We want you to share your thoughts, anecdotes, views or stories on a particular subject. Last week we asked you to tell us about your pets in the UAE. Here are your replies.
A page for readers to share their views, thoughts and stories.
We found her on the streets, abandoned when she was just a baby. Now she’s healthy and part of our family. Meet Charlie.
I have been a dog person my entire life, as I had them while growing up. When both my loves passed away, the grief and pain was unbearable.
I always was drawn towards dogs and kept a fair distance from those other four-legged creatures called cats. The first time I came across them was traumatic, as not only was I scratched by them, I was also introduced to the world of injections. So they elicited a fear response in addition to the normal superstition of crossing one’s path.
Then one fine day in 2016 I met this handsome fellow whom we named Whisky. He’s a Persian mix. He came in our lives as my husband wanted (read: demanded) that we get a cat. I was apprehensive – I didn’t know if I had it in me to know how to take care of one. The researcher in me geared up and I went full Google and downloaded everything I could in my pea-sized brain about felis catus.
Boy, was I in for a surprise! Whatever little bit of snootiness that I had acquired in my life was left by the wayside the moment he made our home his kingdom. We are all mere players in his stage and pawns on his chessboard. He has taught me love, patience, warmth, abundance and very importantly, unconditional love. My Whisky, my life.
I have goldfish as pets in Dubai. Watching the fish swim peacefully through the water and the bubbles floating to the surface is relaxing. I can sit and watch our fish dance around in the aquarium for hours. I also have two birds – we have named them Poochie & Tookie.
This bird is a regular visitor to my kitchen garden. I feed him every day and he is not at all scared of me. He always allows me to take his picture. Now he has become my pet.
Neon is my little yellow ball of feathers. He was rescued from the middle of the road on a hot summer day four years ago, with a badly injured leg. We could not save the leg but the spirit of the bird taught us some real life lessons: Not complaining, and sharing and adjusting. We bought another canary, Nina, as a companion for Neon. (Nina recently died.) Neon sings beautifully while sitting on the balcony rail. From both these tiny creatures we learnt love and caring. He is a free bird who flies all around the house.
I have a pet hamster – her name is Snowy (she reminds me of a snowball, hence the name) and she is nine months old.
I feel that meeting Snowy was my destiny. My parents moved to the UAE when I was very young and, growing up, I wanted to have a cat as my pet. The limitations of an apartment made my mum strongly oppose my idea and I dropped it.
One day last June, I happened to be in Barsha waiting for a friend. While I was waiting, I turned to look at the row of shops in the same street. One of them was a pet shop. The idea of buying a pet instantly came back to me. I started walking around and looked at fish, turtles, birds, dogs and cats. I was about to leave, thinking it wasn’t a good idea, when I noticed another section in the pet shop that I hadn’t looked at. The salesman gently nudged me to have a look inside. As I walked into the room, I saw rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters, and the cutest animal I have ever seen, a white dwarf hamster. As I bent to look closer, to my surprise, she walked towards me, looking at me, and placed her tiny hands on the window. She wouldn’t move and kept leaning on the window and looking at me in a way that almost seemed to me as if she was asking me to take her home. I instantly connected and my heart just melted.
She has made a huge difference in our lives. The simple joy of taking her in our hands every day is priceless.
Her tactics keep us laughing all day and she is a delight to watch. She has been a blessing and reminds me to be positive even in the most difficult times.
I own a hamster named Muffin. The first day we got it, it was so scared, so instead of removing it from the cage, I gently patted it from the outside. Then we let it adjust to its surroundings. Soon after, it turned naughty. When my friend came over to stay the night we played with it, then we put it in its cage. My friend went to check on it and saw it had disappeared. Luckily around at 3am, I found Muffin and haven’t lost her since. Muffin hates being woken up suddenly, or someone blowing air on her face. She likes sleeping on someone. I love my hamster a lot!
Both my wife and I love to relax, watching our planted aquarium. We make sure our aquatic friends are always comfortable and well cared for. The picture shows a group of neon tetras. We also have a pet shrimp that likes to rest on our aquatic plants.
Dr Chaitanya Varma
Some 17 years ago, I left my home to come to Dubai and moved into accommodation in Bur Dubai. On my first day, to my amazement, I found a dog on the balcony, and learnt his name was Lucky. He was my first friend in this strange land. From a thin unloved dog, he became the most important part of my life. He followed me everywhere. He used to wait outside the door of my room in the morning.
So two lonely souls found each other. As time passed, we had to move to another house, and it was one of the most difficult decisions. I remember his soulful eyes, saying ‘you need to take me’, but I couldn’t, and a month later he died in an accident. For a long time I felt responsible.
Time passed and we became comfortable enough to own a dog. When my nine-year-old daughter pointed to a dog and said ‘we can call him Lucky’, it was weird – she didn’t know anything of the past. I felt maybe I got a chance to bring Lucky home, some 17 years later. If you really want to find love, get a pet. Remembering my first furry friend, Lucky.
I couldn’t resist emailing about our pets, Ronin and Almaya. Ronin is a rescue dog from Qatar Animal Welfare Society (QAWS) and we adopted him in spring 2012. When I saw on QAWS’ Facebook page that he was up for an adoption, I didn’t hesitate and told my husband that we should check how he behaves with kids, as our son was just six months old. In October, walking him at Sports City in Dubai, I found two tiny kittens under the bridge. We used to name animals by the place where we found them, so Almaya is girl and she got her name from the shop near the bridge. Rugby is a boy and got his name from the rugby playground in Sports City. We managed to find a forever home for Rugby, while Almaya has stayed with us. Now on cool days, Ronin and Almaya enjoy cuddling together – although that was not the case to start with!