Happiness is good food

Mixed Vegetables Pancakes with Curd. Healthy and filling
Butter Paneer, Parathas and Curd
Mini Pizzas in the making
A typical Gujarati deep dish called Handvo, filled with vegetables and spices
My lunch plate – Potato Sabzi, Mixed Vegetables Sabji, Stir Fried Vegetable Salad and Potato Brinjal Sabji.
Mixed Vegetables Sabji
Veg Pattie Sizzlers
My Birthday Lunch
Homemade Cheese Cake
Me. When I paint 🎨
Attention seeker 😍

Just some food, painting and Junior

Jain festival Prayushan was going on. It’s for 8 days where Jains do not eat any greens or vegetables which are grown underground. Some even fast for all 8 days having only boiled water. Yesterday was the last day and today we broke our fast with Mumbai special Vada Pav.
Made Jain Paneer Sabzi. Gravy is made from Tomatoes and dried masala.
Another Jain Paneer Sabzi made from Tomatoes and Milk
Jain Jeera Pulao
My lunch plate before Paryushan started. It has Bhindi Sabji, Cabbage Sabji, Kadhi, Roti, Papad, Kaju Katli and Kheer.
Just painted my every morning
He doesn’t look pleased after being groomed 😂
He will stare at me like this till I feed him even though it’s not his feeding time 🤣

I love my dog so much it hurts

If you have a dog, you will understand by the title of where this post is going to lead. And chances are, like me even you would literally do anything for your dog. Being a pet parent is not all glorious, between picking up their poops, to fur all over our clothes, and planning our entire lives around their bathroom and meal schedules – there’s still a powerful and extremely tangible bond that exists between a human and a dog.

As a mother to two beautiful Labradors – Casper and Junior, it gets so overwhelming sometimes with the thought of living without them and it hurts. It hurts so bad, that I can literally feel physical pain from my thoughts.

Casper first crawled into my heart 12 years ago and made it his home for five and half years. Too young to go, but the tragic event of him passing has left a lifelong trauma on me, and the void cannot be filled no matter how much I try. Casper was a very handsome and smart dog. I would always joke around that he is a human in a dog’s body. He was extremely protective about me and would get jealous if I ever patted or played with another dog. He always looked healthy. Never once he had a dry nose or was lethargic or lost sudden weight is which we consider the signs of a sick dog (besides when he got tick fever).

Casper has travelled a lot with me. He was a well trained, calm and mannered dog. It was easy for me to take him around people and other dogs. He never left any chance to show his unconditional love for me. That’s why, when he crossed the rainbow bridge, I slipped into depression. His going was sudden and left me with a permanent scar on my heart. My fondest memory with him was when I was at my lowest and crying, and was even considering suicide; he jumped on me and started licking my tears. He saved my life, but I couldn’t save his life.

On the other hand, Junior was that rascal puppy who didn’t understand the concept of peace. He would always irritate Casper and there was not even one day where I didn’t come to a messy house. Always up to some naughty moves. It’s moments like these that sink into your heart, memory and build towards the ball of satisfaction and love that you hold for your pet. These memories and moments make your dog something more than just a pet.

Now that Junior is nine and half years old and started showing signs of aging, I fear about his health all the time (he is absolutely healthy at the moment). I love him so much that it hurts. You see, Junior is just not a pet dog, but my family. As pet parents, we understand this incredible bond that exists between human and dog. We just get it. Our pets are our lives.

It’s just not expressing feelings of love or considering your fur babies as family and developing a strong bond, it’s even backed by science. There have been many studies that explain why our warm fuzzy friends give us such warm fuzzy feelings, including a more well-known study by animal behaviorist Takefumi Kikusui. He found that level of oxytocin, the feel-good chemical, and bonding rise by merely looking into our dog’s googley eyes.

As a living and breathing example of all the above, I can tell you why it hurts so much let a dog go. Whether you have to put them to sleep, or they go naturally, either way, it hurts. Being a dog parent is one of the greatest joys of life. Dogs just don’t give us unconditional love, but they also help us humans live longer. We stay fit because of them; we never have a dull day. And even if we have one, they are always there to uplift us. They greet us every day when we come home as if they have been waiting for us for a lifetime.

What else do we want! In today’s world, where one human is ready to flip on another without giving it a second thought, there are dogs who only know love and loyalty. Dogs lives are too short, that’s their only fault; and it hurts too much.

In a relationship with Food

Homemade Pav Bhaji. Healthy and delicious
Locha Naan. This Naan is filled with Cheese, Onions and Garlic
Paneer Dum Biryani
Usal Misal. Filled with Proteins
This is how you eat Usal Misal
My lunch plate – Roti, Dal, Aloo Bhindi Sabji, Mixed Vegetables Sabji, Pulses Salad and Cooked Green Chillies
Pesto Pizza with Ginger Ale
Berberi, Shero and Injera. A wholesale and authentic Ethiopian Dinner
This is my Peace and Happiness. When I paint 🎨
Bathing time is torture 🤣
Post taking a shower 😍

How much freedom is too much freedom?

Is there such a thing as too much freedom? In case of dogs, I don’t think that such a thing exists! Atleast in my house. What I believe is, dogs are already confined to in one house, if you have a backyard, then one house and a backyard. In that, if you restrict them to not enter the kitchen or bedroom or on the bed, then it is not fair. But this is entirely my perspective. And far more easier for me as I live alone.

Casper and Junior had no restrictions in the house. They were and are allowed on the couch, bed, kitchen, practically everywhere. They had full access to the house. But before we achieved this freedom, I have paid a little price for it. That is, I had to train both my dogs so that there were no accidents or damage. The price I paid was, eaten walls, eaten wires, damaged shoes, a little fall here and there, peeing anywhere, broken crockery, eating scraps in the kitchen, and some more little accidents.

But this freedom still comes with a price. There is dog hair everywhere. On the couch, bed, kitchen platform, wardrobes, bathrooms, etc. As I mentioned earlier, it is easier for me as I live alone and I pretty much now cannot live without coming across dog hair from anything I use.

However, there are some dogs that cannot be left loose in the whole house. If that’s the case with your dog, do not get disappointed. You can always crate train them. Crates are great to keep the dog safe and out of trouble. Since I was always of the opinion that dogs should be left loose in the house, I never found the need to get a crate and trained them accordingly. I had also trained my dogs to stay alone at home when I was not there. Again, initially I paid a price for it, because when I came home, I would find poop at random places or torn mattress or chewed bottles, etc. I never left them alone for long hours and they always had access to fresh drinking water. Also, they were always fed before I left the house as I have also managed my time according to their feeding schedule.

So, if you are thinking about giving your dog full freedom and if your dog is still having accidents or if he’s chewing off-limit items, it may be too challenging for him to be left loose while home alone at this point. Just keep working on the basics and use a crate for now. There is no magic age that says dogs can suddenly be given more freedom. It all depends on your unique dog’s behavior, so just be patient.

Don’t think about giving your dog too much freedom too quickly. You have to build a solid behavioral foundation for him first. I would like to bring one important point to your notice, i.e. never force your dog into the crate and never use it as a punishment. Always create a positive atmosphere by using treats and extra goodies like stuffed toys or durable toys while you are away.

Besides crates, there are also pet gates. They are fold-able and portable. Let’s say, you do not want your dog in the kitchen. You can put the gate at your kitchen entrance and restrict your dogs from entering the kitchen. Or you can use these gates anywhere in the house where you do not want your dog to have access to.

Now, let me make one thing clear. If your dog is trained and goes hours without any trouble in house, doesn’t mean he can be let off leash or let roam free outside your house and in your locality. No matter how well trained and well behaved your dog is, it is neither safe nor appropriate to allow your dog to roam free or off leash outside, even with supervision.

Every dog is unique. With time, you will understand your dog’s behavior and will be able to take a call if your dog can be allowed in the whole house or restricted to a particular area. None of the decisions will be wrong. Start by leaving your dog alone for 30 minutes, and then gradually increase the time. Accordingly adjust the time as per their meal schedules and your work schedules. If you do not want them on the bed, get them their own bed. I would also like to suggest to not leaving your dogs in the crate all day long. Besides their walks, let them play or roam a little in the house or your backyard.

Never punish your dogs, specially for making funny Instagram or TikTok Videos

Although everyone wants to give their puppy plenty of space to play and explore, allowing it free run of the house too early on is a sure recipe for disaster. Keep setting your puppy up for success by making sure it has toys to play with, has had plenty of exercise beforehand, and has already gone to the toilet.

Eventually, once he is able to go a full month without making any mistakes, he will be truly ready to roam the house on his own. Don’t expect a completely smooth process- but do expect a rewarding one as you develop an unspoken bond with your dog.