H-U-G-O-B-O-S-S. If the name sounds familiar, keep reading for it's not just the name adorning a pretty looking perfume bottle. We're talking about the real deal here!
Hugo, for those of us who have the privilege of knowing him, recently turned 2 and has his own opinions about the human world. He loves meeting new people and hanging around with them. I've seen him since he was 2 months old. 22 months later, here I am, taking his photos and writing about him. Why? Because knowing him and connecting with him has left an important message with me. Having a pet truly changes your life - reduces your stress levels and makes you privy to a bond which is like no other. I recall the day when I was on the Outer Ring Road and in the middle of a traffic jam, feeling stressed because I had a work related appointment and didn't want to be late. I looked to my left and saw a lab putting his head outside a car window. I saw my tension easing out completely and smiled instantly. I had that urge to meet Hugo Boss and I called up D so that I could come over and see him!
Whenever I've been at D's, I've observed that if you leave him alone for a bit - he has no qualms in coming up to you and offering his companionship. For the longest time he hadn't figured out the mirror and sincerely believed that there was another dog that lived on the other side. However, D tells me that now he likes to put his face against the mirror and look at himself! One day I wanted to know which words he responded to and D sheepishly smiled and said the Hindi equivalent for p-e-e. Immediately Hugo's expression changed and he was up, ready to go for he thought it meant another walk outside! If he makes a mistake, he knows a sweet trick or two and then you completely forget what he did in the first place, hence, forgiving him! The best trick in his kitty so far is when he offers you a hand of friendship by lifting one of his paws. In fact, one day, he greeted me the minute I entered D's place by lifting his paw and that's when it hit me - BAM! This is no ordinary creature!
I've never had a pet (almost never) and till about 3 years ago, hadn't interacted closely with dogs. Hence, it seemed a bit funny and maybe strange when people could go on and on for hours about their pets, their stories. 2 years ago, at a cool bakery in San Francisco (cool because it's so popular that it doesn't have a name and people queue up on the pavements at 4 pm to get their freshly baked bread!), I found myself chatting with this lady who was a complete animal lover - so much so that she didn't travel much because of her pets. She saw me with my camera and was curious to hear about my story. Over a cup of coffee and some hot bread, we exchanged stories about our lives - and she suggested that I should get into pet photography. She was so good with animals that she went on to give me some tips on how to get the attention of cats v. dogs (by mentioning what kind of movements each of these kinds is attracted to). It felt like a far-fetched idea then. It's been 2 years and now, thanks to Hugo Boss, Mischief (another cute dog I know) and 'B' (and the confidence they have instilled in me) I'm able to approach pets/dogs in a completely different manner. I see now, how animals have a personality of their own, very much like human beings. They may not be able to articulate their feelings through spoken words - but perhaps it's all for the good. Less scope for confusion :o
It's also easier for me to see and understand the bond that pet lovers have with their pets. Taking the analogy to a philosophical level, you have to experience an event/phenomena/feeling/emotion to know what something truly means. Therefore, you and I will never know what it means to climb the Mount Everest till we go ahead and do it. And when we do it, it frees a part of us - brings us closer to the 'oneness' of all.
On that note, here are some photographs of Hugo Boss and D :)