Apple is an eight-year-old Toy Poodle who unexpectedly entered the lives of Nisha Rajamanickam and her family.
Nisha remembers the day well because it was Pongal, an auspicious harvest festival celebrated by Tamils all over the world.
While out that day, her family members Tasha and Prema spotted a frightened dog on a cross section of a road, running to and fro, trying to avoid getting hit by the cars. She was obviously lost.
Sensing her fear and genuinely worried for her safety, they rescued her. She had to belong to someone, so they spent a considerable amount of time, driving from home to home, trying to reunite the dog with her family. But no one claimed her as theirs.
As a last resort, they took Apple home.
“When I came home, I couldn’t resist but say ‘Yes, let’s keep her if we can’t locate her owner,” Nisha remembers, saying everyone in the family was instantly drawn to her.
“Dad said if we can’t find her owner in the next seven days, he would take it as a sign that God sent her to us on Pongal.”
Nisha adds, that even after waiting a week, no one came to claim her – so Apple officially became the latest addition to the Rajamanickam family.
“She is very loving and intelligent. Everyone falls in love with her at first glance, and that’s why she’s so popular in the neighbourhood too.”
Being an obedient dog, Apple can walk off the leash well and will return home immediately when called.
“She loves car rides and going for walks… the moment she sees someone getting ready to go out or reach for the car keys, she’ll get super excited.
“Just say the words ‘Let’s go’ or ‘walking’ and Apple will run crazily around the house,” Nisha says.
A true carnivore, Apple loves white and red meat and hates vegetables. She makes an exception with fruits though and loves eating the flesh of rambutan and coconut.
“She has seasonal tastes where she will eat the same thing for some time and then will completely go off it,” Nisha explains, adding that Apple eats three times a day – lunch, dinner and supper besides chomping on snacks in between meals.
A confident dog most times, Apple is however fearful of loud sounds and will duck under the bed even if she hears pots and pan banging.
Being a naturally intelligent breed, Apple has a somewhat wide vocabulary and can understand certain words if the right intonation is used.
“For example, Apple knows how to ‘shake hands’ and ‘sit’ and she understands ‘no-no’. She also talks to us, using a special bark to signal that she’s hungry, or when she wants to wish us ‘good morning’.
“If she’s in the mood to play, Apple will happily run and fetch her toys for us,” Nisha says.
Nights are special because that’s when Apple will snuggle up to sleep on Nisha’s bed. “She has her special spot on my bed and her own pillow. And the air-conditioning is a must.”
Nisha says that Apple has brought her family closer together. “Since she came into our lives seven years ago, we realise that we now make the time to play with her and even spend time catching up with each other when we’re home. It was different before when we were more wrapped up in our own, separate lives.”
Nisha adds, “Apple is the centre of our conversations and we’ve shared so many laughs over her antics.”
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PET: FMT Lifestyle readers are invited to send in pictures (landscape format) and a short video (if any) of their furry, scaly or feathery friends to [email protected]. Don’t forget to include details like your pet’s name, age, breed and a short story about them.