National Pet Day : Pet parents share how fur babies changed their lives

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The bond you share with your pet is at times beyond the comprehension of mere words. Yet, we try again and again to illustrate this love we have for our furry friends. One such way for you could be to observe this National Pet Day on April 11 by celebrating it with your pets or going out and volunteering at shelters. Here is what some netizens told us about their lives as pet parents:

Nitin Awade, a resident of NIBM said that their dog Rio has been nothing but the centre of all attention and love ever since he and his wife Anjali adopted him in 2020. During the pandemic, the couple decided to adopt a dog as they could finally make time for training and raising this new family member. When they saw Rio- then called Biscuit, an inside joke for the couple- on a rescue shelter page, it just felt like fate for them. Biscuit, who was rescued by Bowsome Senior Dogs (founded by Richa Singh Choudhari) was abandoned on a highway and had come with severe injuries and diseases. Nitin and Anjali welcomed him as a scared labrador and proceeded to give him all the space and comfort an abused dog needs to recover. He was immediately treated with medication for his skin disease. The couple also gave him a new name, Rio, in an ode to this fresh beginning.

Rio now is a healthy, happy dog who no longer is anxious around new people and has even made friends with the local stray dogs. A foodie through and through, he is exceptionally well-trained- he waits around for parcels to be delivered, shares his toys with his furry friends and loves food like any other dearie. Anjali describes him as a secure dog now- and also a bundle of joy, for Rio can’t stand to see anyone sad.

Aavir Nalawade, a resident of NIBM road Annexe adopted a 40-day-old indie dog Murphy in 2020 during the pandemic as well. For him and his family of six, Murphy has taught us to not take things too seriously and let go of things to be happy. Aavir says that during the difficult times of the pandemic, Murphy was a furball of sunshine for all of them, and so much was he intent on getting a dog that Murphy was a big, but pleasant surprise for his family.

He says that he takes Murphy on frequent treks and hikes, and takes care of him medically by keeping a check on all medications and regular trips to the vet. Murphy has been a huge positive enforcement- his energy and his loyalty are contagious and optimistic for everyone around him. Being a pet parent has been hugely insightful for Aavir.

Vineeta Tandon of Animal Rescue Trust informed us that while compared to the past five years the trend of adopting instead of buying has taken over, abandoning pet dogs has been on the rise ever since the COVID-19 pandemic ended.

       Animal Rescue Trust, located in Manjri and founded in 2018 has been doing notable work in the city in the field of rescue. They have rescued more than eight thousand street dogs and pedigree dogs from breeders respectively. They have also rescued a large number of dogs who were victims of cruel pet parenting. 

Vineeta says that new parents should not decide on taking up the responsibility of a pet if they cannot make the time for it. People with hectic schedules and overwork employment more or less end up abandoning their pets. She also strongly emphasizes rescuing or adopting a dog rather than buying one, for the breeding practices are very harsh and cruel as well. Her suggestion for dog lovers is to come over to their shelter for some voluntary work with their rescued dogs- be it playtime, taking them for their walk or medication, etc. By giving prior notice to the Trust you can make use of one of your weekends for a therapeutic and altruistic time.

Pets are merely not a fancy wish but a dedicated responsibility, and we as humans must understand this and treat every animal kindly.

Shriya Simran Pradhan

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