As Chuck Palahniuk said, “Find joy in everything you choose to do,” our Dog Mom, Mriganka does exactly the same; she finds ‘Joey’ in everything she chooses to do! Her life has been a ‘Joey’ ride with her beloved pet JOEY – her knight in shining armour. She shares some beautiful instances of being a loving yet responsible dog mom to JOEY…
Tell us about your journey with Joey so far. How and when he came into your life?
Joey came into my life when he was 40 days old. We had just lost our first dog, Panzer, a month back. Being supremely attached to Panzer, I had stopped eating properly, getting out of bed, and all the other times I had whiny mood swings. My whole house looked ghosted after Panzer’s death. Joey came into our lives like a sparkling light at that time and he’s been with us for a year and a half.
‘Joey’ is an interesting name! Is there any story behind this name?
Haha. Yes, absolutely! It comes from the character of Matt LeBlanc in the American comic series ‘Friends’. My best friend, my brother, and I are huge fans of it. One look at Joey and we knew he was the naughtiest and forever hungry, hence the name!
What is Joey’s diet? How do you plan his diet and take care of his nutrition?
After Panzer passed away I had become obsessive about everything related to Joey. I did some courses on dog nutrition and behaviour and after consulting the vet, I decided to put Joey on a home-cooked diet. I prepare all his meals at home. It is a balanced mixture of proteins, fibres, carbohydrates, and fats – everything that a dog’s diet should have. Since puppyhood, I have made him accustomed to eating fruits like papaya, kiwi, banana, apple, and veggies like bottle gourd, broccoli, beans, carrot, cucumber, cauliflower, herbs. I always add curd to all his meals as it keeps his gut healthy. When he is unwell, I give him chicken broth or curd rice. I make ice cubes of glucose so that he eats them when he is weak due to an illness. I always ensure that he has lots of water to drink throughout the day and some ice in summers. Chicken, eggs, and banana are his favourite. For complete nutrition, I add supplements of vitamins, calcium, and fatty oils to his food, which are needed as recommended by the vet.
What is Joey’s favourite playtime activity? How do you treat him when he gets bored?
This is a fabulous question, haha! To be honest, Joey never gets bored. He is extremely pampered when it comes to toys, and every market visit for us means a new toy for him. His favourite game is to fetch and drop in, which he keeps juggling by getting us one toy or the other. If Joey wants to play, no matter what you are doing, you need to stop and play with him. Apart from that, we have a huge garden where he loves to run and chase birds in the evening. If we feel we’ve not been able to give him enough time in the day, we take him for a spin in the car, which he enjoys thoroughly.
This pandemic has been a tough experience for all of us, locked up in our homes. How has been your lockdown experience with Joey?
I feel extremely sad for young puppies and dogs in the current pandemic scenario as they get very little play time and space but fortunately God has been kind to us. We are from the military, so we have the benefit of a huge house with long spread gardens and a safe cantonment area. Joey has all the space and friends over here that he needs to be with, so I must say that he’s blessed as far as space is concerned.
Who is your vet for Joey?
We live in a small city in Gujarat. The Veterinary services are quite limited here; one doesn’t have too many options. Our vet here is Dr. Bhavin Bhatia. But thankfully, he is well-versed with his job and is available 24*7. When I came here initially, I was quite apprehensive since there were no 24*7 facilities for a pet and Joey is super notorious, so I never wanted to take a chance but then we found him and since then life has been easy.
Shed some light on Joey’s grooming routine. How do you choose products for his grooming and hygiene needs? What products are you currently using?
I am an obsessive dog mom when it comes to Joey’s grooming. Since there are no pet parlours here, we do his grooming at home itself. The basic products that I use are a
- Slicker brush – every day after his walk.
- Nail clipper – whenever the nails need to be cut.
- Bathing – once a month, until he doesn’t jump in puddles, with the help of bathing gloves and Himalaya Erina-EP and Capt. Zack shampoo.
- Dog brush and Beaphar toothpaste – twice a week.
- I always use a tick collar and change it every 4 months.
Apart from that, I get his ears cleaned from the vet. I have recently started using a paw balm by Petveda once in a week and a dry conditioner also by Petveda.
Do you take Joey along when your travel?
Yes, almost always! Joey is a happy baby when it comes to travelling. He loves being in a car for long rides. Although during pandemic we have only travelled once between states but we often take Joey to beaches, which are about 3 hours from our place.
Do you have any favourite pet shops or e-commerce sites from where you buy products for Joey?
In this city, we have a well-equipped Pet Boutique called Pet Hut with a wide range of products, which is my go-to shop. Apart from that, the brands that I trust are Himalaya, Heads Up For Tails, Petveda, and Nunbell.
Do you think brands are doing enough to promote responsible pet keeping along with their products?
No. I don’t think so. I will not generalize and say none of them do, but I firmly believe that in our country, we still have a long way to go before brands talk and indulge in responsible pet keeping along with selling or marketing their products.
Summarize your bond with Joey.
It is a bond that I cannot put into words. He is the closest one to my heart and my day begins from taking him out when he starts whining, prepping his meals, playing with him even though I am in between meetings and it ends once he is asleep. About us, now my mother fondly says, ‘Mary has a little lamb’.