|Pets need proper care, protection and emotional support. Make sure that you keep your dearest friend happy all the time.|
|While celebraties may be able to afford bodyguards for their dogs, others have to be careful when it comes to caring for their canines
While the recent disappearance of Raveena Tandon's pet Pomeranian, Rambo, may have been the butt of many jokes, pet owners in the city take the safety of their "best friend" very seriously.
And while keeping a pet is a lot of fun and can boost your social status, it comes with a lot of responsibility.
Having no background on the breed or on keeping a pet, it becomes difficult and impossible for them to keep a pet especially when the pup is teething and acting whimsical all the time. I know people who have traveled to the outskirts. They drop their pets away once they get out of hand," says socialite and dog-lover Aarti Surendranath.
But if your pet goes missing, what is the best way to get them back? Says Anuradha Sawhney of PETA, a dog lover who picks up street dogs to tend them, "There are many things one can do to find a dog. I can speak from personal experience since I lost my dog, albeit for a few hours.
"To find a missing dog, one should create awareness, tell friends and people around that it is missing. I involved 5-6 friends of mine while hunting for my pet. Thankfully, people are now more aware and notice pets, than they did before."
Sharing his experience on a lost and found experience with his buddy, Adfilm maker Prahlad Kakkar says, "Velvet, my Labrador is very home loving. She has never ventured out of the building. But Dumbbell, my Doberman got lost once. He couldn't stand the Diwali crackers and was particularly disturbed. Once he was loafing around, and as the crackers burst he ran as fast as he could, not realising where he was heading. "Luckily, a sweet Parsi man found him and saw he was a domestic dog. He dropped Dumbbell at the Parel animal hospital. In the meantime, we gave many ads in the papers. Dumbbell was popular as he went with me to office, to collect payments from defaulters. The Parel hospital people called up after reading the ads and that's when our happy family was reunited."
"My cocker spaniel, Muffin, is very playful and friendly," says 17-year-old Ashima Bhalla. Asked whether she would let strangers take her pet out on a walk, Ashima replies, "Mumbai is a dog loving city. When I was in Delhi, people just squirmed at the sight of her. However, people here come and cuddle Muffin. Though I don't mind playful pampering, I feel somewhat intimidated when someone wants to walk her. I don't allow it unless it's someone I know."
"My Chihuahua Caesar doesn't venture out with someone he doesn't know. He's a shy sort of guy," laughs Laila Fernandez, a real estate agent.
"Though I do trust my domestic help with him, I get worked up if I don't see him lazing on the sofa at home. He has ventured out alone many times, but thankfully the guards brought him back home."
While Aarti Surendranath feels particularly perturbed by the careless dog owners, she says, "Most dogs are kept at the lap of luxury by people only to boost their social status.
But when taking care becomes a hassle, they easily let go. Many expatriates own dogs but abandon them while leaving the country. What they do not realise is that pets need emotional support.
Many dogs get stolen though most are simply lost when they stroll out alone. PETA's Anuradha feels it is the responsibility of the owner if the pet is lost or stolen.
Commenting on the purpose behind stealing dogs, she adds, "Celeb dogs might be stolen for ransom since owners can be very sentimental and attached to their pets. But many dogs are stolen because they look good and are sold to people who like to take care of that breed."