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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

A dog is more than just man’s best friend

While we come across scenarios of inhumane treatments towards the canines, here are families who share a special bond with them

05th August 2018, 06:47 Hrs

BASIL SYLVESTER PINTO 


In a fast-paced world where man is caught up with the rat race of one-upmanship he has seldom the time for his furry friend which has now become a status symbol. Then there are other worse case scenarios, where the canines are abandoned and left to fend for themselves on the streets, only to multiply and being termed as menace.  

The outcry for the dogs is stifled by their inhumane way they are treated by humans. Man blames dogs for causing accidents on the roads and rabies too, but who are the actual offenders? The dogs and their litter would not be found on the streets or wandering helter-skelter foraging for their next meal if they were not shown the door; nay gutters.  

But there are a few people that still exist for whom their dogs are not only their best friend or a pet, but much more. They are a part of the family, integrated to celebrating every occasion including having their own birthday celebrated oblivious to their comprehension.  

“Having a pet is a privilege and a massive commitment. It is one of the best journeys life can offer,” states Charmaine deSouza. Her husband Ronald Fernandes and she, have two adult dogs as part of their family.  “Nemo, fostered as a single pup, turns 11 next month. He is a feisty mixed Dalmatian with street dog traits. At his age, he is still amazingly fit and healthy. He is a perfect watchdog and extremely protective. While Nibbles, a cocker spaniel, few months his junior, is gentle and affectionate. She is the perfect nurse dog. When one of us is ill she will not leave our side,” reveals the Caranzalem-based writer.  

Having reached the ‘old phase’ deSouza makes it certain that their birthdays are very special. “Their birthdays are more of a celebration of life. A celebration of another year with them. They do not possess the “birthday” concept. It is more of a milestone for us. We get another year with them,” she stated.  

Living in an apartment gives them all the more reason to stay inseparable from their dogs. “They are wherever we are. They have so many liberties, they are allowed to be wherever they want, sleep where they want. We have never tied them up a day in their lives,” she matter-a-factly said.   

Robin D’souza is a popular cricketer and his affinity for dogs is well-known too. Pint came into his life by chance, and has been an integral part of his life a little over a year since. “I found this little fellow when he was just a few days old on a very rainy night last year with no creature in sight to care for him. I stopped when I heard his little cry, picked him up, a compassionate Robin reminisced. Ever since, Pint as the rescue dog has been christened has been Robin’s boy and has grown to be a well-cared for, a year and three months old young dog. “From the time I have adopted Pint he has had the most loving and friendly personality ever. He is really playful, very eager to meet new people and has a fan following of his own on most social media platforms! He is the ultimate entertainer and really enjoys being clicked, lavished the Old Goa based cricketer. Pint who loves to travel to new places has a peculiar trait. “He loves sitting right on the bonnet of the car every time he goes out for a drive which is exactly what he did on his birthday,” Robin mentioned.  

For banker, Roxyann Gomes and Dr Linoshka DSilva, the Margao-based couple, Bailey came into their lives a year ago with a fascinating story to relate. “Bailey came into our lives when we rescued her as a little pup fighting skin infections, worm infestation and high fever. Right at that moment we opened her into hearts, home and family,” divulged Gomes.  

“I have grown around pets almost all my life, my parents loved animals too but the real challenge was knowing how my wife would overcome her fears of furry animals although we did discuss having pets in the future,” he cited. “The first time Bailey barked, Linoshka jumped up the sofa and refused to come down. Ironically enough, she was the one to voluntarily slide her fingers down Bailey’s throat whenever she made a fuss to take her medication,” he went on to add.  

“It is truly amazing how pets can change us completely. In fact, she is not even a pet, she is a family member. Hence, whatever celebration may come our way, be it the World Cup, a lazy Sunday lunch or special occasions, Bailey is always an active participant,” he averred. 

“So glad she chose us to be her Muggle (non magical people) parents, with July 31 that also happens to be Harry Potter’s birthday,” she enthusiastically stated.  

“I never thought of myself as a dog person or even pet lover for that matter, but Bailey really changed that completely for me. She has taught me patience and unconditional love like no better teacher in life. It is so interesting to see how every dog has their own kind of personality, it has made me become more comfortable with other dogs too,” Linoshka disclosed.  

“We also would like to encourage other dog parents to adopt stray dogs instead of shopping for pets through breeders,” urged her husband.  


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