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"Some Human Beings Are Too Hasty And Careless In Making Decisions, Especially If It Is Related To Their Canine Child": Hulk

04 Aug 2014 | by Neha Manchanda | Posted in: Wag News

Here is an excerpt from a chat we had with Hulk, our new celebrity.

DogSpot: Tell us about your family.
I love my Mom and Dad because they are super awesome and encourage me to walk even when I fall. Dad also gave me his favourite bean bag to sleep on because it was more comfortable. I have a small family; Mom, Dad, Dida and my 2 brothers; Manik Bhai and Leo. Oh, there is also someone called Saurabh who is a distant relative or something. I think Dida is married to him (I don’t know why though!). I don’t like him much because when he comes home he only talks to Dad about all these intelligent things and NEVER EVER gets me goodies.

DogSpot: How and when did you adopt your parents?
Dida (Vidhi) adopted me last year on August 14 from her friend Ditej Garg. Ditej Da had got me from some shelter in Noida. I heard him talking to Dida and telling her how I was left at the shelter by the person who ‘owned’ me because his wife did not like me due to my medical condition.  I fell ill at the shelter and Ditej Da got me home but I needed 24X7 care which was not possible because Ditej Da used to go to college. So Dida took me to her home from Ditej Da’s house and everything else is history. Dida’s Mom started taking care of me and in no time I was as good as normal (even my vet says I am a miracle baby).


DogSpot: You are a survivor of a debilitating disease. How do you manage your day to day activities?
I have a rare genetic disorder called cerebellar hypoplasia which is untreatable. Cerebellum is the part of the brain that is responsible for movement control and coordination. In my case the cells of cerebellum have not matured normally when I was in my dog-mummy’s tummy. When I was a baby, I was unable to get up or walk. I would pee and poop at the place I would lie down which was embarrassing. But Mom always encouraged me to get up and walk. She would hold me up for a few minutes everyday and make me stand. She also made sure I get my medicines every day; twice a day which really helped. Dida also took me for swimming classes (hydrotherapy) which were fun and helped me. Now, I run to the back lawn when I have to relieve myself and also hop around the house all the time. It has been a long journey living normally day-to-day but I take everyday as it comes which helps!

DogSpot: Are you a socially active dog? What about playtime? Do you have friends around?
I am not a social media savvy dog because I do not have the time right now. Till now, I had been focusing on learning and trying to walk. But, maybe I will start writing my diary soon or have my own Facebook page.  Dida does put a lot of my videos and pictures on her page. I know this because at times she dresses me in all these crazy clothes.
I have a lot of Indie friends and Dida lets me play at times. Chuha and Liza are my favourite because they let me sniff their butt all the time. But since they stay outside our home, it gets tough to find them because they are always out on their daily expedition with their mother. There is Brownie too but he is arrogant and growls at me which I do not appreciate. Dida also gets this idiot called ‘Theodore’ or something at home to play with Leo and me but he is always arguing with Leo so I don’t like him either. Oh, Leo is my all time favourite. I love him the most. He is German Shepherd dog and he makes me feel safe. I play with Leo a lot and even when he gets angry with me (when I take his toys) he never says anything to me. I chase him around the house all the time and when I get tired he comes over and tries to help me get up. He acts all hoity-toity but securely I think he likes to have me as his little brother.

DogSpot: Recently another pup was given up in a shelter as he also suffers from cerebellar hypoplasia. What are your thoughts on that?
I think some human beings are too hasty and careless in making decisions, especially if it is related to their canine child. I heard Dida talking to Mom about the pup because he looks just like me and it made me really sad. Imagine being in a shelter with so many dogs barking and fighting all the times. No one can really love you like your family does and with so many dogs the shelter people do not have the time to look after you like your Mom would. It is horrible and scary. When I was in a shelter, I got so many infections that my vet told Dida that there was a possibility I may not make it. I wish the pup’s family would have given him another chance.  I know it is tough to raise a differently-abled dog but people should at least try because at times things become better.
DogSpot: Your parents are extremely proud of you. What has been your proudest moment so far?
Thank you for saying such nice things! My proudest moment was when I learned to walk without support because it gave me the independence I never had. And, now I can climb the bed too! (Which Leo does not like)
DogSpot: What advice would you give to parents who have pups with cerebellar hypoplasia?
Hmmm… Cerebellar Hypoplasia is an inherited disease so I would request parents who have kids with such a condition not to breed their babies. Also, the signs get evident in 2-3 months and do not get worse with the age of the pup. So, I would urge you not to give up your dog thinking that he will get worse. With regular medication and training, your dog will be able to live a normal and healthy life. All parents need to do is accept the fact that their child is differently-abled and then try and work around it. This is a lifelong disorder and parents should learn to adjust their own expectations to the limitations of their dogs.

Hulk as a baby

DogSpot: Have you met other pups or dogs who have neurological disorders? What advice do you give them on coping with their daily life?
Unfortunately, I have not met any pup with a similar condition but if there are more like me out there, they should know that it is possible to live a normal life. My family thinks I am normal and I do everything that a normal dog does. It takes time and a lot of practice but everything falls into place once you accept the fact that you have restrictions that can be overcome. Always remember… one baby step at a time.
DogSpot: Do you undergo any training?
Yes, I go for swimming classes. My family also trains me in an informal manner. They praise and encourage me when I walk and run and that makes a huge impact on my morale.

hydrothrepy dog

DogSpot: How do your siblings help you to go about your daily activities?
My human siblings help me by cleaning me if I dirty myself by mistake or simply by encouraging me when I do something right. Both Bhai and Dida encourage me to walk instead of dragging myself around the house. Dida gives me extra hugs and kisses when I walk toward her instead of dragging. If I drag too much, she simply picks me up and puts me on my feet. Also, Leo is a great buddy. He plays with me and cheers for me when I hop around. At times, I have seen him wait for me to catch up when I am left behind. It’s fun bugging Leo around the house and unknowingly he has helped me learn how to walk and even climb the bed.
DogSpot: We have heard you are extremely close to your parents! How do they help you around the house?
My parents are awesome. I love my parents. Mom is my 24X7 caretaker because Dida and Bhai both go to work. When I was a baby, Mom used to clean and wipe me. She used to change my dirty sheets and made sure I got my food and medications on time. Mom is very particular about my medications and I don’t think she has ever missed my dosage. Dad mostly chills and sits around the house. He is retired person so he has a lot of time for Leo and me. Dad, Leo and I normally sit around the house and talk about random things. We also like to order Mom around and get her to make good things for us. I normally get better treatment than Leo because Mom thinks I am still a baby.
DogSpot: What is your advice to people about their approach to life?
If you believe in something, just close your eyes and give it your best shot and never give up on yourself, even if the world give up on you.

About the Author


"An ardent writer, a devoted pet parent and a foodie at heart, I believe life is all about new experiences and expressions"

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