Prashanth talks about how his personal journey began when Mass joined him and Arti.
How did Mass come into your life?
P – Mass is a 4.5 years Husky. We together have him since a year and a half. He was a rescue from a shelter. This happened while I am in Ooty, pursuing my photography in a photography school there for 6 months and I wanted a pet. So, I went there looking for a puppy.
Before that I used to not like dogs and I used to be scared of them. There was a dog that traumatised me. Arti on the other hand has always been a pet person and she was pretty supportive asking me not to worry saying everything will be alright. So, I went looking for a puppy but this guy was there, he was 3 years old. His previous owners had abandoned him and could not take care of him. He was too beautiful. I called up Arti immediately and she said pick him up, she said go ahead and pick him up.
How has the shift been, from not being a pet lover and you becoming one?
P – A lot has changed since he has been with us full-time. I feel since he came into my life, I have had my own personal journey – especially about being there for him all the time. He has separation anxiety, given that he was abandoned by his owners. Dogs have anxiety issues when their owners leave them. And I experience this with him. If I leave him and go, he gets restless and anxious wondering where I have gone. He has taken me to be his master, and I struggle too – it’s really difficult for me to leave him and go. For the last one year, I have been doing nothing, I can say, I have become a full-time dad while she is at work working, travelling all around. But it’s been a beautiful journey until now. He has eased into our life and has been a tremendous positive influence in our lives.
Aarti – I think Mass has been P adventure, I can see both of them being such a good team all the time. Mass world is his and his world is Mass and it’s always good to see it. I can see the positive impact in his life. And when you actually see someone who is averse to dogs. He is all about clean everything, clean surroundings. And Mass has tested his patience.
P – I gave in, I refused to fight this and he helped me overcome my OCD.
A – Yes, that’s the truth. You know when we talked to friends, they can’t believe he is someone who has his dogs.
P – I always like this in place. My car used to be spic and span. And don’t ask now, it’s a different scene altogether. But he does not make a mess. It’s only when he is sick and you can’t do anything about his fur. That’s the way things are and you have to accept it as a way of life. And he has helped me a lot
A – he is a ladies man, and you often see that side of him here. He likes it here; he gets all the attention. The guys would like to come and touch him and he does not pay too much attention. But he steals kisses off girls. But he is different to the ladies, he likes their attention. He knows how they react.
How often do you come here?
I come here with friends. In fact, I have been coming here since really long. I know Nagraj since he was a steward. We weren’t here for a couple of years but since we’ve moved back to Indiranagar, we come here, at least once a month or even more than that.
Do you plan things around him?
Always, we are very happy about having a neighbourhood bar which is pet-friendly. It’s a culture that’s developed off late and we really appreciate it. There are places now that are very welcoming of pets and that is a very healthy thing.
Plus, you know and it comes back to his anxiety, you leave him for just a little time also and he will be restless. We got a remark from our neighbour saying he was wailing last night. We stepped out to Bob’s Bar for just a shirt-time and he was wailing. We don’t like leaving him even for a short time, so we are happy with a place like Toit. And places like yours help us him in overcoming separation anxiety. He does not care, If I leave but if Prashanth leaves, of my god. I also leave him at my mom’s house, she lives very close and even there, my mom will have an interesting story t share by the time I come back.
And it’s interesting, even these days even our conversation is around him -what’s his food like? what are we cooking? did he eat something? Because this fluffy man right here likes variety, you try to serve him the same food and NO.
P – he is the child of our house.
A – he is moody.
Describe his personality?
P – cute and grumpy! Very cute and he does get grumpy. And that’s wolves or husky’s traits. We call him wolfie, lovingly.
What about the weather? People often say that they can’t deal with the heat and they aren’t suited for this weather?
That is a myth. Even when I saw him in the kennel, I came back and I thought about it for a week. I looked it up and researched the topic. When It comes to Bangalore, his tolerance is as much as ours. He is indoors and under the fan, but he is totally fine. But if you take a city like Delhi, it wold definitely affect them. I thought through this a lot and if he would be okay. I figured, at home, we have marble flooring, ample balcony space. You give that kind of shaded space and they are absolutely okay.
Interesting experience to share?
We’ve got one for you from yesterday. So, I believe that a dog should never be leashed. But he is a Husky, so he is a wanderer. He is naturally inclined to run away and explore. I always look for opportunities to leave him off leash. Yesterday, we were walking, and I was telling him, that it is always so nice to see him walk on his own. So, we unhooked him, and he sees this couple standing. The girl was sitting on a scooter, the guy is standing and they are just talking. And Mass is used to sitting in front with Prashanth on the scooter. This guy nicely walks, straight towards the scooter and gets on to it. You should have looked at that girl’s face – she was like should I scream or not. And the guy is amused but scared at the same time. And both of us were like, did he really do that.
P -and usually he never randomly approaches strangers. He just walks straight. He is trained to walk towards your left in a straight line. He very rarely does that. Yesterday was something else, he just went to them, looked at them, like he greeted them with a hello, gets on to the scooter and actually sits! I had to go and pull his back. And he never does that.
A – One thing about him is he is not predictable. He has a mind of his own, and at the same time he likes his own space BUT when he wants to be in your space, he can be a bully. He bullies me all the time, bullies Prashanth’s mother all the time. He knows who he can push and test. He knows the ones who give in and mom’s usually give in. But he does not push Prashanth’s boundaries.
P – yes, he has understood that there is one master, they relate to the tone of your voice, it’s something that he has newly developed. And we are happy about that.
A – there was another incident that happened recently. We were staying in Ooty at that time. this boy, this wanderer just ran away into the village. People in Ooty and especially, they’re small villages right and they are not used to dogs looking like wolves. And so, he goes running and people are running helter-skelter, they are running into their houses, shut it because they are thinking there’s a wolf. We used to stay near the valley and people are like your dog is out there. Prashanth is looking for him, calling out saying Mass, where are you? And suddenly we look around and it’s all tea estates around and we see a tale going around the bushes, all you see is the tip of the tale moving speedily across. He was chasing rabbits may be.
Did you both live in Ooty?
No, we were there just for 6 months. I was born and brought up in Bangalore, worked then the US, came back and went to Ooty for 6 months. I was staying with a couple of guys from the photography college and it was a great place to keep a pet.
Are you continuing with photography?
I want to do it professionally, after going there I did a PG in journalism and did not do the professional photography course. Though, photography is more out a personal interest. I am mostly a travel photographer, street photographer. I am also excited about product photography, but I am not looking at anything immediately.
What about you Aarti?
A – want to take a break and just chill for a while.
P – we are at a point in our lives where we are exploring about what else.
Are you planning to take a trip?
*Break Laughs* We literally spoke about this one hour back, in fact we got late by half hour because we were discussing this and thinking about our options. So, just a road trip, take him to the beach and show him around. Take him for 10 days and we both enjoy travelling. And this will be great – because we can go with him. We can look for options now, even booking platforms give you the option of pet friendly. So, we’ve noticed that now, In India they are accepting that pets are a part of your family and people make plans around them. I am extremely happy that the management of Toit and TPR have pet-friendly sections.
P – another thing that we would like to mention is the link between beer and Mass. He is named after glassware, German Bavarian glassware at the Oktoberfest. The standard service of one litre beer, mass of beer. In my travels, I have been there 4 times to the Oktoberfest and I thought this name was ideal
A – Oh no! I love the name, the second was going to be called Might, because I love beer too.
P – And we also have another option – Stein. If the dog is smart then Einstein if he is a dufus then only Stein
Twitter account – @MassTheHusky