*Aishwarya Majmudar and Barkus

Why do we bring a pet home? What is the need to take care of an animal, feed them and make them happy? The answer is: a pet will always change your life for the better. You will learn life lessons, and learn more about yourselves. Making room in your life for a member who will love you unconditionally touches a part of your heart, and makes an impact on your soul. This is exactly what happened to Aishwarya Majmudar.

Aishwarya remembers growing up with dogs all around her; every time she went to visit a relative’s home, there was a dog at their place. The only house which didn’t have a dog was her own, which she couldn’t stand. “I was adamant, I had to have a dog!” Aishwarya says with a chuckle. Sadly, Aishwarya was allergic to dogs, and her family was unable to keep any dog for very long. This was also the same time when her music career shot up, and Aishwarya put most of her focus on singing career. However, she never gave up on her dream to own a dog. Finally, after trying medication and successfully overcoming her allergies, Aishwarya brought home her first pet, Stitch. One memory that has been burned into her brain is about Stitch and a caterpillar. One day, Stich noticed a small caterpillar on the white marble floor, and was intensely curious. After sniffing around the tiny caterpillar, her dog did something that Aishwarya and her family did not expect. He gently and slowly pushed the caterpillar all the way to the lawn, so that it will be safe and back in the grass. Stitch changed her, and taught her kindness. She firmly believes that pets can teach you valuable life lessons, and she tries to give back kindness every single day, to make the world a little better. After he passed away in April 2020, there was a void left in her life, which could never be filled. “That void, it left a pit in our hearts. Stitch took a little bit of our hearts with him when he left. That is why I couldn’t stay very long without bringing home another dog”. That’s when Barkus entered her life.

Aishwarya remembers texting a friend and expressing her wish to get a golden retriever, so that the comparison with Stitch, who was a Labrador, is reduced. Aishwarya and her parents went to see the two Golden Retriever puppies, and came home with Barkus. “The puppy that hung around its mother the most was the one we got home, because of course it would mostly be with Mom (our mother).” Aishwarya remarks with a laugh and a roll of her eyes.

 Barkus actually chose his own name; Aishwarya and her family had shortlisted around 18 names, and kept calling out different names. Barkus was the one he responded most to. The significance behind the name is two-fold; Bark was derived from the sound dogs make, and the name in Gujarati also means ‘extremely mischievous’, which Barkus completely lives up to.  He completely adores Aishwarya’s mother, and only truly listens to her. He also listens to Aishwarya’s father, who happens to intimidate him a bit. As for Aishwarya herself, she comments that Barkus thinks of her as a toy. “He bites my hair, my chin, my hand, every part of my body he can reach, he will bite; that’s what happens to me”. Barkus is also like an investigator; every morning, he will go to everyone’s rooms to wake them, and is somewhat nosy. He just always wants to be around them. Barkus is also one of the reasons Aishwarya actually wants to stay in Ahmedabad, as opposed to Mumbai. He has become like her little brother, who is incredibly close to her heart. His playful nature, his mischievousness, his pure love for the family, is why he has become an integral part of the family so quickly. He brought so much joy during the pandemic, and made staying at home a delight. “Honestly, he is a blessing.

To have him in our lives means to bring back joy to the household. Every time I go out, I come back knowing that a cutie is going to jump on me and shower me with love, unconditional love”.

 Pets are a daily reminder of the immense amount of love in the world, and how lucky we are to experience unconditional love. Aishwarya and Barkus are the fairy tale story of pure love and joy, even during trying times such as these.

Keep your eyes open for new uplifting stories every month!

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