A furry valentine is the best valentine

1. WAGGING WELCOME
There is nothing better than coming home to a wagging tail and sloppy kisses. That happy welcome is enough to put an end to a rough day.

2. IN-HOUSE THERAPIST

Think therapy is too expensive? Ever tried furry four-legged therapists? Sessions are done at your home, snuggled up. And the only fee they ask – love and may be some treats too.

3. SHARING SECRETS

There have been so many times I’ve shared so many secrets with Romeo knowing they are safe in his heart.

4. fun CAR RIDES

Going out on a long romantic drive with your favourite music is so much fun. Pets accompanying us on car rides make some of the most cherished memories.

5. FIRST STEP TOWARDS PARENTING


Planning to adorn parenthood? Adopting a pet would prepare you for it. Right from potty training to doctor visits, pamper sessions to behaviour training, it is more or less the same.

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6. MORNING ALARM

The best part about having a pet – you don’t need an alarm clock. Romeo’s brain has a built-in clock. 5 am and he starts dancing on my bed.

7. FURRY PILLOW

Watching a sappy love story, cuddling up in front of the heater, or just sitting with family to gossip, your pet makes the fluffiest pillow. And not to forget how good a quilt they prove to be!

8. SHARING FOOD

‘Whatever you eat, my eyes are on you’ says every pet for all your meals. Food tastes a lot less tasty when I don’t have Romeo around to have a bite or two. Our watermelon sharing being my favourite.

9. UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

If there is one lesson we humans need to learn from our canine companions, it is unconditional love. These furry babies are full of affection. Show them a little warmth and you’ll get an exponential amount in return.

10. PIECE OF HEART

With tiny paws they walk into our homes, and soon they define home and heart. Our pets have such a limited time, cherish each moment and be grateful for their love and shenanigans.

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By
Kritika Manchanda

PET QUERY

Q. My 3-month-old Labrador eats mud and cement. What’s the problem?
—Abhijit Bagade

A.It is normal for puppies to be ‘mouthy’. Most chewing behaviour is due to their strong desire to explore, not because of nutritional deficiency. This type of behaviour may start after a change in the dog’s routine or as a result of boredom. Often, the puppy does not know what it can and cannot chew unless it is shown or told. Provide chew toys or prevent access to unacceptable items.

Exercise and play with your dog regularly to alleviate excess energy and provide positive interaction. Reward your dog with praise for chewing on appropriate items. Put an aversive substance (bitter apple, etc.) on unacceptable chew items. When the puppy begins to chew in the incorrect spot, it should be told “no” and given an acceptable item to chew instead. If the problem persists, seek professional help.

—Dr Umesh Kallahali

READER'S TALK

Unconditional love

I don’t have a pet at my home now but I grew up with dogs in my parent’s house. In my childhood, we had three dogs at different time intervals. One of them was a female, named Julie, and other two were named, Jackie and Jackie! Our first Jackie died at the age of four due to an infection in the stomach. After that my father brought another dog so we named it Jackie again in memory of the previous one.

Now, living in a nuclear family after my marriage and being a working couple with two school-going kids, we can’t have dogs in our house; it’s difficult to manage them but my love for these cute canines can’t be expressed in words. I always communicate with them and understand their body language. Same sort of connection happened with Jimmi, the Labrador of my daughter’s school owner. I used to touch and cuddle her because of my old love and passion for dogs. Jimmi also reciprocated in the same way. Once, after I came back from a holiday, Jimmi was very angry with me as she missed me and kept barking.

After a while, I came to know that she’d be delivering puppies. Jimmi wasn’t able to jump for a hug but she always gave me a sign through her eyes, which was very inviting. Finally, she delivered two cute puppies in winter, and was shifted near a heater for comfort. At that time she wouldn’t come out of the house to see me even after listening to my voice.

After two-three days, when I reached the house, she came out after a while, though very slowly, and stood by me. Then she made a very loud sound, moving her neck back and showed me the place where her babies were kept. She looked in my eyes sadly. I understood that she wanted to tell me that her babies were gone. I confirmed this with her owner. I was amazed to see the way she shared her story. I sat down and kissed her forehead to console her. This is unconditional love.

—Gunjan Srivastava

Are you a proud pet parent? Have a cute cat story to share? Maybe your guinea pig is giving you trouble? Whatever is your creature companion, we are here to listen to you. Send your photos, queries and stories to timeslife@timesgroup.com

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