June 23, 2021

Antorleena Bhaumik on being an unabashedly proud pet parent

We love the fact that Mums and Stories has evolved since the last one and half years. It is indeed a long way ahead and we are ready to change, adapt and continue in our pursuit to connect, engage and interest mothers with stories and initiatives.

Here is a story that goes to our category of ‘Don’t judge me series’. Antorleena preferred writing about her story than a video byte and we just love her attitude and her ability to make individuals open and accept different parents.

Meet the featured pet parent Antorleena Bhaumik

“I had a very happy childhood. Being the only child not only was I treated like a princess by my parents and grandparents. I also spent my childhood with a lot of animals.

We had a German shepherd indie mix dog who was the family dog and was with my grandparents (maternal) long before my parents got married. She was the family dog and 12 years old when she passed on. She was fiercely protective about me and literally guarded me like a nanny.

We had a fish tank full of local fishes and those multiplied manifold and led a happy life. I had lots of birds too as pets too. They wouldn’t fly away even when the cage (it was huge) was open.

In total…I had a very fulfilled life surrounded with pets and I learnt compassion, empathy and kindness and sharing from a very young age.

I have been married for 8 years now and now though my husband is also am ardent animal lover like me – in fact he never had the opportunity of having a pet at home, but longed to have one. We both are passionate about not only our pets but also street dogs and do our bit to take care of 20 plus streeties in our area. This includes feeding, vaccinating, sterilizing and taking care of medical issues etc. My husband has rescued many abandoned animals from the road. And we have fostered quite a few and found homes for them..

In short, our lives are taken over by them!

We have 2 dogs at home -the older one is an 8 and half year old laboratory rescued beagle whom we adopted when she was 4 years old and rescued from a testing laboratory by an NGO named CUPA. Her name is Muffin.

The younger one is 5 and half years old, a male labrador named Rocco, whom we had since he was a puppy.”

Antorleena shares with Mums and stories on how friends and even strangers would ask the pertinent question and be intrusive on when they would welcome a baby in their lives. “Once we were married. – like all couples we also had to face lots of questions on having a human child and all…from random people too. But we never were thinking on those lines.. ‘Fulfillment means different things to different people and a child cannot be the only source of a fulfilled life’.

I wouldn’t say we wouldn’t have made good human parents to a human child. Our child would have grown up with the same values ingrained in us and perhaps he or she would be kind and compassionate.

But being a pet parents and looking after community dogs is a different divine feeling altogether. You also learn to read their body language -you know when they are hungry; when they want go out and when they are in pain etc.

It takes you to a higher level of love and understanding I would say your pets would accompany you throughout the day and night or be there waiting for you to return home…

In my opinion I don’t think any human being is evolved enough to give you so much of unconditional love and selflessness.

We live in a society where we are even expected to lead our lives in a way that societal norms dictate to us. But you have just one life. So why not lead it to make a difference, follow your passion and not let anyone else hold the pen to write your story… because you are capable of writing your own.

My parents and husband have been very supportive…and as I said, my husband and I share the same passion-so there has never been any opposition on this front.

I am a proud stay at home mom to my pets. I am a homemaker. I had worked outside home earlier. But I think what I presently do of helping my street dogs, taking care of my pets and home gives me more satisfaction.”

It is a different perspective and a different kind of parenting and we love this one for its candid admission of being unabashedly pet parent and nothing more.



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