…are a pitch black pug called Romeo and Rani the mixed breed
There’s a nice loud bark on the other side of the door at the Maharajsingh residence. As the door opens, the smart mixed breed giving you the once over. That’s Rani, the queen of the house. On the bright white sofas, there is one black cuddly bundle of energy smiling at you with his pink tongue out. You automatically begin to smile and get a wagging welcome from Romeo, the king of the house! These are Aarti Maharajsingh’s babies. Always a dog lover, Aarti has had dogs as far back as she can remember.
Her pearls of wisdom: Accept dogs as they are. Don’t treat them like objects for entertainment, don’t bind them. They should be allowed to do everything they want. My dogs have given me so much, by just being with me.
Rani: Her poise
Romeo: To chill out and be playful
Sheru: Discipline in everything
We can see she practices what she preaches – Rani gets hot chapatis with butter or ghee, and she eats everything that everybody else is. Romeo sleeps everywhere except on his own bed and gets hand-fed by Aarti very often. Now, a little weight control has been advised but while mom tries to get them to jog, she manages a trot out of one and gets disdainful looks from the other.
The eldest in the house was toy pomeranian Sheru who passed away two-and-a-half years ago. He was the pack leader who everybody listened to. Romeo and Sheru were close. After him, almost overnight, Romeo, changed. He became more assertive. “Its difficult to explain, but that’s how it is,” adds Aarti petting Romeo.
Rani always the alert one, needs peace and quiet and no lights to sleep. The tiniest movement and she barks. Romeo can sleep anywhere anytime! He has started barking now, at five years!
A rescue, Rani came home seven years ago when Aarti’s daughter Shrishti saw her on the street. “Barely a month old, she had gashes on her neck and she was following people almost asking to be taken home. I couldn’t let her be there so I brought her back and nursed her to health. Then, there was no way we could send her back on the streets, so she stayed on,” explains Aarti. Five years ago, Romeo, the black pug, joined their family. And Aarti can’t think of it being another way!
She says, “They are completely my babies – from their food to their bathing and vet visits!” You believe that easily when Aarti, talks about the hours she surfs the internet looking for best home remedies to keep Rani’s dry skin under control and for ways to tackle Romeo’s sensitive stomach. It’s all in a days work; as she says, if you love dogs, one does these things for them, just like we do for our children. Be patient and give them a lot of love – they give you theirs, that too unconditionally. Perhaps this outlook of hers has something do with the family she comes from – with links to the famous Dhanji Devshi Kevalani Fund and to the family she married into – husband Aditya Maharajsingh traces his roots back to Rabindra Nath Tagore.
The early days between Rani and Romeo were difficult. Rani had a problem accepting Romeo. She would growl at him, each time he tried to get her to play. But one fine day, a good year and a half later, guests were petting Romeo and out of nowhere, Rani growled at them! Her human family couldn’t believe it. “My husband Aditya, and I were both really surprised,” remembers Aarti. And just like that, Rani became protective about Romeo. Now, they are great friends.
Like Aarti says, understanding and accepting each other does make for a happy family! We wag to agree.
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