11 Things My Dogs Have Taught Me

I had never thought my life would change so much after getting my dogs. Being a proud mom to two beautiful fur babies, I can bet that dogs are the best creatures that God has made. They have taught me a lot of things, but the most important of it was, being a decent human being. Here’s what I have learnt from my best friend, my companion, my babies, my dogs:

1. Loyalty:

My dogs don’t care if I am rich, poor, ugly, pretty, living in a big house or small. They always come running to me to shower me with kisses when I come home. After my separation from my ex-husband, I was forced to give my dogs for adoption. But they had taught me how to be loyal under any circumstances. So I fought for them, went against the world and never gave them up. They taught me that it is very easy to be loyal. The bond so strong and pure, that it is impossible to keep us apart.

2. Live in the moment:

Do dogs ever think what tomorrow will bring for them or what happened yesterday? No! They just live in the moment. Even if they have been having the same routine for years, they get happy at every walk or every meal that is served. We torture ourselves so much by thinking about the past or future, that we forget to live in the present. But my dogs have actually taught me to LIVE NOW, to be happy with what you have now. Hope for a good future, but never expect.

3. It doesn’t take much to make someone smile:

Even if my dog is sleeping, I will just end up smiling by realizing the simple fact that he exists. But honestly, my dogs make me smile and laugh instantly by just doing anything. I had read an article about a person who had left a suicide note before he took his life. The note said, “even if one person smiles at me today, I will not commit suicide.” I don’t know how far this is true, but one smile can definitely make a difference in someone’s life. So smile often.

4. Some of the best times are spent at home:

I am a very different person now than what I was during my young days. Those times, I would stay out all day long, meet friends, go bowling, play snooker, etc. But now, I love spending time at home with my dogs, in the peace and comfort of my space. Trust me, these are the best moments and I wouldn’t compromise this for any parties or outings. This has made me more of a peaceful person who believes in spending quality time with the ones you love.

5. Family keeps you going on the worst day:

This has been the most important realization by far. I have faced some bad days in my life where once I tried to commit suicide. But my dogs saved me. They have been my reason to live. And not just live, but to thrive. Had it not been for my dogs, parents and brother, I would have either been into depression or probably be dead. Always keep your family close. You will be replaced in a job or replaced by your lover, but never replaced in family. And your dogs will always be waiting for you their whole life. I am sure, everyone has heard or read about Hachiko. So, always keep going for your dogs, for your family.

6. Being fearless:

This doesn’t mean I never get scared. Yes, I do fear. But when it’s time, I throw my fear in the bin and face things with a brave face. I will give you an example. Once I was walking Casper and Junior and this auto rickshaw drive purposely banged into Junior (not hard) and started driving. I let out a loud abuse to him. He stopped his rickshaw, got out, picked a stone and started running towards me to hit me and my dogs. That was time when I said, “come what may, I will protect my dogs from this filthy man.” But before I could react, Casper pounced on that man, scared him and shooed him off. Because Caspu too thought the same, that anyhow he had to protect his Mumma. Fearlessly fight for the ones you love and who loves you.

7. Being happy and content in what and how much I have:

When I see Casper and Junior, I feel like the richest woman in this world. All I want is their good health, long life and their safety. They are my life’s most precious treasure. When Casper passed away, my world had come crashing down. But I had to live and come out of my depression for Junior. I didn’t bounce back for a luxury car or more money or a new boyfriend. I became me again for what was left, and that was Junior. I am more than happy to live in bare minimum, as far as I have Junior with me.

8. Make life simple:

People are strange. So much potential, yet here they are, doing everything that complicates their lives rather than simplifying it. My dogs taught me that if you cannot get something, pee on it, throw some mud and get moving. Just keep it that simple. If there is something you cannot change, why bother. And if there is something that you can change, change it and stop worrying.

9. Never grow old:

Your body may grow old, but always stay young at heart. Junior is aging, but I always tell everyone that he is still like a 2-year-old baby, and I just want to be like him. My dogs have kept me physically active also, but I still play hide-n-seek with my dogs, throw the ball, running around. All this keeps me still young at heart and happy. Just like Junior, who is 8+ years old, but still enjoys playing and belly rubs and ice creams, I too will enjoy all the little things even when I turn old.

10. Always keep a little Wolf in you:

Always keep that 20% wolf in you. If you ever give it up, you’re done. The beauty of a great dog doesn’t lie in its obedience but in its loyalty. Loyalty is a choice. Dogs choose to be dogs and not wolves. That’s what makes them so special. Same way, keep a little wolf within you. You never know, when you have to bring it out.

11. It is very easy to love one person your entire life:

In today’s world, where divorce and breaking up has become a trend, my dogs have taught me that one person is enough to love in a million ways. Every time I look at my dogs, I fall in love with them all over again. They have taught me different ways of loving one person. They have taught to me to love without limits, unconditional love, pure love.

If there is anything that my dogs have not taught me, it is to live without them. I still grieve Casper’s death. That void has never been filled and never will be. But he taught me valuable lessons in my life. Most of all, he saved my life. And for Junior, he still fills my life with a lot of joy, happiness and love. This Accidental Dog Mom is so grateful to God for accidentally bringing her dogs into her life and making her a good human being.

Food, Me and my sleeping Baby 😍

The featured image is of my lunch plate consisting of Cabbage Sabzi, Cucumber Salad, Sago Papad, Mango, Masala Moong Dal and Gram Flour Vegetables Pan Cake.

Sabudana or Sago Vada. You can make Sago Khichdi also with the same ingredients.
Most of the times, my dinner is very light. This is Pumpkin Salad with spices.
I made Pesto Sauce at home with Almonds.
Mushroom Pesto Risotto
Waiting for this Corona to get over so that I can pack my bags and go for a holiday fearless. When I paint 😊
Early morning cuddling 🥰
He is Mumma’s tail. Even if he is uncomfortable, he will still sleep where Mumma is sitting.
And sometimes, he will occupy 3/4th of the couch and leave Mumma bare minimum room to park her bums 🤣

What Anxiety Feels Like!

Palpitations, want to cry but cannot, excess urination, fear of something might go wrong or something bad is going to happen, uneasiness, etc. Sounds familiar?

I am not an expert or a doctor. Neither do I know any big and scientific words. So today I am going to explain to you my anxiety problem in the rawest language and how I deal with it.

First let us understand the difference between depression and anxiety. Depression is when you live in the past, and, recall the bad times, and, cannot get over it. Anxiety is when you want all your answers today or you want to figure out the answers to your thoughts right away but are unable to reach a decisive conclusion. The fear of the unknown is what causes anxiety!

I suffer from overthinking which leads to anxiety. I am not on any medications right now, but if the need be, I will not hesitate to take professional or medical help.

So, here is how I go through the episodes of my anxiety, or in simpler words – Panic Attacks and tips on how I deal with it.

  1. Starts in the evening

Every time I am about to get a panic attack or just an anxiety chapter, I start feeling uneasy from around 5pm or 6pm in the evening. I get this gut feeling that I am overthinking something and am going to get a panic attack soon, or maybe just have a bad evening and I need to stable myself from now. The moment I realize this, I finish all my work at the earliest to ground myself and let my emotions flow.

  • Excessive worrying

It is normally something that triggers me. For example, if I came across an animal abuse video or an article of a sudden death or the latest – coronavirus death, etc. To be honest, I do not get triggered easily; I have a very strong mind and will power, but if it is the wrong day, I will pretty much get triggered by anything. This will lead to excessive worrying about that situation. Sometimes when I do not know what has triggered me, I will worry so much that my mind will reach the year 2050 and think what I will be doing that time!

  • Restlessness and irritability (feeling detached to things)

I become extremely restless. I will pace around the whole house, keep checking Junior if he is alright even though I know he is fine. I will keep changing the TV channels or would just do some random work or start cleaning the house. Cleaning the house helps me in staying calm. In this time if someone calls, then I unfortunately end up removing all my frustration on that person. I always avoid meeting people or talking over the phone till I am blue in the face. It will invariably lead to a fight.

  • Difficulty in breathing. Headaches, pain in the chest, neck, and shoulders

Due to overthinking or a triggered situation, I start panicking which leads to difficulty in breathing and results in excessive pain in the chest, neck, and shoulders. Sometimes, it feels like getting a heart attack and I will not make through the situation alive.

  • Fear and going radio silent

This is my worse and biggest symptom. I start fearing the unknown. Even if I know the reason of my anxiety, I will still fear that something bad is going to happen. One by one, I will start over thinking about all the situations in my life which will lead to impossible thoughts and an unknown fear of what if it never gets better. I also feel I am bringing everyone else down with my anxiety. So, I resist from sharing my problems with others.

  • Panic Attack

Not always do I reach this stage, but when I do, I feel I will not survive the night. I normally get panic attacks in the night only. There is an unknown fear. They last till I fall asleep after crying my eyes out. My heartbeats are super-fast, I have frequent urination, I am crying nonstop and worrying about something that has not happened yet and may not even happen. I have difficulty to control my thoughts at this stage and my hands and feet become cold and start paining.

Being a strong-minded girl; the frequency of my panic attacks is very low. This was not the case earlier. Earlier I used to get panic attacks every week. Now I may get once in 6 months.

This is how I feel and what I go through when I have one of those bad days. I have never got any thoughts of suicide. But once I get back to normal, I feel very guilty of ignoring Junior during that period. But you know what the best thing is. Dogs are so smart that they understand when you are not feeling well. When Junior realizes that his Mumma is not doing well, he will reach his favourite spot, lie down and constantly stare at me or he will come and sleep on my lap. That sweet little boy will never trouble me during that time. By trouble means, will not keep patting my shoulders for treats or bark or run around. In a way, I can proudly say that till this day if I have not gone mad, is only because of Casper and Junior.

There is one trick I have learnt how to deal with my anxiety. The trick is, SELF LOVE. I know it sounds familiar and heard a lot of times. But SELF LOVE is the best medicine for all times. Whenever you are feeling anxious, let your feelings flow. Do not resist your feelings or forcefully think positive thoughts. Never trust everything your mind says. Because only 10% of the things happen of what we have thought. Sometimes, even that does not happen. Everyone has their own struggles and battles. You do not have to put on a front to make others comfortable or happy. Depression or Anxiety comes from a place of self-doubt which was a result of rejection or abuse or cheating or death or or or………. The list can go on. But if you practice SELF LOVE every day, you will get through this with ease. Keep telling yourself that you are a good person, you have not done anything bad to anyone, so nothing bad will happen to you. You are beautiful/handsome. No matter what, GET UP, DRESS UP AND SHOW UP. Dress up tidy every day. Do your nails, get a haircut, treat yourself with a lavish dinner occasionally, exercise, and play with your children or dogs. In short, purposely stay happy. Soon it will become a habit. Remember, no one comes to save us. We must save ourselves. Our happiness is in our hands.

My anxiety started when my first boyfriend (before marriage) cheated on me. I was young that time and I did not know what a panic attack was. But I constantly kept getting it and named it “breathing problem”. But yes, we have deep wounds which are not healed, or they keep repeating, like in my case, whoever I dated or married, I was left for someone else. So, I never got a chance to heal my wounds. And was labeled as an over thinker. But now I don’t give a piece of shit for others, for I have Junior and what more can you ask when you have someone who loves you unconditionally and the most loyal creature on this planet. Walking him, playing with him, feeding him, and doing everything that is required for him is making me stronger every passing day both physically and mentally. Casper and Junior are God sent to me. Had it not been for them, I would not be here writing this blog.

Beginners Guide for a new puppy

Brining up a dog is no different than brining up child. The efforts that go into both are the same. Just like how no 2 children are the same, similarly, no 2 dogs are the same either. Every dog has its unique characteristic traits and learning habit, but the essential personality characteristics of the dogs are universal.  I am no expert, and, am still learning every day. I would like to share my experience with Casper and Junior and bring light to the mistakes I made in the beginning when I got Casper home. I hope this helps to anyone out there, and makes it a little easy and pre hand knowledge for first time dog parents.

As mentioned in my previous posts, I was extremely scared of dogs and accidentally I became a dog mom. Having no knowledge about the handling of dogs, I took each day as it came facing a new challenge and overcoming it. Most important, I was well versed when Junior came into the picture and it was a piece of cake to then look after him.

Let’s begin:

  • Choose the breed of dog you want to bring home. Do your research or ask for advice from a vet or shelter employees. I would always suggest adopting a dog and giving a pure soul a home and family
  • Be firm and prepared as the dog will spend around 15 years of his life with you’ll. See to it that everyone in the house agrees to have a dog. No one is allergic. Space, time and money also to be taken into consideration. Who will take care of the dog when you are away? Will future changes affect your dog like moving to a different state or country, getting married, having a baby, etc.

  • Set the rules pre hand as to allowing him/her on the bed or in the kitchen, etc.
  • Keep a collar and leash ready
  • Since I do not believe in keeping dogs in crates, I never bought one. But if you intend to do so, invest in a size bigger as per the size of the dog to ensure he/she is comfortable
  • Food and Water bowls should be ready. They should be given high quality food and fresh drinking water at all times. Do not begin with raw home food
  • Once you get your dog, the first thing to do should be to take him/her to the vet for suggested food and vaccinations
  • Normally, till 3 months and till all the vaccinations are done, puppies shouldn’t be taken out of the house to protect them from diseases like Parvo, Distemper, Tick Fever, etc.
  • Puppies tend to sleep for 16-18 hours a day. So do not force play with them
  • Start training them for House and obedience. There are various ways to train them. Either hire a professional dog trainer or see some YouTube Videos. But start at the earliest and establish a schedule
  • When they are young, they have a lot of energy and will be teething. They will also chew on things like shoes, remote controls, wires, clothes, etc. Keep all these away from them and instead give them chewys. But make sure to keep a check on them so that they do choke on it

  • Ask your vet for over the counter medicines to keep at home in case of emergencies
  • NEVER get choke collars. I repeat, NEVER
  • Till they are trained, a regular collar is advisable. You can shift to a harness later
  • Take them for enough walks or play with them to burn their energy
  • Dog do not understand guilt; as shown in many Instagram Videos or YouTube Videos. They just get scared of loud noises. They feel sad. Never shout at them, but correct them by rolling a newspaper and snapping it on some surface to just make a little noise if the dog does something that he/she shouldn’t
  • In the initial days, never leave them without a leash in public places unless the recall command is strong
  • Bring some safe toys for your dog
  • Always keep your Vet’s number handy
  • Do not ignore the dog. This may create a lot of issues. Your dog may develop separation anxiety or biting problem or anger issues

  • Get his nails cut and ears cleaned timely
  • Any signs of abnormality, contact the vet immediately
  • Do not feed them heavy meals before a car ride or a day at the beach or park
  • Keep a good boarding/lodging or day care in sight to keep your dog incase everyone in the house is going out or you are a single parent and have to go to work
  • Most important, BE PATIENT!

There may be many things to keep in mind, but as you take each day, you will learn on your own. All the above may sound scary, but trust me, they are not. And compared to the love and happiness these dogs bring in our lives, no matter how much we do for them is never enough. As a first-time dog owner, this may have been a lot to take in one go. However, being equipped and more informed should help direct you in a direction that will create a long-lasting relationship with your dog – you know the one you’ve always been dreaming of!

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!

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.