Mumbai

Toto rules the roost

Also known as ‘Meher’s little magnet’, the indie one-year-old puppy is the pivot of the Mirza household

On a hot summer day, last week Toto Mirza was taken for a visit to a neighbourhood eatery. Taking Toto to Doolally, although a pet-friendly space, was a risk for his parent, writer Meher Mirza – but the short trip paid off rich dividends. The day jaunt was an experiment by Meher and trainer Varuna Kaur to test Toto’s socialising skills. After months of patience, love, care and focused training, Toto was to be tested on his ability in handling new dogs in a strange environment. To Meher’s delight, Toto passed with flying colours. After a bark or two, Toto quickly settled down to enjoy the afternoon – by making friends with a few schoolkids, ignoring the yappy shih-tzu celebrating a birthday on another table and generally basking in the sunlight.

Toto, a frisky mostly black-with-a-smidgen-of-white indie was adopted by Meher sometime in October last year, when he was abandoned below her building. All three members of the Mirza family are committed to helping animals of any kind. In a spectacular foster fail, Toto wiggled his way into the Mirza household until the family just stopped looking for adoptive parents for him. The bright, energetic seven-month-old indie, Toto was enveloped in love and care from the time he stepped into Meher’s home. “In some way, I think that I wished him into existence, since I’ve always wanted a dog so much,” shares Meher. At first, the Mirzas were convinced that this was to be a short-term foster. Toto, then known as Tommy was quickly rechristened, a plethora of toys and edible goodies bought for him and the family swung into action on training him to be a more confident puppy.

It slowly dawned on the Mirzas, that Toto was firmly ensconced in their lives. They couldn’t be happier. As a clearly besotted Meher says, “We can’t imagine our lives without him.” In the six-odd months that Toto has lived the life of a princeling – the family has worked on assuaging his fears, celebrated his first birthday with a party complete with a generous helping of his favourite paneer – and have given him the best life that a puppy could ever want.

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Printable version | Jun 7, 2020 6:12:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/toto-rules-the-roost/article27006117.ece

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