Pet-time stories: Judy allayed my apprehensions of being a pet mom; then came Zoey and Roxy, says Carnatic singer Uma Prakash

Carnatic musician Uma Prakash of Chinmaya Sisters loves dogs and that is evident from the moment we enter her home. She treats them like her babies. As we step inside her home, her three Indies — Judy, Roxy and Zoey — welcome us. And the three of them stay next to her all through our conversation about the musician’s love for Indie pets, having three female dogs and more. She begins, “I have always loved pets. My sister and I used to feed strays that would come to our society when we lived in Mumbai. Once I moved to Chennai, my love for pets remained the same, but I never imagined that I would be a pet mom one day as I have a crazy travel schedule. I didn’t want to have a dog at that time as I didn’t know if I would be able to give it my full attention. But things changed when Judy came into our lives.”
The three musketeers
Uma found Judy, a puppy then, right outside her apartment complex along with a few other puppies. “I put up a post on social media about the puppies. All the male puppies got adopted, but none adopted her. My daughter Subhasree and my sister Radhika’s daughters were keen on bringing her home. That’s how Judy walked into our lives,” she says. And to give her company, they welcomed Zoey to their home. “I saw Zoey on an adoption page and I immediately decided to bring her home,” adds Uma. What about Roxy? “Well, Judy’s mom gave another litter and Roxy, too, was left behind. She had a leg injury and I took her to the vet. I did try to rehome her, but in those few days, she got attached to all of us,” she says.
On adopting Indie dogs, she says, “I can’t save all of them, but this is the least I can do. There are many who adopt, but many of them are still reluctant. I hope the scenario changes.”
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‘Indie dogs need more attention’
Uma says, “I do my bit in whatever capacity I can. I got Judy and Roxy’s mother neutered. She has three legs and I couldn’t see her suffer any longer. Indie dogs need more attention. While I am happy that more number of people are adopting them, a lot more needs to be done. If people in the respective localities come together to help them in any way, it would be great. The government, too, should pitch in.”

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‘If you neuter them, there is no difference between a male and female dog’
Talking about people’s reluctance to adopt female puppies, she says, “I don’t understand this misconception. Yes, they do get their heat cycle. But after a certain age, you have to neuter them for health reasons. And once you do, there is no difference between a male and female dog. I feel there should be more awareness on this, so that female dogs are not left behind.”

‘Indie dogs are easy to train’
Contrary to the notion that indie dogs are difficult to train, Uma says, “Indies make great pets. They are super intelligent and get adjusted to our homes easily. They adapt well to our weather conditions. They are generally fit and easy with their diet, too. Also, they are easily trained as well. They pick up words instantly. So, it becomes easy for us to train them. They also understand human emotions well and are highly intuitive. I think indies are the best,”
says Uma.

Read your dog's body language.

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