THE DOGS’ JOURNEY
A pet parent takes her three ‘kids’ along whenever she travels
Lighting up lives is Diwali’s essence. And what’s better than lighting up the lives of stray dogs, by not only adopting them and taking care of them, but also taking them along with you for vacations! In the last three years, Delhibased journalist Divya has undertaken trips across the country with her three pets — all adopted from the street.
“We lost a dog three years back. She wasn’t old or anything like that, but her death sort of made me and my partner realise that how little time we have with them. So we didn’t want to leave them and go travelling, because that was something which we never liked,” she says.
THE DOGS’ JOURNEY
Ever since, Divya along with Tigress (9), Marco Polo (7) and Pari (2) have travelled across the length and breadth of the country, and Divya keeps sharing snaps of their trips on her Instagram page. “The idea, through the posts, is to tell people that with a little of research and planning, you too can plan trips with your pets. Your life and your perspective as a traveller changes when you start travelling with your pets, and that’s the most beautiful thing,” asserts Divya.
RAILWAYS OVER THE ROAD
Because they like to travel long distances, instead of opting for a car, Divya chooses the first-class coach of Indian Railways. “This usually means planning a holiday well in advance, because there are limited berths available in the first-class bogie. They are wellbehaved dogs, and love travelling by train,” she says. “We only look for trains which have a first-class bogie. So for example if I’m planning a trip to Himachal, we take a train till Pathankot and from there we’ll hire a cab to take us where we want to go,” she adds.
REAX ON THE WAY
“For every 10 people who I meet, who hate the fact that I am travelling with dogs, I find two people who are extremely helpful and loving towards them,” says Divya .
She insists that despite the odds, where she met people who were not very welcoming towards her, she has always managed to find people who are willing to “go out of their way” to help them. “Especially in Madhya Pradesh, people have been extremely helpful. We have been to places like Panna, Chanderi and Alipura where they had a ball of a time. And I remember, in Kumaun, there was a temple on a hill top. Even though that temple was in the middle of nowhere, the priest got a packet of biscuits for them and even arranged for water. We applied tika on their foreheads, and they were just too happy,” she beams.
“Every trip has such anecdotes, where people offer us lifts, food and really just do anything to make us comfortable,” she says.
FAVOURITE PLACES TO VISIT
Although they are on a trip to Goa right now, Divya feels that since they are indie dogs, they might not be that excited about visiting beaches. “What they love the most is visiting palaces. I think they love it because it’s like a maze of rooms, with stairs, and they get really happy when they visit such places. They love hiking as well,” Divya says.
A RICH EXPERIENCE AFTER 50 TRIPS
“Before I travelled with them, I always loved travelling. But with them, my perspective has changed. I have become a more patient traveller. In the sense that we would only do one city or village at a time, and spend a long time there. Get to know the people, the way people live, and I think that’s a wonderful thing. The dogs too love travelling now. Every time I am packing their stuff, they get really excited and start jumping,” she adds.