Chewy is my second Indie dog.. The earlier one i had adopted was Floppy who lived with us for good 15yrs before saying Bye Bye …. With him, things were very different cos i was living with family, in an independent house and there were people who were available to care for him. But now, with Chewy it is very different. He is a pup who came into our lives after living with his siblings, losing his mom and being cared for by people in the apartment complex. My partner called me one day [I was in Chennai on a visit], and he spoke about this pup trio available for adoption and if we can bring home this boy. I gave him the low down, scared him a little as well [about how hard it is to care and bring up a dog, etc]. He was in and we’ve now had Chewy with us for 2yrs. 

Like I said, Chewy is the first dog am caring for on my own [with my partner], and there is so much we’ve been learning and discovering every day. Indie dogs, those wonderful mutts of mixed breed heritage, bring a whole lot of love (and fur) into our lives. But beyond the endless cuddles and goofy antics, they also teach us some pretty profound things. Here are a few nuggets of wisdom I’ve gleaned from living with my own one-of-a-kind canine companion:

The Joy of the Simple Things: A walk in the park, a good belly rub, the pure ecstasy of a rogue sock – Indie dogs remind us to appreciate the little moments. They don’t need fancy toys or expensive treats; a stick, a puddle, a sunbeam – pure happiness!

Living in the Moment:  Ever seen an Indie dog dwell on a spilled treat? Nope. They sniff it, devour it, and move on. They teach us to focus on the present, to savour the good times, and let go of worries.

Unconditional Love: No matter how stressed I am, or what kind of day I’ve had, my Indie dog greets me with the same enthusiastic tail wags and happy barks. They love us for who we are, flaws and all – a powerful lesson in acceptance. Chewy is a sweetheart, he understands every word we speak, every sign, every movement, and has self trained himself around a lot of things. Initially, when we decided he was old enough to be home alone, we would leave him for half hour, and he would bark or howl, rip bags or cloth that lay around, but now he just lays on the sofa or the floor, looks up at us as we/I leave knowing we are coming back. We leave him home alone for upto 6hrs and make sure we are back home for his meal time. 

Resilience: Indie dogs often come from uncertain backgrounds. Yet, they adapt, overcome, and shower us with love. They inspire us to be tough, to bounce back from setbacks, and to find joy even in the face of challenges.

Embracing Your Uniqueness: Indie dogs are a glorious mix of breeds, a celebration of individuality. They teach us to embrace what makes us different, to be proud of our own unique blend of quirks and talents. We have been spending the last two years trying to understand him, his fears, anxiety, behaviour, food, and work towards making life easy for both of us. We even take him for socialisation sessions to help him learn to be around strangers, vehicles and other animals but not get affected or worked up. 

The Importance of Play: Indie dogs are masters of turning anything into a game – a rogue leaf, a forgotten shoe, even their own tails. They remind us to inject some fun into our lives, to let loose and enjoy the simple pleasure of play. It does not matter how tired or worn out you are, the morning walk has to happen. Chewy is usually up by 4ish, sometimes he’ll tap on the balcony door and ask me to open it. And then will wait till 5ish and nudge me awake for the walk. Sometimes he wont wanna go out, but wanna play. So, we do it for an hour or so. He has that crazy amount of energy and needs to spend it. 

Of course, Indie dog life isn’t all sunshine and belly rubs. There have been chewed shoes, muddy paw prints, and the occasional “creative” landscaping project in the garden. But even those mishaps come with valuable lessons – patience, perseverance, and maybe the importance of a good stain remover!

So, here’s to our Indie companions, the teachers, the fur-covered therapists, the providers of endless entertainment. They may not have a pedigree, but they offer a wealth of life lessons, wrapped up in a package of slobbery kisses and wagging tails.

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