Television

Pet Tales with Dentsu Aegis' Ashish Bhasin

Animal Planet Pet Tales' second chapter features Ashish Bhasin and his cocker spaniel

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What’s your favourite pet movie?

101 Dalmatians

What does a typical day with your pet look like?

Simba is more of my daughter’s pet as she insisted on getting him. When we decided to bring him home, I wasn’t a big pet person and so wasn’t in the favour of it. But over a period of time, he just grew on us. He is up and around when I’m up early in the morning. When I come back in the evening and take off my shoes, he comes up to me and wants me to pet him. He tends to turn on his back and wants me to rub his belly. Whenever I am free, he wants me to throw him a bone or a ball and he goes running to fetch it. He really enjoys free space and when we go to our villa in Lonavala, he loves to play till he is completely exhausted.

What prompted you to have a pet? Do you feel having a pet changes your perspective?

I wasn’t prompted but literally forced because of the commitment that I made to my daughter! She is an animal lover and very fond of them. I wasn’t very keen on having a pet but she insisted and forced us all but in hindsight, it turned out to be a brilliant decision and now everybody is very happy and attached to him.

I do think that having a pet changes your perspective about a lot of things as they become a part of the family. Once you have a pet at home, it’s like having a child that never grows old. In many ways, you have to follow similar principles of parenting where you have to be strict and disciplinary when needed and indulgent and playful as well. It’s pretty much like parenting in that case.

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

I don't think a lot of places are that pet friendly in India, and the ones that are, tend to be fairly expensive and upmarket. The old Moshe’s restaurant/cafe had a pet corner where you could have a doggie treat. There is a need for more education and awareness about pets. Most people in Mumbai live in housing societies and they have contradictory points of view where some residents don’t want pets. Besides the public places being friendly, there needs to be more friendliness in the minds of people and a little more acceptance. There also has to be responsibility taken by pet owners to make sure that pets aren’t causing any damage or dirtying public places.

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

All Vodafone ads that involved those little pugs have been my most favourite.

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

I think it has marginally increased but it has a long way to go. I am sure a lot more can be done to make sure it increases even further.

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