Calling Elvis with Cleo
He is 8 years old. She is 8months old. He is all wise and gentlemanly. She is a perfect puppy. Together, they have a blast, just as boxers are supposed to! Watching all the drama unfold at the Phadke residence is the grandpa, Masti, the 13 year old dalmatian who is now retired from active life.
Says Sanjay Phadke, an entrepreneur, “Their welcome when I reach home is priceless. Their bountiful energy goes all over the house.” Though Sanjay has had other breeds, he fell in love with the boxer. Sanjay says, “They are easy to maintain, social, very sensitive towards the entire family’s needs and they make you laugh. What more could one want!”
Daughter Raksha, a student and golfer, adds, “We got Masti and found out he had epileptic fits – the result of inbreeding. The vet told us he would live for about six years but with Elvis joining the family, things changed and Masti is 13 today. Cleo, the she-devil basically does everything she wants. She now finally understands that she can’t make Masti play and she is calmer around him. She runs riot with Elvis though.”
Sanjay looked hard to ensure a good lineage for Elvis and Cleo. “I couldn’t find good boxer pups in Pune, so I got them both from Bangalore. Elvis flew in. When I decided on Cleo, I drove to Bangalore to bring her home,” he says. Gorgeous, intelligent and an integral part of the Phadke family, Sanjay can’t imagine having any other dogs.
They love being cuddled and cuddling up too. “So when it gets hot, you will find them by the AC, curled up on the bed. They need to feel their humans next to them,” he says. Not fussy about their food, both Cleo and Elvis enjoy home food as well as packaged food.
Their day begins at 5.30 am when Sanjay heads out to play tennis. “They have to share half a cup of tea with me and a biscuit every morning,” he grins. Then they are ready to run around the garden, sun themselves and go for a walk and generally enjoy themselves.
When it is time for Sanjay to head to work, often times, he has to find a way to get Elvis to return his shoes. “When its time for tennis one of the two will run away with those shoes, when its work time, its those shoes. They always know what to pick and when,” he laughs.
Together, they do everything. Though Cleo doesn’t give a damn about anything, when Elvis, the seriously good boy growls, she listens. And it takes a lot to work Elvis upto a growl.
Training and Rules
Pampered, the two don’t have any particular rules, and luckily they don’t need any. “Cleo didn’t need much of training since Elvis has taught her most of what is allowed and disallowed. Also, I have seen that basic reward based training works very well for boxers, so my work is minimised. A kind word, a kind gesture and a treat is all they need,” he says.
The tough bit is when they find the car door open, they hop in, in an instant!
Boxers need exercise. A lot of it. Else, they will tear up stuff at home. “I make sure that we play with them, take them once a week to run free, go to our farmhouse and generally work their excess energy off,” explains Sanjay. The fun is when they go to their farmhouse.
The duo enjoy playing fetch and invariable take their ball into a pond. As we go closer, they go deeper because they know we won’t follow. Its like they are teasing us,” shares Sanjay.
And we can imagine the brindle twosome fetching a ball…wading into a pond…running around the greenery…and their typically boxer antics.
Uma Karve Chakranarayan is editor and publisher of Tell Tail, Pune’s only petzine and partner, Petsworld, a pet food and accessories store. ’Furholics’ appears every Saturday on Pune365.
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