Television

Pet Tales with Mindshare's Ruchi Mathur

Animal Planet Pet Tales series kicks off with Ruchi Mathur and her beagle

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Animal Planet is celebrating the bond that humans share with animals through this heartwarming series called ‘Animal Planet Pet Tales’ on the special relationship that India’s top media executives share with their pets. 

What’s your favorite pet movie? 

I don't really have a favourite pet movie, as I avoid watching movies involving pets. These stories are very emotional in nature and they break my heart. 

What does a typical day with your pet look like? 

Having a pet is a non-stop adventure. It’s like having a baby in the house. The only difference being, the baby grows up after few years, but your four-legged baby will never grow up and that’s the beauty of it. Pets are so full of energy! The moment I get up in the morning, Lego comes up to me to lick and cuddle. That's the only time when he is lazy and laid back and allows me to cuddle him. The rest of the day, he is hyper-active and runs around the house. I love my morning walks with him. It’s just wonderful to see the world the way he explores it and sees it. The one rule that I violate completely is feeding him under the table. Every morning when I have my breakfast, he looks at me with little puppy eyes and I end up feeding him; a feat which I hide from my family. At the end of the day, no matter how hard it has been,all the stress goes away as soon as I come home to my daughter and Lego.

What prompted you to have a pet? 

I don’t think having a pet just changes your perspective, it totally changes your life. From the moment Lego came to our house 18 months ago, to date life has not been the same. Every day he has been absolutely amazing. I strongly believe that every child and every adult should grow up with an animal around them; as it makes them a better human being. 

When I go to the vet it is so heart-warming to see how committed humans are to their pets. Whether it’s a young collegian or a CEO, nothing matters more in that moment than being with your buddy. No board meetings, no client commitments, no assignments. Nothing.That precious Sunday morning is all about waiting patiently at the vet’s clinic to make sure that their four-legged buddies are doing well.

FULL COVERAGE: ANIMAL PLANET PET TALES

Do you think public places within India are pet friendly? If not, what can be done to improve this? 

I am afraid India is not very pet-friendly, and that’s because as a society, our tolerance towards pets is very low. A little tolerance and understanding coupled with an open mind arecertainly needed. The onus of facilitating this change also lies equally with the pet parents. For e.g. I do not allow Lego to roam around the building without a leash. If he relieves himself in the building, then I believe it is my responsibly to clean it up. If I enter the elevator and I see someone is uncomfortable with a dog in that confined space, I voluntarily step out. 

Where I live, there is extreme resistance to me walking Lego in the building. The societycommittee says there are elderly people walking and children playing, so it is my responsibility to ensure Lego is disciplined. I have successfully managed to prove my point after a number of conflicts with the members. The issues were raised in the board meeting and the committee even put up a notice in the building

againstour name saying that it will not be allowed to walk pets in the building. But I absolutely refused to comply to that and stood my ground. It was a long battle and our laws clearly state that a legal action can be taken against people who harass pets and pet parents. I wish a lot more could be done to allow dogs to come to parks and other public places.

What’s been your favourite campaign/ad that involving animals? 

I will be a little bias here but the VIVO V9 ad where Aamir Khan clicks picture of his dog and cat is one of my most favourite. That is simply because the dog in the ad is a Beagle and reminds me of Lego. 

Has adoption of strays really increased today because of media and increased awareness? 

I think there is an increased awareness but when I talk to like-minded people and my friends, I still think a breed is always preferred over a stray. People still don't want to adopt mixed breeds or stray dogs. Yes, there is a lot of awareness being created, but there’s a lot of room to do more.

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