are allowed to change your mind, to take a break or leave a situation if you don’t feel comfortable, I am very much righty-ho to leave friends behind or people behind with whom I am not congenial anymore or that I have realized they were with me only for their benefits and convenience. I am not a people pleaser anymore and I don’t care how many years of friendship we had in the past.

Rough patch, a bad day, a major setback. Sometimes, it seems like one thing goes wrong after another. And another, and another. Sometimes an unexpected challenge or an obstacle might come my way, and I find myself stressing out, worrying and not knowing what to do. And, some days, I just have nothing – zero motivation, no creativity. All of a sudden, I am being plagued with self-doubt. And some days, I am on top of this world. An unexpected income, a surprise gift, a stagnant work kicks off or even a phone call from a long lost friend makes my day.  But it’s ok. I am human after all, and without the downs, I would have never valued the ups and got the maturity I have today.  I don’t know if things will ever go back to the way they used to be. What I do know is that admitting that I’m not doing too well, even to myself, wasn’t easy. But with time, as I mentioned above, I learnt to be ok with not being ok, and realized that removing time for me was not a selfish move.

We all should be allowed to fall apart sometimes, so that we can find ourselves again. What is not ok is staying there and making it your comfort zone. Once you are done feeling all your emotions, get up once again and try once again. Go out there, look good for yourself, work for yourself, exercise for yourself, and if again you feel like your emotions are taking over, let them.

Its okay to fully experience whatever it is you’re feeling. It’s okay to say that you’re not okay. And that means your feelings and emotions are valid, no matter what they are. Take the time you need to rest, recharge, and breathe. Take care of yourself the best way you know how. You know yourself better than anyone.

My dog had a surgery

You are sitting on the couch, all cuddled up with your dog, giving him belly rubs, running your hand on his body, and all of a sudden you feel a lump. Within micro-seconds your mind starts running and is fogged with questions. You try to remember if this is new or whether the lump has been there for some time now. You are on your feet by now and start examining his body in search of other lumps.

Your first thought right now is – is it Cancer? You open Google and start looking for answers. Unfortunately, anything and everything on the internet leads to a life threatening disease. We know this very well, but human nature, we still look for answers on the internet. By now, you have reached the highest level of panic. Next morning, the first thing you do is visit the Vet. The Vet runs some tests and asks you to wait for the results. You are on complete panic mode now and desperately waiting for the results.

The results have arrived. All his blood work, CT scan and Fine Needle Test are normal. They are just fat lumps and NOT CANCER. However, they are still called Tumours. All of the above has happened with me twice. Yes, I just narrated my story to you’ll.

Two years ago, I had discovered 5 lumps on Junior’s body. I was in a state of despair and completely paranoid. I had turned into an over thinking mental woman till the results of his tests came. Fortunately, they were only fat lumps. But, there was this one particular lump which was on Junior’s face and had to be surgically removed. The other 4 lumps are still there and don’t need surgery. The one on the face was big and had spread uptil his inner jaw for which we had to even get some of Junior’s teeth removed. The surgery went very well and Junior was absolutely fine after that.

Last year when Junior got Pancreatitis, we noticed a small growth on his eyelid. The Vet prescribed an ointment and hot compression for that area. The growth went away. But in the past few months, the growth was back and bigger. The Vet prescribed the same procedure and asked me to observe. He suggested that if the lump reduces in size by external treatment, then we will not have to opt for surgery. Unfortunately, nothing like that happened and we decided to get it surgically removed. Before that, we again ran some tests to make sure it was not Cancerous. Again, I was in a state of panic till the results came in. The Vet also recommended taking a second opinion before surgery. I did that. Now, we all were waiting for the test results.

Whoola! Cancer Negative. It’s a stye, but with a tumour growth underneath. The surgery is scheduled and now I am anxiously waiting for the day to arrive and Junior to be pain free. This lump on the eyelid was painful. Junior’s eyes were always watering and scratchy. He would even have puss filled discharge sometimes.

The morning of the surgery, my brother and I arrive at the clinic with Junior and they take him in. After 5 minutes, they bring Junior outside and inform me that they have injected Junior and he might throw up. I have to wait till he falls asleep. In 15 minutes, Junior threw up once and then fell asleep. The doctor comes and asks his helpers to take Junior in the operation theatre. I am informed that it is a 10 minutes procedure and I will be called once it is done. Those 10 minutes turned into an hour and I was losing patience. Finally the doctor came out and told me that the surgery went well and Junior was doing fine. I asked her the reason for the delay. She said that first they thought it was a small tumour and they could easily drain it out. But when they opened it up, it had spread all over his eyelid. Had we not got the surgery done, Junior would have lost his eye.

I was so happy that the surgery went well and Junior was gaining consciousness. We were allowed to take Junior home but with precaution. The doctor explained to me the protocol to follow for some days for faster recovery.

As soon as we reached home, Junior started throwing up. Not once, not twice, but Junior threw up 10 times. I immediately called the Vet and she said it is normal as he is still under the influence of aesthesia. However, if he doesn’t stop vomiting after the effects of anaesthesia have gone, then I should take him to my family Vet for saline. But Junior stopped vomiting. Thank God! Once he gained complete consciousness, he drank water and I fed him semi solid food. He slept the whole day and next day he was very weak. His eye had started oozing and stomach growling. I was informed about this by the vet. These were the after effects of the surgery.

It’s been 5 days today since the surgery. Junior is back to his routine, jumping around, going for walks, playing, etc. He is a little slow and I don’t even push him and his eyelid is sore and recovering. All’s well that ends well. There is one advice I would like to give to all the pet parents. DO NOT BE A GOOGLE DOCTOR. Always take advice from the experts and take Google results with a pinch of salt. Get yours dogs checked immediately if you notice an abnormal growth.

I am exhausted at this moment, but it’s all worth it as far as Junior is fit and fine. After all, we pet parents can cross oceans for them to see them healthy and safe.

 

Oh No! My Dog Is A Fussy Eater.

I believe many of us have faced this problem in our lives. Sometimes, our dogs are just not interested in what’s in their bowls. I have faced this issue too. Not with Junior, but with Casper. Casper had turned his nose up at his own food, but was always interested in what I was eating. This meant that he wasn’t ill, but had become a picky eater.

Let me tell you how it started and the ways I bid to make him start eating his own food without him throwing a tantrum.

Just like any other Labrador, Casper was a big time foodie. He would eat anything and everything that I would put in his bowl, along with some veggies that I gave him as snacks. He always maintained an ideal weight and was a very active dog. Unfortunately, he fell ill and was diagnosed with Tick Fever where his survival was nearly impossible. But, by the grace of God and expertise of the Vet, Casper not only lived, he thrived. Obviously it wasn’t easy. After some months of his treatment, and when Casper was absolutely normal and healthy, I noticed that he had started withdrawing from his food. Eventually, he stopped eating his kibble completely.

I was scared, because I thought he was relapsing. I spoke to the Vet and briefed him about Casper’s behavior. That’s when I came to know that Casper had turned into a fussy eater. Since this is not a medical problem or an illness, there is no medicine also to it. So I had to find a different way to make him start eating his own food. In the meantime, Casper happily ate Curd Rice and Vegetables. But that was not enough as he was not getting all his nutrients and vitamins which he would get from kibble. Being a vegetarian myself, I was hesitant to introduce him to meats and fish, even eggs. I would have done that eventually, had Casper not started eating the dog food. But that was Plan B. I was reflecting on a way to make Plan A work, i.e. make him eat his kibble happily.

Dogs are not picky. It’s an acquired trait. My biggest challenge was to find the core of his new behavior. Which I found! He had become finicky about his food because when he was recovering from Tick Fever, I had fed him chicken soups, eggs, curd, sugarcane juice, etc. Basically, he was off dog food for some time and he was relishing on the other stuff. Now, you must be thinking why sugarcane juice. It has so much sugar and sugar is poison for dogs. In India, if anyone has jaundice, we give them a lot of sugarcane juice. According to traditional Ayurveda, sugarcane juice is a boon to strengthen your liver and a proven remedy for jaundice. The antioxidants in sugarcane juice protect the liver against infection and maintain the bilirubin levels in control.

Alright, since I was aware of Casper’s core issue, my next step was to slowly make him like his kibble. Please remember, it’s not magic. It took time for him to get back to his schedule. So be consistent and patient. Do not scold your dog or scream at them. There will be a time of frustration, but that won’t solve anything.

I bought home a few samples of dog food from the vet and introduced them one by one to Casper. Some of them Casper sniffed and left, and some Casper ate a bite or two and left. So I discarded the ones which didn’t eat and narrowed down to one food brand which Casper ate the most. Now I had to work around only one food brand.

My next step was to make Casper eat more and more of it daily. I knew he wouldn’t start eating it at once, so I activated a little of my acting skills to make him eat atleast a handful of it. At the same time, I also reduced his intake of Curd Rice and Veggies. There were times when Casper skipped him meals completely. That’s ok for a dog skip a meal or two, since he didn’t have any medical issues at that time.

I stopped filling Casper’s bowl in front of him. I never hand-fed him or even bribed him. I would keep his food and if he didn’t eat till half n hour, I would take it and discard it. I would go in the kitchen, fill his bowl and then bring it outside to his eating place, so that he is not pre annoyed by the smell of the food and he gets to smell it only at the time of eating. Most of the times, he would eat a little and then leave it. So as I said I activated my acting skills, I would tell him that I am going out and start walking towards the door. Casper would immediately go to his bowl and complete his food. Different techniques work for different dogs. Since Casper always wanted me around, he ate his food thinking I would leave. But I couldn’t do this forever, right!

Then, I bought wet food of the same brand and started mixing it little with his dry food. That’s when I had to stop acting and Casper started finishing his bowl on his own. And eventually, after reducing the wet food gradually, one day came, when Casper for the first time in weeks ate his dry food completely on his own. And, that was the first time I rewarded him for completing his meal on his own. But always keep a check on them, as they may tend to get back to being picky again.

In all this process, under no circumstances fall weak and give them anything that they want like human food or table scraps. This will delay their process of getting back on schedule. Also, there can be various reasons why dogs suddenly become picky. They could be ill, or have some kind of anxiety, or maybe in pain, etc. So, rule out the medical causes first. There are also myths that fussy eaters cannot be fixed or changing the food often leads to fussy eating or they get bored of kibble after some times. These are nothing but MYTHS.

Like all responsible parents, we want our pets the always remain healthy and safe. And anything can be achieved with consistency, patience and lots of love.

Food Food Food

Double Chocolate Cupcake was the highlight of this week. It was delicious, plus it was sent by a special someone.
Aloo Paneer Cheese Paratha with Sriracha Mayo
I love junk food
Had to cool myself with this tasty non alcoholic drink during the heatwave this week in Mumbai.
Homemade gujarati snack called Chakri
Made different types of Garlic Breads with Cheese, Pesto and Pizza Sauce.
Drooly
There is always something so mesmerizing about drives like this. When I paint 🎨
He is comfortable, I swear 😂
He gave me a WTF look when I told him not to chew on the toy
Mission accomplished 🤣

Tasty food, happy soul!

Masala Pav. Tangy spicy dish that activates all your taste buds.
Kind of Subway Sandwich made with a lot of Vegetables and Cottage Cheese.
Malabar Paratha. So many layers and delicious flavours.
Veg Pattie Burger
The different layers and the final outcome of Baked Mexican Rice. Yum!!!
Break free. When I paint 🎨
He occupies the whole bed leaving no room for me to sleep 🤷🏻‍♀️
Can you see his little two teef 🤣
I am lucky to get unlimited kisses 😘

Food-gasam

Cheese Paneer Bhurji
Masala Pav
Makai Bhajiya (Sweetcorn Pakoras)
Tandoori Paneer Pizza. My all time favourite ☺️
Pesto Mushroom Pastas
Sister made it, brother decorated it and I ate it 😀 Donut
A starry night, warming in each other’s arms. Bliss! I made this in Oil Pastels.
He invaded my selfie 😂
My Model
His eyes are on the treat 😊
Just showing off his bandana 😜