CHENNAI: When Casper, my Doberman, passed away due to breast cancer, my wife and I were on the look out for puppies. We were sure that we will only be adopting and not shopping from breeders. We love Indies and we contacted a few NGOs through our good friends at the Woof Wagon Pet Resort in Mysuru, who are active in rescuing and taking care of dogs. We finally got a contact through People for Animals and picked up two mongrel puppies as soon we laid our eyes on them.
I knew that if I get a dog, I wanted them to have a lot of space to run around. My wife and I have recently relocated to a calmer city, Mysuru which is very close to our farm. The two-month old mischievous furballs have been named
Sosuke and Ponyo, after the characters from one of our favourite Studio Ghibli films, Ponyo. We know that their mother is an Indie, but have no clue about the father’s breed. So, though we wish that they remain as puppies forever, we do look forward to knowing what they will grow up to be.
We are still in the process of training them and are discovering more things we love each day right now.
I grew up in a house where we used to have the dog always in the cage, never really a pet but more of a watchdog for the house and very untrained. I was always scared of dogs. I’d been chased around and bitten by street dogs once while I was seven years old. I used to like cats though. Our house had as many as 12 cats at one point and my sister had named them all and they knew their names as well. After getting married, I realised that my wife shared the same love for cats. I brought home a kitten for her on her birthday and named him Ponyo. Since then, we have eight cats.
With cats we know how it works. It’s usually like they are adopting you. There isn’t much you can do than feeding them on time, playing with them when they are in the mood and opening the window to let them in at the middle of the night when they meow from outside. We are very new to taking care of dogs. We are still learning and they are teaching use a lot. We have worries but there are many lovely people who share their experiences all over the Internet and we learn from them.
It gets a little crazy with the cats at home on the other hand. They bring a lot of lizards and mice home as gifts. We always had a bowl full of cat food in the house which every cat in the vicinity knew about. There were major wars inside the house with our cats against those from outside. After a few months, they all came to terms with it and everybody ate peacefully. Cats are pretty easy to take care of that way,
Apart from our own dogs, we have a gang of street dogs visiting us every evening at the studio for a few packets of biscuits we share with them. Loving one dog is more like loving them all. It takes only one good pet to realise that they are all sweethearts.
Once, my wife was away in the farm and that afternoon, I fell sick. I had high fever and all the cats sensed it. They did not leave the bed until I finished my sleep. I have heard dogs can feel it when the owner is sick and they get depressed. But I never thought my cats would do that. The high point of that day was waking up in the bed with five cats sleeping all around me.
I think everyone should adopt animals to know and experience unconditional love and loyalty. For me, it’s also a way of giving back to nature. If I can make one such creature feel loved and happy, I feel like I am doing something that matters. It doesn’t have to be just one dog or cat. I would like to do take in as many as I can afford to. This is one reason the BBMP law made me frustrated. I have seen many young kids growing up with a pet around at their homes turn out to be more kind and empathetic to nature and life around them. Having a pet is having a connection with the nature, which we are slowly losing these days.