‘They listen to all my problems, they take my pain on themselves and they give me so much love. People say that I saved their lives, but for me, they saved mine.”
Heads Up For Tails chats with Ambika Seth, the founder of Anamcaara which is a hospitality based company. One of their ventures is called FarmLove- growing chemical free fruits, herbs and veggies to bring to markets in Delhi and Gurgaon.
Ambika adopted 3 Indian dogs- and named them Xoya, Xorro and Xen. She shares with us more about them.
HUFT- Tell us about yourself in a nutshell.
Ambika: I am an entrepreneur, trying to build businesses whose success will trickle down to the grassroots. My work practically consumes most of my life and I feel like stress takes over a lot of my time. The only thing that keeps me sane and brings me unconditional happiness is when I get to come home and get into bed with my three X’s- Xoya, Xorro and Xen. They listen to all my problems, they take my pain on themselves and they give me so much love. People say that I saved their lives, but for me, they saved mine.
HUFT- How did you meet your dog/dogs?
Ambika: My three happened to be part of a litter of 7 that were born in the basement of my office. Not only am I a dog lover but so is my entire team (and those who weren’t got instantly converted!) so as you can imagine, every coffee break meant going down to play with the new pupps in our lives. We did everything from feeding them to vaccinations to even building a dog house when they started to take a walk on the streets! It was getting time to start looking for homes for them and as much as I was dying to take one home, I knew my parents would throw a fit. A few weeks passed and I began to realize how everyday became so much better after having spent time with these pups. So one evening on my way back from work, I decided to just pick two of them up (xoya and xen) and bring them home. (And deal with the consequences after!!). The family of course had one look at them and they instantly became the new members of the seth household.
Xorro’s story is a little more tragic. He was adopted by someone else who then decided to leave him back on the streets. That same afternoon I had told my driver to take him home as I knew someone who may have been interested to adopt him. On my return home that evening, xorro was missing and the drivers and guards said he bit his leash and ran away and no one could find him. That evening, I walked my entire neighborhood asking from door to door if they saw this puppy and luck has it that one house did but they also told me that one of the puppy’s leg got run over by a car and a girl picked him up soon after. We somehow tracked down this girl who told me she gave xorro to friendlicos. So off I went to friendlicos looking for him. I searched every kennel they had and could not spot him at which point, I had lost hope. It so happened that I decided to take one more turn and finally spotted him. I brought him home and it took several weeks for his leg to heal by which time, he became so much a part of the family that there was no way he was not staying.
Out of the 7 pupps, 5 got adopted, 1 died and 1 was still left. Her name is Eman (Meaning Hope) and we decided to adopt her and off course her mother Julie as our office dogs and I mean that very literally. Julie and Eman have their own designated spots in the office where they spend the entire day and in the evenings, they are our night guards for the office!
HUFT- Tell us about them- please describe each of their personalities in a few lines.
Xoya is a true princess in every sense of that word and probably the most friendliest dog I know. When sh
e is excited, not only does her tail go mad taking circles but her entire body does a little sha
ke! When we take her for a walk, she will go up to any stranger just to get as much love and attention a
Xorro is my survivor and probably the most loyal out of the three. He sleeps next to me, shares my pillow and duvet as though it was his own bed and if he catches anyone being mean to me at home, he is the first to give them a mouthful!s she can!
Xen is the calmest out of the three (thus the name) and the laziest!! His laziness is so bad that when he wants to get on my bed, he puts his two paws up and can stay there for hours until you have to physically prop him up onto the bed!
HUFT- Whats the best part of having a desi?
Ambika: They have to be by far the most entertaining breed I have come across. From intelligence to their behavior to the way they express themselves- everyday is something new to discover about them! They are as hardy as you can get, hardly ever fall sick, eat anything and everything and all they want is just a lot of love all the time!
HUFT- What advise would you give to people on adoptions verses buying pets?
Ambika: For me it’s a no brainer. Dogs are not meant to be bought especially when you have the option of giving a dog a home that truly needs one. This is true for both desi and breeded dogs. I find that the whole concept of buying a dog goes against the very essence of getting a dog to be a part of your family.
HUFT- Why do you think people discriminate so much – What can people do in general to help the cause of adopting strays?
Ambika: I think it is a typical case of stereotyping. Desi’s are not “exotic” enough or not “cute” enough for most Indians but it is amazing to see the amount of Desi’s that are actually being flown to all parts of the world because of how amazingly they are perceived to foreigners as they should be. I actually feel ashamed to see that despite being Indian and seeing the massive need adopting desi’s, still only such a few number of people do it. We can change it by bringing more awareness to people, by educating them about all the positive things about adopting a desi but most importantly by simply just knowing that you can save one dogs life. That for me, is more than a good enough reason to adopt a desi.
(Heads Up For Tails salutes people like Ambika, who can open up their hearts and homes to Indian dogs. There are millions of dogs that are starving, being abused and are injured on our roads. We humbly request you to adopt, and not shop for a pet. After all, if we are Indians ourselves then why this discrimination against our Indian dogs? )