“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” – John Grogan, Marley & Me.
My dream life is to be surrounded by furry energy. It has been so for many years until Mr. Popo entered and really showed me the power of pawzitivity. As a kid, I used to especially love going to those people’s homes who had dogs. I used to be very curious to see what the dogs did, how they ate and if they really cuddled. My favourite bedtime story was about the family dog Julie who I had never seen but insisted on hearing about him every day. I really, genuinely wanted to have a dog who I could call my own. I have always been eager to hear about stories of friends who have grown up with dogs. Today’s story is one such – about Aditi and her doggo pack, which included Kuchu aka Munchy, Pepsi, Chotu and now Coco.
Aditi seconds my feeling that growing up with dogs is, indeed, one of the most amazingly beautiful experiences. “They teach us so many things – to love, be patient, live in the moment and be happy. Sometimes, they even rescue us from the darkest times. They also teach us that the game of fetch can be enjoyed with the human throwing the ball but the doggo not bringing it back yet demanding to be thrown repeatedly.”
Aditi’s family has always had dogs, more than one at a time. “It is now that we have only Coco, because I live in a different city and its difficult for my aging parents to take care of multiple dogs. But when I was growing up, it was a different story.”
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Quite like my dream life, Aditi was surrounded by doggo love. Her first companion was Kuchu, a supremely protective mixed breed. “Kuchu was my protector; she was a saviour. Not even my parents could raise their voice at me when Kuchu was around. While our next pack member Pepsi, a German Shepherd, was this regal girl who felt as if everyone and everything – except my brother – could be ignored. But she was incredibly patient with me during my exams. She would sit with me and listen to me revising my lessons and once done, she would exchange a satisfied glance and walk away. It was incredibly hard for us to see her suffer from cancer towards the sunset years of her life.”
Then came Chotu, the Labrador, who was an absolute “attention seeker, always hungry and a gentle soul.” He had the cutest ways of begging for food and would never lose a single chance to spread himself across his humans’ bed and snooze comfortably. “Until Coco entered our lives, Chotu was the youngest in the pack and knew that he could get away with almost everything. They have all crossed the rainbow bridge, except our dear Coco, leaving us with beautiful memories that we often fondly recount.”
Coco is a seven-year-old Golden Retriever, who has several characteristics of the famous dog Marley – from ‘Marley & me’. If you haven’t watched the movie, do check it out. “Coco is quite the brat. He doesn’t spare a single slipper 😉 He has peed a million times right after I packed my suitcases to prevent me from going back to Bangalore, where I work. He is quite a quick learner too; now that I’m in Calcutta and working from home, sometimes he follows my cue to rescue me from a boring meeting by demanding to go out (oops, I just shared a secret).”
“Chotu, Coco and I have an especially strong connection; they have been my silent companions through a difficult phase.”
Aditi moved from her hometown Calcutta to Bangalore a few years ago to be part of the exciting start-up landscape. While she misses Coco a lot, she has made new furry friends – Bunny from her building visits her every day at 5PM sharp. “I’ve to leave the front door open to let him in and he walks around my home to sniff-vestigate every corner. Many of our colleagues bring their doggos to work, which is quite amazing. I also actively engage in animal welfare initiatives around finding forever homes for rescued dogs.”
Coco lives in Calcutta with Aditi’s family, while she has been longing to adopt a doggo in Bangalore. Aditi is only waiting for the right opportunity.