SILENCE IS THE FIRST STEP TO INNER PEACE – SELF HELP for STRESS MANAGEMENT

October 2, 2014

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: OUTER SILENCE and INNER PEACE – SELF HELP for STRESS MANAGEMENT.

OUTER SILENCE and INNER PEACE 
SELF HELP for STRESS MANAGEMENT

Link to my original post in my academic and creative writing journal:
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

OUTER SILENCE – THE FIRST STEP TO INNER PEACE
WORDS ON A BENCH IN MUSSOORIE
Meditation
By
VIKRAM KARVE

I am feeling hassled. 

I close my eyes. 

I sit in silence.

I relax. 

And I remember those insightful and profound words engraved on a bench in Mussoorie.

I read those words long back, but those meaningful words that have remained etched in my mind forever.

Agar Aap Shanti Chahate Ho To Pehele Shaant Rehena Seekho 


अगर आप शांति चाहते हो तो पहेले शांत रहेना सीखो


Long back, around 20 years ago, I visited Mussoorie.

During one of my long walks, probably on Camel’s Back Road, or maybe near Lal Tibba in Landour, I saw some words inscribed on a bench.

Those words were a truism that has had a profound impact on me ever since.

I will never forget those interesting words written in Hindi on a bench in Mussoorie:


अगर आप शांति चाहते हो तो पहेले शांत रहेना सीखो 


(Agar Aap Shanti Chahate Ho To Pehle Shaant Rehna Seekho)


Roughly translated into English this means:

IF YOU DESIRE PEACE THEN FIRST LEARN TO REMAIN SILENT 

Of course the word  शांत  (shaant)  also means PEACEFUL 

Yes, SILENCE is the sine qua non for PEACEFULNESS.

Once your mind is calm and peaceful you will experience a sense of inner peace.

If your inner peace is disturbed, there will be turbulence inside you, and you will feel stressed out.

The root cause of stress is lack of inner peace.

The first step to stress management is to restore your inner peace, and not allow your inner peace to be disturbed.

And why does your inner peace get disturbed?

Your inner peace gets disturbed because there is too much “noise” in your life.

There is Physical Noise, Information Overload Noise, Emotional Noise.

There is internal noise and external noise.

There is noise around you and noise within you.

There is all sorts of noise and cacophony. 

Noise hassles you, disturbs your tranquility and is the biggest impediment to attaining peacefulness. 

The first step to inner peace is to get rid of all that noise around you and within you. 

Yes, if you want peace you have to shut out the noise from your life.

Go to a quiet place where there is minimal external noise, switch off your noise-making gadgets like cellphones, shut out the cacophony on TV, shut out all the emotional noise which hassles your peace of mind. 

Sit silently in solitude, close your eyes and see how your inner silence dissolves the noise within you and you will experience inner peace and you will be in harmony with yourself.

That’s what I do every morning. 

I sit in silence in the spacious airy balcony of my ninth floor flat in Wakad.

I absorb the tranquil scenic view of the placid waters of the Mula River quietly flowing below, the peaceful verdant hills in the distance, the still atmosphere, the pure fresh air, and I feel a halo of soothing serenity permeate within me. 

Then I close my eyes and let my silence dissolve the internal noise in my mind and body.

It is only then that I experience inner peace and I realize that I am in harmony with myself.

Yes, if you want to be in harmony with yourself, you must have inner peace.

And, outer silence is the first step to inner peace.


अगर आप शांति चाहते हो तो पहेले शांत रहेना सीखो 

If you want peace then first learn to remain silent


Remember this simple piece of wisdom.

Try it. 

Experience the power of silence in calming your mind.

It works. 

You can take my word for it.

Remember the mantra: Outer Silence is the first step to inner peace.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)


This Self Help Article Written by me in 1994 and First Posted by me Vikram Karve in this blog on 16 Sep 2011 at 9/16/2011 01:36:00 PM at url:http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Posted by Vikram Karve at 10/02/2014 11:25:00 AM

ALCOHOLISM – ARE YOU A BORN ALCOHOLIC ?

September 25, 2014

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: BOOZE WISDOM – ARE YOU A BORN ALCOHOLIC ?.

Click the link above to read my original post in my journal.

Article also posted below for your convenience:

BOOZE WISDOM – Part 1
ALCOHOLICS ARE BORN, NOT MADE

Link to  my original article in my academic and creative writing journal: 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

BOOZE WISDOM – Part 1

ARE YOU A BORN ALCOHOLIC ?

I had never touched alcohol before I joined the Navy – and I may have remained a non-drinker (a teetotaller) had I not joined the navy.

In the 1970’s, when I joined the Navy, Naval social life revolved around drinking alcohol.

In the Navy, alcohol was the social lubricant which fostered friendship and camaraderie.

Every occasion called for a drink, and any event, or party, official, social or personal, was celebrated by drinking copious amounts of alcohol.

For a rough and tough sailor, drinking was considered “macho” – a sign of manliness – and non-drinkers were mocked and ridiculed as effeminate weaklings.

In the Navy, and other arms of the military, if you were a robust drinker who could hold his liquor well, you were considered a good officer, and that you had good OLQ (Officer Like Qualities).

Good Officers were those who had great capacities for drinking, and a good naval officer was not supposed to get drunk even after imbibing large quantities of alcohol.

There was a saying: “Officers never get drunk, they only feel nice”.

On the other hand, a teetotaller was considered a sissy.

In a nutshell, the naval social environment encouraged and eulogized drinking, and, as I said earlier, drinking was the mainstay of naval social life (and I am sure the same was true of army life as well).

It was the navy that introduced me to the delights of alcohol and it is in the navy that I acquired my drinking wisdom, or “booze wisdom”, as I call it.

So, dear reader, let me share some of my “booze wisdom” with you.

Cheers !!!

BOOZE WISDOM – Part 1

ALCOHOLICS ARE BORN, NOT MADE
An Alcoholic is Born, Not Made
Incoherent Ramblings of an Retired Alcoholic
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Disclaimer:
These are my personal views based on my own experience. They may or may not be applicable in your circumstances. This experiential “wisdom” may not have any scientific basis. You may please do your own due diligence before you pick up a drink of alcohol.

I AM AN ALCOHOLIC WHO DOES NOT DRINK ALCOHOL

ONCE AN ALCOHOLIC – ALWAYS AN ALCOHOLIC

I am an alcoholic.

I am an alcoholic who does not drink alcohol.

Yes, at present, I am a “teetotaller”.

I am an alcoholic.

And I am a teetotaller.

So I guess you call me an “alcoholic teetotaller”.

You think I am crazy?

Let me explain.

You must have heard a saying:

“All those who drink alcohol do not become alcoholics. But all alcoholics drink alcohol”.

I agree with the first part of the saying.

Yes: “all those who drink alcohol do not become alcoholics”.

But I do not agree with the second part of the saying which says that: “all alcoholics drink alcohol”.

This is not entirely true.

There are many “alcoholics” who do not drink alcohol.

For example, there is me.

I am an alcoholic who does not drink alcohol.

Of course, there was a time when I drank plenty of alcohol.

Let me tell you of the stages of my life as far as alcohol is concerned.


MY LIFE STAGES AS AN ALCOHOLIC

My life can be divided into 3 phases:

1. ABSTINENCE 

From Birth to Adulthood (0 – 21 years) – my student days when I did not touch alcohol.

2. DRINKING DAYS

The Prime Years of my Life (21 – 46 years) – my drinking days when I drank plenty of alcohol.

3. TEMPERANCE

My Acme Years (46 years onwards) – my temperance years of teetotalism after I quit drinking alcohol at the age of 46.


GENETIC PREDISPOSITION and ENVIRONMENTAL PROVOCATION

You may ask me: “How can you be an alcoholic if you could quit drinking alcohol?”

Or in other words: “How can you remain an alcoholic even after you have quit drinking alcohol?”

The answers is YES.

You can remain and alcoholic even after you quit drinking alcohol.

Let me elucidate.

You must have heard a saying:

LEADERS ARE BORN, NOT MADE

In a similar vein, I would like to say:

ALCOHOLICS ARE BORN, NOT MADE

Yes, an alcoholic is born, not made

I was a born alcoholic.

However, I did not get a chance to drink alcohol till the age of 21.

So, I remained a “latent alcoholic” (or you may say a “potential alcoholic”).

At 21, after I had joined the navy, I had my first drink of alcohol.

This first drink activated the “alcoholism switch” in my brain.

I realized how much I loved drinking alcohol.

I enjoyed drinking – and alcohol became an important part of my life.


ENVIRONMENTAL PROVOCATION

In the Navy, the environment was conducive to drinking alcohol 

In fact, the Naval Social Environment “provoked” you to drink alcohol

(Maybe it is the same in the army and some other professions too where drinking alcohol is a part of life and you have to resist if you want to remain a teetotaller)

I realized that, if you are an “alcoholic”, the Navy is probably the best place to be in.

Naval life revolved around drinking alcohol.

In the Navy, alcohol was the social lubricant which fostered friendship and camaraderie.

Sitting in the bar drinking together, on-board and ashore, strangers become friends as they drank together.

Those glorious drinking scenes of bonhomie established enduring bonds of comradeship and friendship which have lasted even till today.

Yes, alcohol was the golden bond of fellowship.

My best friends were my navy drinking buddies, cutting across rank, seniority and age.

In the Navy, every occasion calls for a drink.

Any event, official, social or personal, was celebrated by drinking copious amounts of alcohol.

“Make and mend” days or “stripe wetting” ceremonies were celebrated by “elbow bending” PLDs (Pre Lunch Drinks) where beer was guzzled by the gallon.

Though you did not drink when sailing, whenever you were in harbour, or posted in a shore billet, you drank almost every evening – there were cocktail parties, mess nights, or informal “booze-up” get-togethers of friends, or you just went across to the wardroom, officers mess or club for a drink.

The best of duty-free foreign liquor was available on ships, and ashore too, the bars and canteens were well stocked with the best Indian brands of booze.

In a nutshell, the naval social environment encouraged and eulogized drinking.

If you were a robust drinker who could hold his liquor well, you were considered a good officer, and that you had good OLQ (Officer Like Qualities).

On the other hand, a teetotaller was considered a sissy.

Drinking was considered “macho” – a sign of manliness – and non-drinkers were mocked and ridiculed as effeminate weaklings.

In fact, I sometimes wondered why these non-drinkers had joined the navy, since alcohol was the main attraction of naval life.

Almost every naval officer drank alcohol, and there were hardly any teetollalers.

Drinking was the mainstay of naval social life.

As I told you earlier, PLDs, Cocktail Parties, Formal Mess Nights, Formal Social Calls and informal drinking binges were a regular feature and I felt pity watching the few teetotallers as they suffered a torturous time holding a soft drink for hours while all of us enjoyed our booze during those glorious naval parties.

This alcohol-conducive environment which enthused and provoked drinking was ideal for a “latent alcoholic” like me to turn into a “full blown alcoholic”.

Since I was a “born alcoholic”, I already had a genetic predisposition to alcoholism (alcoholism is in my DNA).

However, till I joined the navy, because I did not drink alcohol, I remained a “latent alcoholic”.

The various reasons due to which I did not drink alcohol as a young student can be summed up as: “in my younger days my environment was not conducive to drinking alcohol”.

So, I remained a “latent alcoholic”.

The moment I joined the navy, the environment became very conducive for drinking alcohol, and this “environmental provocation” was the trigger, impetus and catalyst which transformed my “latent alcoholism” into “full blown alcoholism”.

Thus, “Alcoholism” is a combination of “genetic predisposition” and “environmental provocation


ALCOHOLISM = GENETIC PREDISPOSITION + ENVIRONMENTAL PROVOCATION

Alcoholism” is a combination of “genetic predisposition” and “environmental provocation

We can express this as a mathematical formula:

Alcoholism = genetic predisposition + environmental provocation

I had the genetic predisposition or propensity for alcoholism.

But, in my younger student days, there was an absence of environmental provocation – so I remained a “latent alcoholic”.

The moment I joined the navy, the conducive environmental provocation triggered my genetic predisposition.

The “alcoholism switch” was activated in my brain – and my penchant for alcohol was allowed to manifest and flourish.

Before I realized it, I was on the road to alcohol dependence and full blown alcoholism.

But a time did come when I did realize that I if continued drinking alcohol I would eventually slip into the abyss of alcoholism to the point of no return.

I had seen this happening to a few of my seniors, who had become alcohol dependent, and some had turned into full blown alcoholics.

I have seen this happening in the civilian world too.

Many say that alcoholism is on the rise.

In the strict sense, alcoholism always existed – only is was not visible.

In the past too, there were always many “latent alcoholics” with “genetic predisposition” to alcoholism.

However, due to various cultural taboos and non-availability of alcohol due to prohibition policies, these “latent alcoholics” did not get a chance to become “full blown alcoholics” (due to absence of “environmental provocation”).

This aspect is particularly evident in women.

Earlier, owing to cultural taboos women did not drink alcohol, so many women “latent alcoholics” who may have had a “genetic predisposition” to alcohol did not get a chance to become “full blown alcoholics” since there was absolutely no “environmental provocation”.

Now, drinking taboos are being slowly removed, especially in modern urban society.

The urban social environment becoming more and more conducive for women to drink alcohol.

This gives an opportunity for women who are “latent alcoholics” to become “full blown alcoholics”. 


WAKE UP CALL

The first “wake up call” I got was at a cocktail party around 12 years ago.

I drank 11 large pegs of whisky (almost a full bottle).

However, there was no effect on me.

Neither I, or anyone else, could discern that I had consumed such an enormous amount of alcohol.

In fact, a friend told me next morning about the enormous amount of whisky I had drunk and that he was surprised to see me behaving absolutely soberly.

He wondered as to how I could be normal after consuming 11 large pegs of whisky, when just 6 pegs of whisky made him drunk.

This meant that my alcohol tolerance level had increased enormously – and this was the first danger signal of impending trouble if I continued drinking alcohol.

I decided to stop drinking alcohol.

I had no choice.

I had a “genetic predisposition” to alcoholism.

Alcoholism was in my DNA and there was nothing I could do about it.

So the only option was to tackle “environmental provocation”.

I drastically changed my lifestyle and tried to be in a “non-alcoholic environment”.

Even now, more than 12 years since I quit drinking, I try to avoid “environmental provocation” to drink alcohol.

This has certainly affected my social life.

I avoid occasions and places where alcohol is served.

I don’t keep alcohol at home.

And ever since I stopped keeping booze at home a lot of my friends have stopped visiting me.

You may feel that these may seem extreme steps, and you may laugh at me – but then you are not a “born alcoholic”.

Whether I like it or not, I am a “born alcoholic” – and that is why I have to be careful.


ARE YOU A “BORN ALCOHOLIC” ?

How do you discover if you are a “born alcoholic”?

If you never drink, you will never come to know and that is the best thing.

But the moment you have your first drink, and the “alcoholism switch” triggers in your brain, you will come to know that you are a “born alcoholic” – you will start loving alcohol more than anything else.

And then you know what to do.

If you are a “born alcoholic”, then you have to control the “environmental provocation” so that it does not impel you towards drinking.

Otherwise, the deadly combination of “genetic predisposition” and “environmental provocation” can make you “alcohol dependent” and gradually turn you into a “full blown alcoholic”.

Remember: An alcoholic is born, not made.

Yes: “Alcoholics are Born, Not Made”.

Tell me one thing.

What should you do once you discover that you are a “born alcoholic”?

Is it wise to live in denial and ultimately become a full-blown alcoholic?

Or is it better to be frank like me and candidly say:

“I am an alcoholic and that is why I do not drink alcohol”

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
1. These are my personal views based on my own experience. They may or may not be applicable in your circumstances. This experiential “wisdom” may not have any scientific basis. You may please do your own due diligence before you pick up a drink of alcohol.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)



This is an updated version and repost of my article : ALCOHOLICS ARE BORN NOT MADE posted on this blog on 19 Oct 2013 at url:http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…
First Posted by Vikram Karve at 10/19/2013 03:59:00 PM on this blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Posted by Vikram Karve at 

blogspot.in

9/25/2014 09:49:00 AM

 

 

ADOPTING AND LOOKING AFTER PET DOGS – PARENTING versus OWNERSHIP – Tips on Care of Companion Dogs

September 24, 2014

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: PET DOG – PARENTING versus OWNERSHIP – Tips on Care of Companion Dogs.

Click link above to read my original article in my academic and creative writing journal

Article also posted below for your convenience:

PET DOGS – PARENTING versus OWNERSHIP – Tips on Care of Companion Dogs

Link to my original article in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

PET DOG
PARENTING versus OWNERSHIP
Tips on Care of Companion Dogs
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Disclaimer:
1. These are my personal views based on my own experience. They may or may not be applicable in your circumstances. You may please do your own due diligence before adopting a dog.
2. There are two ways of looking after babies and children. Most parents look after their children themselves. Some parents “outsource” parenting duties to “nannies”. It is similar with dogs – you can either look after your own dog personally or you can “outsource” dog care to a “nanny” who looks after your dog. This article is meant for pet parents who intend to personally look after their dogs. 

ARE YOU READY TO BE A PET DOG PARENT ?

Before you adopt a dog, or any other pet, you must ask yourself:

Do you want to be a ‘pet parent’ or ‘pet owner’ ?

There is huge difference between the two.

Ask yourself:

1. Are you going to look after your dog like your own child?

Or

2. Are you going to “outsource” this “task” of looking after your dog to someone else?

Of course, even in the case of human children, there are two types of parents:

1. Parents who do genuine parenting and look after their children personally.

2. Parents who “outsource” their core parenting duties to someone else, like a “nanny”, or to “surrogate parents” like grandparents or relatives, or send their children away to boarding schools to be looked after by strangers.

It is the same with pet dog parenting – those who parent their pet dogs like in the first category above are “pet parents” and those who emulate the second category are akin to “dog owners”.

As far as our pet dog Sherry is concerned, we are in the first category – we are pet dog parents.

Parenting Sherry has been an enjoyable but challenging experience.

I will not call it “sacrifices”, but we certainly have made many compromises in order to be good pet parents – be it in our careers or in our social lives or in travel, recreation and leisure.

Today, Sherry is a “senior citizen” – and like any senior citizen she has her share of her ailments.

Sadly, she is blind, and she has diabetes.

Looking after a blind diabetic dog is a demanding task and places restrictions on the pet parents.

For example, it has become difficult for both of us, my wife and me, to go out together.

Since Sherry has diabetes, someone has to be at home to ensure she gets her correct food diet and medicines (insulin) at the proper time, and has her regular walks under leash, since she cannot see and cannot be left free.

Since Sherry is blind, she cannot be left alone at home for long, as she has developed separation anxiety due to her blindness; nor can we take her out with us like we did earlier since she gets confused and anxious in unfamiliar surroundings, and also there is a risk of injury, which can be dangerous in view of her diabetes.

Last weekend, there was a social function, and my wife attended alone, and I stayed at home to look after Sherry.

This weekend, we have a Navy Foundation Get-together, and I will be going alone, while my wife looks after Sherry at home.

The bottom-line is, that, like all “pet parents”, we will have to accept these restrictions since we decided to adopt a dog many years ago.

That is why, in the beginning, I said that before you adopt a dog, or any other pet, you must ask yourself: “Do you want to be a ‘pet parent’ or do you want to be just a ‘pet owner’?”

It is easy to adopt a dog, but it is a challenging long term commitment to be a genuine ‘pet parent’ and look after your companion dog for its entire lifetime.

Over the past few months I had written a few articles on DOG CARE and posted them on my blogs.

I thought it would be a good idea to abridge and consolidate all these articles in one blog post for convenience of dog lovers.

DOG CARE – Part 1
ARE YOU READY FOR PET PARENTING?
THREE QUESTIONS YOU MUST ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU GET A COMPANION DOG
DOG CARE – Part 1 – THREE QUESTIONS YOU MUST ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU GET A COMPANION DOG

3 QUESTIONS YOU MUST ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU GET A COMPANION DOG

1. WHO IS GOING TO BE THE PET PARENT?

Are you thinking of getting a pet dog?

Wait.

Before you get that pet dog into your life, answer this question:

“Who is going to look after the dog?”

The person who is going to look after the dog must be clearly identified.

He or she must be ready to take on the responsibility and lifelong commitment required to look after a dog.

Let us assume that you are the person who is going to look after your dog (of course, your spouse, your children may share this responsibility, but if you are the person who is getting the dog into your home, you must be clear that looking after your dog is your primarily your responsibility).

You will have to allocate around 3 hours of you time to your dog every day – for feeding the dog at the stipulated time, for regular outdoor exercising and long walks, at least twice a day, morning and evening, for playing, training, grooming and bathing your dog.

Can your existing lifestyle cater to the demands of dog parenting?

Are you willing to change and curtail your lifestyle for the sake of your dog?

Are you willing to make “sacrifices” in your career and social life for the sake of your dog?

Are you willing to forego travel, vacations and holidays for the sake of your dog?

Dogs like routine, and once you establish the routine, you will have to follow that routine.

And, in order to follow your dog’s routine, you may have to forego many activities and events, and adjust your lifestyle and career commitments.

Remember, whoever is going to look after the dog will have to make “sacrifices” and should be prepared for it.

That is why, before you get a dog, you must have the answer to the question:“Who is going to look after the dog?” and that person must be clear about what this onerous dog-parenting responsibility entails.


2. ARE YOU PREPARED FOR A LONG TERM COMMITMENT TO LOOK AFTER YOUR DOG FOR ITS ENTIRE LIFETIME?

You must think carefully before adopting a dog, because you are making a commitment to that dog for its lifetime.

Looking after a dog is similar to raising a child.

But there is one big difference.

Your children will grow up and one day they will become independent and then they will leave you and go away to live their own lives, to pursue their own careers.

But your dog will remain a child forever, dependent on you for its entire life.

Yes, unlike your human children, your pet dog will remain dependent on you for its entire life and will never go away.

Getting a dog is a long-term commitment because most dogs
live for about 10 years.

When you bring a dog into your family, that dog is yours for life.

They say that one dog year is equal to seven human years.

So, a 10 year old dog is equal to a 70 year old human being.

Thus, you will have to look after your dog for its entire lifecycle – as a small baby puppy, as a naughty youngster, in its middle age, and you will have to take care of your dog in its old age.

The normal lifespan of a dog is around 10 to 12 years.

In the normal course, your dog will die in your lifetime.

This is one more big difference between human children and pet dogs – unless you are an old person, in your 70’s or 80’s, barring accidents, in the normal course, your dog will die in your lifetime, whereas your human children are expected to outlive you.

Thus, when you get a companion dog, you must be mentally prepared for this sad eventuality, in addition to the long-term commitment to lifelong care for your dog.

When you bring a dog into your family, that dog is yours for life.

Your dog’s life depends on you.

So, before you get your dog, keep in mind that you are responsible for the dog’s entire lifetime of 10-12 years and your dog will need your extra care when the dog gets old and is not so healthy, right until its death.

A dog’s illness and death can be a very emotionally draining experience and you may not be able to cope up with it.

Before you get a dog, you must be clear that you will have to look after your dog for its entire lifecycle and you must be mentally and emotionally prepared for the fact that your dog will die in your lifetime so that you will be able to cope up with the grief at the loss of your pet dog.

So the second question you must ask yourself before you get a dog is:

Are you prepared to make a long term pet parenting commitment to look after your dog for its entire lifetime of 10-12 years?


3. DO YOU HAVE THE RESOURCES TO LOOK AFTER A DOG ?

Are your present living conditions conducive for the entry of a dog into your life and home?

Is your house suitable for a dog?

Do you have a bungalow with enough space in the compound for the dog to play?

If you have a flat in a high rise residential apartment building, you should think twice before you get a dog.

Your dog will feel “cooped up” in the flat, especially when you leave it alone inside.

You will have to frequently take your dog down for its ablutions.

Also, many high rise residential societies are not dog friendly and discourage pets.

Keeping a dog also entails expenses on food and health care.

Medical expenses can be quite heavy, especially in the dog’s old age.

It required emotional and physical resources on your part too.

Can you afford veterinary care and food for your dog?

Do you have the financial, physical and emotional resources to look after your dog for its entire lifetime?

So the third question you must ask yourself before you get a dog is:

“Do you have the resources to look after a dog?”


THREE QUESTIONS YOU MUST ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU GET A COMPANION DOG

So, before you bring a dog into your life, you must ask yourself these 3 questions:

1. Who is going to look after the dog?

2. Are you prepared to make a long term commitment to look after your dog for its entire lifetime of 10-12 years?

3. Do you have the resources to look after a dog?

Once the answers are clear, go ahead and adopt a dog.

Pet parenting a dog is a joyful and fulfilling experience.

You will never find a more loyal and devoted friend than a dog who loves you unconditionally.


DOG CARE – Part 2
ADOPTING A DOG
TYPES OF DOG CARE and HUMAN-CANINE RELATIONSHIPS
(4 ways of “adopting” a dog)
Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve

ADOPTING A DOG
4 TYPES OF DOG CARE and HUMAN-CANINE RELATIONSHIPS

There are 4 ways of “adopting” a dog.

In each case the degree of human-canine relationship varies quite a large extent.

Most importantly, in each case, the degree of attachment to the dog varies greatly.

Let me illustrate this point by giving you some examples.

FIRST DEGREE of DOG CARE

When I was in Mumbai, every morning at 6 AM, I would start from my home opposite the Oval near Churchgate, walk down to Marine Drive via CCI, and then go for a brisk walk cum jog to Chowpatty.

Then I would turn back, and walk down to “land’s end” at Nariman Point at the southern end of Marine Drive to do some light exercises.

I noticed that every day a woman would come there in a car.

The moment she got out of the car, a large number of stray dogs would come running to greet her.

She would then sit on the parapet by the sea and feed the dogs biscuits which she had carried with her.

The lady would sit for half an hour, “talking” to the dogs, while the dogs frolicked around her, and after that the lady would leave in her car.

This was her routine every morning.

I will call this the “first degree” of dog care (or human-dog relationship).

SECOND DEGREE of DOG CARE

In the 1970’s, when we were undergoing training near Jamnagar, a female dog gave birth to a litter of 5 pups in the garage of our bachelors’ accommodation.

After a few days, the mother and puppies wandered away, but one puppy remained and could be seen in hanging around the corridor.

We bachelors “adopted” the small puppy.

We fed the dog every day, and soon it started following us around.

We called a vet from town and got the dog inoculated.

In jest, we had named the dog after our hard taskmaster training officer.

The dog started responding to the name.

The dog used to come with us on our jogs, hang around while we played a game, and sit with us in the evenings when we had a drink.

But we never allowed the dog inside our cabins – the dog used to sleep outside in the corridor where we had made a place for him with a blanket and water and food bowls.

When we proceeded to sea for our competency training, we “handed over” the dog to our junior batch, and when we came back a few months later for our second phase of training, the dog was very much there.

We left for sea a few months later and I am sure the dog was looked after by the bachelor officers who came to live in the block after us.

This is the “second degree” of dog care.

THIRD DEGREE of DOG CARE

We saw that in the first and second degrees of human-dog relationships, the dog is not allowed inside the house.

The dog lives outside, either on the street and or in your compound, and you give it minimal care.

I have seen many persons keep rescued dogs below their buildings, either on the street or in the building compound, and they feed the dogs and keep water for them, and, in some cases, ensure vaccinations and minimal veterinary care too.

In the third and fourth degree of dog care, the dog lives in your house.

Let me give you an example of the “third degree” of dog care.

I had a friend in the army who had a dog.

He had entrusted “dog care” to his batman (also called sahayak).

The sahayak was the de-facto master of the dog.

Yes, the sahayak would look after all requirements of the dog – food, water, grooming, walks, exercise etc.

The officer and his family would play with the dog whenever they got time.

But in the same manner as some parents delegate their parenting duties to a “nanny”, the officer had delegated dog care to his sahayak.

Even when the officer and his family went to their hometown on leave or on a vacation, the dog would stay behind with the sahayak.

Like the army, many other organizations like the police or some civil services provide you with attendants who can look after your dog.

If you can afford it, you can hire servants to look after your dog.

In this “third degree” of dog care, your dog is like a child looked after by a “nanny” where you delegate pet-parenting to someone else.

FOURTH DEGREE of DOG CARE

This is the highest form of dog care where the owner treats the dog like his own child.

You look after your dog personally.

You treat your dog as a member of your family, just like your human children, and you do everything possible for your dog like you do for your human children.

You are ready to make sacrifices in your career and personal life for the sake of your dog.

You forgo travel, vacations and holidays, and you cheerfully curtail your social life and make lifestyle changes for the sake of your dog.

You are deeply attached to your dog because you love your dog very much.

This highest “fourth degree” of dog care is very demanding and you should be prepared for a long term lifelong commitment of full time parenting.

Remember, your human children will grow up and go away but your dog will remain a perpetual child.

Your dog will be with you forever for his entire life till his death.

You will have to care for your dog through his entire lifecycle of 10-15 years, including caring for your dog in his old age and you will have to undergo the agony of seeing your dog die before your eyes.

You will have to bear your dog’s medical expenses, which can be quite substantial since veterinary care is costly.

Most importantly, you will get emotionally attached to your dog and your dog will become a very important part of your life.

Are you ready for this highest “fourth degree” of human-canine relationship?

Do you have the time, commitment, temperament and resources to look after your dog?

This highest form of dog care is very demanding – you can take my word for it.

This is genuine pet parenting.


SHOULD YOU ADOPT A DOG?

If you want to adopt a dog, especially a rescued dog, by all means do so.

But please be very clear about the type of dog care you will be able to provide to your dog.

The worst thing you can do is to get your dog used to the “fourth degree” of dog care where the dog gets deeply attached to you and becomes totally dependent on you, and then you “abandon” the dog because you realize that you cannot bear the commitment and responsibilities of looking after your dog or you are reluctant to make sacrifices in your career and lifestyle for the sake of your dog.

So, think properly before you adopt a dog – make sure you do not land up in a situation where you adopt a dog in haste and make the dog suffer later.


DOG CARE – Part 3
LOOKING AFTER YOUR PET DOGS IN THEIR OLD AGE AND ILLNESS
DOG CARE Part 3 – LOOKING AFTER YOUR PET DOG IN OLD AGE AND ILLNESS

LOOKING AFTER YOUR PET DOG IN HER OLD AGE AND ILLNESS

On 05 May 2014, more than four months ago, when my pet dog Sherry was in a critical condition, dangerously ill with a life-threatening illness, in the veterinary hospital, we had two choices:

1. Put her to sleep (Euthanasia)

2. Try our best to save her life and put in all our efforts to nurse her out of her severe illness

We chose the second option.

We decided to look after Sherry in her old age and give her our loving care in her illness, to the best of our ability

Sherry was diagnosed with diabetes and then developed pyometra.

The last one month has passed in a daze – twice a day visits to the veterinary clinic for Sherry’s treatment, her diet, her medicines, her twice a day injections of insulin, sitting with Sherry, feeding her, talking to her and comforting her.

All of us, my wife, my son, daughter-in-law, and daughter, even my old mother and mother-in-law, and, most importantly, the veterinary doctors, we are all contributing, trying our best to save Sherry.

My wife is putting in tremendous efforts caring for Sherry, getting up early in the morning to make food for Sherry, give her the insulin shot, and then in the evenings too, after returning from work.

I try to be with Sherry 24/7 and comfort her, take her for her walks – in her illness, Sherry always wants my company.

On 02 June 2014, the veterinary surgeon had planned to operate Sherry for pyometra, but she was in such poor shape that she was unfit for the operation.

Since the risk of the operation was great, and she had open pyometra, it was decided not to operate but let her be as it is.

Sherry is bravely pulling along, but it seems the diabetes is affecting her eyesight and her vision is getting impaired, and she is showing symptoms of blindness, especially at night.

For us, Sherry is not a dog – she is a member of our family – and we will try and do everything possible for her like we would do for our own children, for Sherry is just like a human daughter to us.

Let us see how things go along. 

Sherry is old now, and ill too, with diabetes and pyometra, and losing her vision.

We will look after Sherry to the best of our ability, give her good loving care, and hope for the best.

For more than 8 long years, Sherry has given us her unconditional love and devoted loyalty.

Now, it is time for us to give her the same love and loyalty in return.

For those who are thinking of adopting a dog, I would like to say one thing:

Before you adopt a dog, ask yourself whether you are fully prepared to look after the dog in its old age and take care of your dog in case it falls ill.

So, before you get your dog, keep in mind that you are responsible for the dog’s entire lifetime of 10-12 years and your dog will need your extra care when the dog gets old and is not so healthy, right until your dog’s death.

A dog’s illness can be a very emotionally draining experience and you may not be able to cope up with it.

Before you get a dog, you must be clear that you will have to look after your dog for its entire lifecycle and you must be mentally and emotionally prepared for the fact that your dog will die in your lifetime so that you will be able to cope up with the grief at the loss of your pet dog.


DOG CARE – PART 4
Human – Canine Relationship
EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENT versus “UTILITY VALUE”
Poignant Love of a Pet Parent
Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve

MY DOG AND ME
Poignant Ponderings of a Pet Parent

MY DOG AND ME

Till Sherry came into my life, I did not know that a human could get so deeply emotionally attached to an animal.

I never imagined that I would start loving my pet dog Sherry so dearly.

And I never expected that Sherry would love me so devotedly and become an inseparable part of my life.

For over 8 years, Sherry had been a tough healthy high-spirited dog.

And suddenly, Sherry fell ill, very ill, and as she lay in a critical condition on the examination table in the veterinary clinic, a frail skeleton, almost a lifeless shadow of her former self, the veterinary doctors painted quite a dismal picture – her blood reports were haywire, she had severe pancreatitis, her abnormal sugar levels indicated she had diabetes, so she could not be operated upon for her severe pyometra – things looked bad, very bad – it seemed that her chances of survival were quite bleak.

They gave us two choices:

1. Put her to sleep (Euthanasia or “mercy killing”)

2. Try our best to save her life and put in all our efforts and resources to nurse her out of her severe illness

While the first choice was being contemplated, I looked at Sherry.

Sherry looked at me.

I cannot forget the poignant loving look in her eyes.

I could read through the language of her eyes that Sherry wanted to live – the yearning look in her eyes indicated that she wanted to be with us.

We too wanted Sherry to be with us for as long as possible.

So we chose the second option, to try our best to save her life and nurse her back to health, and the next few days passed in a daze – daily visits to the veterinary clinic for Sherry’s treatment, her strict diet, her medicines, her twice a day injections of insulin, constantly sitting with Sherry, feeding her, talking to her and comforting her.

It was on one of these days, late at night, while comforting Sherry who seemed to be in agony, sitting with her and cuddling her, I switched on the TV, and what I saw was incredible – a fantastic coincidence.

The scene in the movie on TV was a mirror image of what I was doing at that moment.

Here, Sherry had put her head on my lap and I was lovingly caressing her neck.

And on the screen, there was an old man and a dog sitting in exactly the same manner, and the man was lovingly fondling the dog exactly as I was fondling Sherry.

Was it sheer coincidence, a quirk of serendipity – or was it an enigmatic message for me?

The scene on the TV screen before me was the episode of “Candy and his Dog” from the movie “Of Mice and Men”. 


OF MICE AND MEN

One of the most poignant books I have read is “Of Mice and Men” – a novella written by John Steinbeck, winner of the Nobel Prize.

OF MICE AND MEN was published in 1937 and it was John Steinbeck’s first successful book that brought him fame as an author.

The novel “Of Mice and Men” has been enacted as a play on stage and also has been made into a movie (which I was watching that evening on TV).

The setting of the story is a ranch in California during the Great Depression.

The narrative describes the volatile life on the ranch and the precarious relationships between human beings on the ranch – friendships and tensions between the migrant ranch workers (farmhands) themselves and also between the farmhands and the owners.

One of the book’s major themes, and its most poignant sub plot, revolve around Candy and his dog.


CANDY AND HIS DOG

It is said that a dog is a man’s best friend.

This statement aptly describes the relationship between Candy and his dog.

Candy has had his dog since he was a pup.

It is his only friend and companion. 

Candy has been alongside his dog for all of the dog’s life and has had a close relationship with his dog.

Candy remembers the time when he first got the dog.

He always proudly tells everyone that his dog was the best sheepdog.

Unfortunately, Candy’s dog, once a tough healthy impressive sheep herder, has now become blind, toothless, rheumatic, weak, and is in frail health due to old age.

A dominant ranch worker says to the ranch boss, and to the other ranch-hands present, that Candy’s dog is so old that he can hardly walk, the dog has no teeth, the dog is blind and deaf, the dog cannot chew, so Candy feeds him milk, and he asks the ranch boss to tell Candy to shoot his old dog.

All of them tell Candy that his dog is of no good to Candy, and the dog isn’t any good to itself too, since the animal is in misery due its old age infirmities – so why doesn’t Candy shoot the dog and relieve the dog of his suffering?

The ranch boss says that the dog is no good and remarks sarcastically: “…I wish someone would shoot me if I got old and (became) a cripple…”

All the ranch workers suggest that it would be best to shoot Candy’s old dog.

After hearing everyone, the ranch boss decides that since the sick old dog is a useless burden, it would be best to end its suffering by shooting it dead.

Candy is unable to “let go” and tries his best to hold on to his old blind, deaf and disabled dog for as long as possible.

Candy reminisces and tells everyone about the dog.

He describes the time when he first got the dog and mentions that it was the best sheepdog he has ever seen.

Candy harks back to the time when both he and the dog were useful and of great value to the ranch – he was the best ranch handyman and his dog was the best sheepherder.

Now Candy is crippled, as he has lost a hand in an accident, and he has become too old for vigorous work on the farm.

And Candy’s dog is in a similar situation – blind, deaf, disabled and too old to be of any use.

Candy has had his dog since he was a pup.

His dog is his only friend and companion on the ranch, especially after Candy is crippled after losing his hand the accident.

Candy pleads with everyone not to shoot the dog and begs to save the dog’s life: “…I am so used to him…I had him for so long…I had him since he was a pup…I herded sheep with him…You wouldn’t imagine if you look at him now, but he was the best sheep dog I have ever seen…”

But no one listens to his pleas, and the dominant worker called Carlson takes Candy’s dog outside to be shot and buried.

Candy’s dog is “put to sleep” and Candy is heartbroken when he hears the gunshot.


UTILITY VALUE – FATE OF THE “USELESS” WHO HAVE OUTLIVED THEIR USEFULNESS

The “mercy killing” of Candy’s Dog symbolizes the helplessness of valueless persons.

The dog is a metaphor for Candy himself – old and crippled and not of much use to anyone.

Maybe, for Candy, the fear he feels for his dog’s death is parallel to his own fear that when he has fulfilled his purpose and he is no long effectual, when he has outlived his utility, he too will be disposed of as readily as his dog.

The story of Candy’s dog serves as a harsh reminder of the fate that awaits anyone who outlives his usefulness.

To summarize, in the novel “Of Mice and Men” John Steinbeck has portrayed a poignant situation – the hapless ageing ranch worker Candy realizes that both he and his dog have “outlived their utility” when he helplessly watches the cruel way in which his beloved dog is treated.

Candy’s dog was once a great sheepherder.

But now the dog has become blind, deaf and disabled due to old age.

The dog can no longer herd sheep.

Candy’s dog has lost its usefulness – the dog no longer has “utility value”.

So, since the dog has become “useless” – the dog is shot dead.

Candy finds himself in the same position as the dog.

Candy realizes that just like his dog has lost its “utility value”, Candy himself has lost his “utility value.

Candy is anxious, and he is worried about his own future, and he speculates whether he would be fired from his job – if they could get rid of a “useless” dog, what prevents them from getting rid of a “useless” worker?


ME AND MY DOG

There was a time when I was the sole breadwinner for my family.

I provided for my family and I was “useful” to them.

I worked as a Naval Officer and I was “useful” to the Navy.

Today, after my retirement, as far as the Navy is concerned, I am a retired “veteran”, and I am not “useful” to the Navy anymore.

Also, now, after my retirement, I am no longer the “breadwinner”, and my wife and children are financially independent.

So, as far as my family is concerned, in the “material sense”, I am “useless”.

As I told you earlier, I have a dog called Sherry.

Once upon a time, Sherry was a great guard dog (and for me, a loving companion).

Unfortunately, Sherry has been ill for the past few months.

Today, Sherry is a blind diabetic dog – she has diabetes and has lost her vision due to her diabetes.

Like Candy’s Dog, Sherry too has lost her “utility value”.

So, aren’t we in the same situation as “Candy and his Dog” so poignantly described in John Steinbeck’s masterpiece novel “Of Mice and Men”?

I am “useless” thanks to my retirement.

Sherry is “useless” owing to her illness.

Me and my Dog – both of us have lost our “utility value” and have become “useless”.

Is that why we are holding on to each other?


DOG CARE – Part 5
LOOKING AFTER A DIABETIC DOG – LIFESTYLE CHANGES
LOOKING AFTER A DIABETIC DOG – LIFESTYLE CHANGES – DOG CARE – Part 5

LOOKING AFTER A DIABETIC DOG – LIFESTYLE CHANGES

I had brought out above in Part 2 of this series on DOG CARE (DOG CARE – Part 2 – ADOPTING A DOG) that if you get a dog into your home, there are two basic types of “Pet Parenting”.


BASIC TWO TYPES OF PET DOG PARENTING:

1. You can personally look after your dog

2. You can “outsource” dog care to someone else

(This is akin to human parenting where either the mother looks after her own child or the mother “outsources” childcare to a “nanny”)


PERSONAL PET PARENTING – DIABETIC DOG CARE

We, my wife and me, belong to the first category of pet parents and we look after our pet dog Sherry personally.

That is why we have had to change our lifestyle when our pet dog Sherry got diabetes.

From morning to night, our lives now revolve around Sherry.

Our lifestyle and our routine are now governed by Sherry’s routine of her strict diet and timely insulin injections twice a day.

(We never imagined that we would have to administer injections and that too for Sherry)

We have to make sure we feed Sherry the prescribed diet in a timely manner.

We have to be careful Sherry does not injure herself and keep an eye on her in case she becomes sluggish due to blood sugar levels.

One of us, either my wife or me, have to remain at home during her food and insulin time, twice a day, in the morning and in the evening.

This can affect social life – for example, if there is a social event in the evening, only one of us will be able to attend.

To make matters worse, our pet dog Sherry became blind (this happens to most diabetic dogs).

Looking after a blind diabetic dog is now an even greater responsibility.

We are working on helping Sherry acclimatize to her loss of vision and the results are encouraging.

I think we have been able to keep Sherry in good cheer despite her tragedy and trauma of sudden blindness.

I will write about it in Part 6 of this series on “Dog Care”.


DON’T ADOPT A DOG UNLESS YOU ARE PREPARED TO LOOK AFTER YOUR DOG FOR HIS ENTIRE LIFETIME

It sounds romantic to adopt a dog, especially a rescued dog.

But it is an onerous responsibility to look after the dog, especially when your dog becomes old and ailing with infirmities.

Once you adopt a dog, you will have to look after the dog for his entire lifetime.

If you want to adopt a dog, especially a rescued dog, by all means do so.

But please be very clear about the long term commitment, the resources required (time and costs) and responsibilities of looking after your dog and make sure you are ready for the career sacrifices and lifestyle changes you may have to make for the sake of your dog.

The worst thing you can do is to adopt a dog and then “abandon” the dog because you realize that you cannot look after your dog.

It is most cruel to abandon a dog which has become deeply attached to you and is totally dependent on you.

Unfortunately, nowadays, especially in urban cities, we see that many people are abandoning their dogs once they realize the onerous nature of pet parenting duties and are not willing to change their lifestyle, bear the responsibilities and costs, or make sacrifices for the sake of their dogs.

So, think properly before you adopt a dog – make sure you don’t land up in a situation where you adopt a dog in haste and make the dog suffer later by neglecting or abandoning your pet dog.


DOG CARE – Part 6
BLIND DOG PARENTING – HOW TO LOOK AFTER A BLIND DOG
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

LOOKING AFTER A BLIND DOG

A dog can become blind due to many reasons.

Diabetes is a major reason for loss of vision in dogs – dogs with diabetes develop cataracts which may result in blindness.

Whatever the reason, losing vision and becoming blind is traumatic for the dog and distressing for the owner (pet parent).

A vet once told me that a dog got so traumatized and depressed after becoming blind that the dog had to be put to sleep.

Unlike human beings dogs cannot speak and nor can you explain things to them like you can do to human beings.

Dogs get confused and disoriented when they suddenly become blind.

Pet parents become distressed and anxious when their dogs become blind.

A pet dog’s blindness will necessitate lifestyle changes in both the pet parents and the dog.

As a pet parent, you have to overcome your own personal grief, and you will have to help your dog cope with blindness.

Here are a few things dog owners (pet parents) can do to help their dogs mitigate the effects of blindness and with cope up with the tragic situation of losing vision.


COMFORT YOUR BLIND DOG

You must constantly comfort your blind dog.

Try to always be at your dog’s side, touch your dog, and talk to your dog in a loving reassuring voice.

You must “talk” to your dog much more.

Speak to your blind dog in your normal, cheery voice.

Your voice will be very soothing for your blind dog.

In fact, in the initial stages of your dog’s blindness, lovingly caressing and cheerfully talking to your dog will relieve your dog of the distress, agony and sense of isolation due to sudden loss of vision.

Talking to your dog will provide comfort and lessen the dog’s sense of isolation.

Your voice and your touch will assure your dog of your companionship.

The most important factor in how well a dog copes with blindness is the love and reassurance you give your dog, as a pet parent.

You must remember that despite becoming blind, your dog can continue to be a loving companion – in fact, the bonding between you and your dog will become stronger.


HELP YOUR BLIND DOG RE-ORIENT TO THE ENVIRONMENT

Sudden onset blindness can be much harder for both the dog and pet parent, than a gradual loss of vision.

A dog with sudden onset blindness is plunged into darkness without warning will become disoriented due to which the dog will experience trauma and anxiety.

As a loving pet parent, you must help your dog overcome this disorientation caused by sudden blindness.

One mitigating factor is that dogs do not rely on their sense of vision to the same extent as do humans.

Your dog depends on other senses like hearing and smell

Of all your dog’s senses, eyesight is third in order of importance after hearing and smell.

You can help your blind dog re-orient by facilitating your dog in using these senses of smell and hearing, along with the sense of touch.

It is best to start re-orienting your dog in a known environment – like your home.

Then, gradually extend to other familiar environments, like your dog’s regular walking routes and play area in your compound.

Be patient when you guide your dog in his familiar surroundings.

Let the dog sniff around, recognize familiar smells – and if you are outside – let the dog “mark” familiar spots.

Help your dog “map-out” his surroundings in his mind, both inside your house and outside.

To help your blind dog negotiate his way around, teach your dog “key words” such as “1-2” for climbing stairs, “walkie-walkie” for the dog to follow you, “stop” for your dog to stop whenever there is some obstruction/hazard etc etc.

You will see that within a few days, your blind dog will re-discover and map-out your house and his familiar surroundings.

You must facilitate your blind dog to overcome the disorientation caused by sudden blindness and re-orient himself by allowing your dog plenty of opportunity to explore and sniff around.

Soon, your blind dog will start enjoying going out on walks with you as before.

However, you should be very careful to ensure that your dog does not injure himself, so keep an eagle eye and a tight leash.

As time passes, you will notice that your blind dog’s sense of smell, touch and hearing will become more sensitive and, to a certain extent, this will compensate for the loss of vision.


TAKE PRECAUTIONS TO AVOID INJURIES TO YOUR BLIND DOG

You must take precautions, both indoors and outdoors, to ensure that your bind dog does not injure himself due to his lack of vision.

Remember, a blind dog cannot see things like before – the blind dog can only smell, hear and sense things.

Inside your home, remove all potential hazards, like tables with sharp edges and other obstructions, by rearranging your furniture in order to make your home safe to move around for your blind dog (you must do this quickly, before you start re-orienting your dog to your house).

A blind dog may have a tendency to walk close to the walls in order to avoid obstacles in the middle of the room so ensure you close cupboard doors, slide in all drawers and keep areas near the wall clear of objects so your dog does not bump into them.

Outside, you must keep your dog on a tight leash and be very alert to ensure your dog does not injure himself by stepping onto sharp objects or banging his head or nose into walls or things.

Preventing injuries is particularly important for blind dogs who have diabetes, since curing of injuries is difficult in diabetic dogs.

Do not scare your blind dog by suddenly touching him or by moving objects (like his food bowl) towards him.

Talk to your dog before you extend your hand.

Tap your dog’s food bowl and call out “Food” or “Mum Mum” to your dog and let your blind dog slowly sniff and approach so that he does not injure nose by banging it against the bowl.

Avoid taking your dog to unfamiliar places where the dog will get disoriented and is likely to injure himself.

As I said before, preventing injuries is particularly important for blind dogs who have diabetes, since curing of injuries is difficult in diabetic dogs.


MAKE LIFESTYLE CHANGES TO CARE FOR YOUR BLIND DOG

You will have to keep the “morale” of your blind dog in high spirits at all times in order to prevent your dog sinking into despondency and depression due to his blindness.

For achieving this, you will have to make changes in your lifestyle.

When your dog becomes blind, you will notice that the dog’s personality may change and your dog may become more affectionate as he becomes totally dependent on you.

A blind dog’s constant need for love and companionship may create “separation anxiety” in your dog.

Your blind dog will always want you in close proximity and will hate to be left alone.

Your blind dog may howl in a heart rending manner if he senses you are going out and leaving him alone.

This means, that if you have a blind dog, you or someone from your family will always have to be at home.

You will not be able to go out together.

You will not be able to leave your blind dog at a boarding kennel and go outstation on vacations.

Even if you have to go out on work, someone will have to be at home to look after the dog.

Many people are ready to look after a healthy dog.

But it is difficult to look after a blind dog.

This is particularly so if your dog is diabetic in addition to being blind, since you have to give him the prescribed diet and medicines at the proper times.

So, you will have to give maximum companionship to your blind dog, both indoors and outdoors.

Talk to your blind dog in a cheerful manner, play with him, take him out for walks, and establish your dog’s routines.

In order to help your blind dog adjust better, it is good to take your dog for a walk on the same route where the smells, sounds and feel of the ground are familiar.

Walk slowly and let your blind dog sniff around and help him become comfortable and re-assured.

You will not be able to take your blind dog with you on visits to other places, to avoid disorientation and injury.

In a nutshell, in order to keep your blind dog in good cheer and high morale, you will have to give him constant companionship and spend more time with your dog.

This will entail lifestyle changes involving curtailment of your social life, and may necessitate compromises in your work life too.


BLIND DOG CARE

Looking after a blind dog is a challenging and stressful task.

Words cannot describe the agony a pet parent feels when he sees his beloved dog suddenly become blind and helpless.

Most loving pet parents get terribly distressed when their dog becomes blind and loses his vision.

Remember that your pet dog can sense your emotions, so it is best that you maintain a calm, upbeat, positive and cheerful attitude and do not transmit negative vibes to your blind dog.

You must help your blind dog adjust to vision loss as quickly as possible, and restore your dog’s confidence and keep him in high morale.

Here are some words of sage advice to pet parents whose dogs have become blind:

“What I say to people is, look, your dog couldn’t read, write or drive a car, anyway. He’s already got four other senses that are better than yours. As long as you take good care of him, he’ll be okay.”

~ Nick Whelan, Canine Ophthalmologist, Ontario Veterinary College

When your dog becomes blind, you must lovingly help your dog adapt his lifestyle to compensate for his blindness.

You must bond closely with your dog and develop the dog’s self-confidence so that your dog remains cheerful despite his tragic loss of vision.

When people get dogs they never imagine that their dog can become blind, or develop some other serious disease or disability.

Let me post a poem (I discovered on the internet) in which a blind dog speaks to its “parents”:

I cannot see you Mommy, when you cuddle me so near.
And yet I know you love me, it’s in the words I hear.

I cannot see you Daddy, when you hold me by your side
But still I know you love me when you tell me so with pride.

I cannot see to run and play out in the sun so bright
For here inside my tiny head it’s always dark as night.

I cannot see the treats you give when I am extra good
But I can wag my tail in “Thanks” just like a good dog should.

“She cannot see. The dog is no good” is what some folks might say
“She can’t be trained, she will never learn, She must be put away.”

But not you, Mom and Daddy, You know that it is alright
Because I love you just as much as any dog with sight.

You took me in, you gave me love and we will never part
Because I am blind with just my eyes, I see you in my heart.

~ Sherrill Wardrip


BLIND DOG PARENTING

If you are a genuine dog lover, pet parenting may turn out to be more difficult than parenting your human children.

Your human children will grow up, leave the “nest” and fly away to their careers and to pursue their own lives.

But your dog will be dependent on you for his entire life – you will have to bring him up in his childhood, look after your dog in his old age, and, you will have to endure the pain of your dog dying before your eyes, for dogs only live for around 10 years.

Adopting a dog is a challenging long term commitment – you are committing yourself to look after the dog for the dog’s entire lifetime of about 10 years and care for the dog in its illness and old age.

Remember – it is easy to get a dog, but it is difficult to look after the dog for its entire lifetime.

And, by a twist of misfortune, if your dog becomes blind, let me summarize the essence of Blind Dog Parenting, and recap the 4 points I told you on how to look after a blind dog:

1. Comfort your blind dog

2. Help your blind dog re-orient to the environment

3. Take precautions to avoid injuries to your blind dog

4. Make lifestyle changes to care for your blind dog



(This Series on PET DOG PARENTING to be continued…)

Dear Dog Lover:

Remember: It is easy to adopt a dog, but it is a challenging long term commitment to be a genuine ‘pet parent’ and look after your companion dog for its entire lifetime.

Do comment and tell us about your Dog Care and Pet Parenting Experiences and Views.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
1. These are my personal views based on my own experience. These pet parenting tips may or may not be applicable in your circumstances. You may please do your own due diligence before adopting a dog and develop your own ways of looking after your pet dog.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)


Posted by Vikram Karve at 9/24/2014 03:16:00 PM

OBIT – REQUIEM FOR A SOLDIER – In Remembrance of Brigadier Pratap Dattatraya Joshi (6.3.1932 – 22.9.2008)

September 22, 2014

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: “REQUIEM” FOR A SIMPLE HONEST PATRIOTIC SOLDIER ON HIS 6th DEATH ANNIVERSARY – OBITUARY – In Remembrance of Brigadier Pratap Dattatraya Joshi (6.3.1932 – 22.9.2008).

Click the link above to read the blog post in my academic and creative writing journal.

Article also posted below for your convenience:

“REQUIEM” FOR A SIMPLE HONEST PATRIOTIC SOLDIER ON HIS DEATH ANNIVERSARY

Link to my original post in my academic and creative writing journal: 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

OBITUARY – In Remembrance of Brigadier Pratap Dattatraya Joshi (6.3.1932 – 22.9.2008)

Today is the 22nd of September 2014  the sixth death anniversary of my late father-in-law Brigadier Pratap Dattatraya Joshi who we affectionately called “Daddy“. 

How time flies! 

He passed away in the early hours of 22 September 2008.

Six years have passed since the inimitable Pratap Dattatraya Joshi left for his heavenly abode. 

Lest we forget him, on this day, his 6th death anniversary, let me sound the “Last Post” once again.



As a token of my remembrance, here is the obituary LAST POST I wrote for him when he left us for his heavenly abode on the 22nd of September 2008.

LAST POST

Obituary

Brigadier Pratap Dattatraya Joshi  (6.3.1932 – 22.9.2008)

In the early hours of the 22nd of September 2008, Pratap Dattatraya Joshi, breathed his last, and departed for his heavenly abode, at the Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital in Pune.

Pratap Joshi was an epitome of simple living and high thinking. 

Born on the 6th of March 1932, he imbibed sterling values from his father, DP Joshi, a Teacher and Scout, a legend in his lifetime.

Brigadier PD Joshi was a product of the prestigious First Course of the National Defence Academy (NDA – or 1st JSW, as he liked to call it, then located in Dehradun).

Brigadier PD Joshi was certainly not the archetypal pompous hard-drinking handlebar-moustachioed high-falutin “Colonel Blimp” type of Army Officer.

He was not an elitist snob, but a simple honest patriotic professional who believed in grassroot soldiering. 

He was a simple, down-to-earth, Spartan, unassuming, dedicated, sincere, patriotic, scrupulously honest, erudite person possessing a golden heart filled with humility and compassion. 

Throughout his distinguished career spanning 37 years, and even thereafter, he spread happiness, benevolence and goodwill owing to his cheerful disposition, kind-hearted nature and inimitable sense of humour.

Forever young at heart, Pratap Joshi did not suffer from the Auld Lang SyneComplex. 

After retirement, unlike most retired “faujis”, he never lived in the past, languishing and brooding about the “good old days”, but he moved on with exceptional enthusiasm and childlike zeal to his new loves – music and social work.

Starting from the scratch, he studied classical music with sheer dedication, resolute grit and passionate zest for many years till he was bestowed with the prestigious post graduate degree of Sangeet Alankar. 

Then he taught music to one and all, free of cost, making special efforts to teach the needy and underprivileged.

Travelling extensively, and roughing it out in the heart of the mofussil, to rural and far flung regions, he made a significant social contribution to enhancing primary education in backward areas, as the Chief Trustee of the Natu Foundation Educational Trust. 

He eagerly contributed his expertise to Jnana Prabodhini and for improving the efficiency of Hospitals.

Pratap Joshi loved animals, especially dogs. 

He always had pet dogs, and showered his unconditional love on them and all the dogs that he came across in the neighbourhood, pet and stray. 

It was distressing to see Dolly desperately searching for him soon after he had gone away from us forever. 

We shall always remember the love with which he snuggled and cuddled Sherry, our pet dog, a “Doberman-X” girl, when she was a baby.

He had a genuine zest for living, and enjoyed every moment of his life, indulging himself in his favourite foods, movies, travel, music – anything he liked, he did it! 

He laughed, and made others laugh.

I first met Pratap Joshi in March 1982 and he left such a lasting impression on me that I became his fan ever since. 

He was my father-in-law, more like a loving father who I could count on to stand by me, advise and inspire me, in happiness and in adversity, and I shall forever cherish every moment I shared with him. 

My son, a seafarer, was his favourite grandchild, the apple of his eye. 

It was a pity he could not be with his beloved grandfather during his last moments as he is sailing on the high seas. 

Such are the tragedies and travesties of life, and death.

We will miss you dearly “Daddy”. 

You lived your life to its fullest and loved all of us from the bottom of your heart. 

We are sure you will shower us with your blessings from your heavenly abode. 

You were a noble and virtuous man who always did good to everyone you met and wherever you went. 

Pratap Dattatraya Joshi  (6.3.1932 – 22.9.2008) – RIP.

May His Soul Rest in Peace.


VIKRAM KARVE

Obituary First Posted on 22 September 2008 in my Blog at url link:http://karvediat.blogspot.in/200…

HANKY PANKY – STORY OF A SPICY EXTRA-MARITAL AFFAIR

September 19, 2014

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: EVERY DOG HAS HIS DAY – STORY OF A SPICY EXTRA-MARITAL AFFAIR.

Click the link above to read the original post in my creative writing blog: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/09/every-dog-has-his-day-story-of-spicy.html

EVERY DOG HAS HIS DAY
A Spicy Extra-Marital Affair
Short Fiction – A Love Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

From My Creative Writing Archives:
One of my earliest stories – a hilarious romance.
I wrote this story than 10 years ago – in the year 2004.
This story also features in my short fiction anthology COCKTAIL 
Do let me know whether you liked the story.

EVERY DOG HAS HIS DAY – A Hilarious Romance By VIKRAM KARVE
I never reminisce.

It makes me nostalgic, poignant, and melancholic.

But there is one thing that I love to hark back to, revisit in my mind’s eye from time to time, and have a hearty laugh.

A vivid memory of quite long ago – whenever I recall it – I always burst out laughing. 

And so will you when I tell you about it.

It happened long ago – fifty seven years ago – in the year 1956 to be precise.

It happened in far-off tea-estate country, in a remote corner of India, almost in the back of the beyond – the place was then still a relic of the Raj.

I shall not tell you the place, and I will also change the names; for we just want to have a laugh, don’t we?

There was a handsome planter. 30. Let’s call him Roy.

And he had a most beautiful wife. Let’s call her Helen.

A dashing couple. An ideal match – made for each other – at least from the outside.

“Please. I’d like to have a word with you,” Roy sidled up to me at the bar in the Planters’ Club one cold wintry evening.

“Sure,” I said, pointing at the bar-stool. “Come, join me for a drink.”

“Not here,” he said looking at the crowd, “It’s very personal.”

“Okay. Let’s go outside.”

I ordered two whiskies; we picked up our drinks, and went out on the lawns.

It was dark, desolate and chilly.

“I don’t know how to say it,” Roy hesitated.

“Just say it,” I said.

“I want you to keep an eye on my wife,” he said.

“Something serious?” I asked.

“I think she is having an affair,” he said, “Someone visits her whenever I go out on my weekly tours.”

“You’re sure?”

“Not really. But I suspect. There are those telltale signs.”

“Like?”

“She seems a bit too satisfied, fulfilled, happy – how can I describe it – especially when I return home from tour. And there is a strange gleam in her eyes. And now-a-days she is overly polite and considerate towards me. I suspect she is up to some hanky-panky. ”

“Hanky-Panky? Well this is really your private matter. You know I really shouldn’t ….”

“Please,” he interrupted, “you’re the only one I can trust.”

He seemed so desperate that I had no choice. “Okay,” I said, “I’ll need to see your place, and meet your wife too.”

He told me the way to his tea-estate and next morning I was on my way, driving up the hair-pin bends on the steep windy road in my open jeep with my ferocious Doberman, Bruno, sitting beside me.

It was a lonely bungalow atop a hill surrounded by tea gardens. 

Roy welcomed me and introduced me to his wife.

“I’m Helen,” she said looking into my eyes for that moment longer than could be considered polite greeting.

She looked so ravishing that it was with great effort that I could take my eyes off her.

No wonder he was so insecure – anyone with such a beautiful and stunningly sexy wife always feels vulnerable. Especially, clots like him – I wondered why dopes like Roy always got the most gorgeous wives.

We indulged in some small-talk, and it was only after lunch that I brought up the subject. “Mrs. Roy, you must be feeling very lonely out here, isn’t it? Especially when Mr. Roy goes out on his tours.”

“Oh yes, she does,” Roy interjected.

“No, No. I don’t feel lonely at all,” Mrs. Roy said. “In fact, I love being alone. And don’t call me Mrs. Roy – call me Helen!”

“Why don’t you drop Helen off at the club on your way out and pick her up on your way back from your tour?” I suggested to Roy. “She can make some friends, play tennis, cards, tombola, a movie, and party – do whatever she likes and then stay for the night at the guestroom. She’ll always have plenty of lively company at the club”

“I prefer my solitude,” she said.

“She even sends the servants away,” Roy complained.

 “I told you I like my privacy,” she said, a tinge of irritation in her voice.

She seemed quite obstinate, the tone of her voice slightly hostile, so I changed the subject.

“You like dogs?” I asked her.

“I love dogs, adore them,” she said excitedly. “We always had pet dogs back home. I have been telling Roy to get me a nice dog to keep me company, but he hates dogs.”

“Your prayers are answered,” I said, and I led Helen to my jeep where Bruno was sitting obediently.

“A gift for the charming lady,” I announced holding Bruno by the collar and making him smell her.

Bruno instantly took a liking for her, wagged his tail and nudged affectionately against her.

She was overjoyed.

Roy apparently wasn’t too enthusiastic, but I silenced him with a stern look.

On my way out, when I was alone with Roy, I confided in him, “We will catch the lover-boy now. Bruno is the best guard dog in our kennel. I trained him myself. Just leave him in the verandah when you go out at night. He is deadly ferocious – whoever is up to hanky-panky with your wife –well, the lover boy is going to be ripped apart from limb to limb.”

A wicked smile appeared on Roy’s face as in his mind’s eye he visualized his wife’s mysterious lover being devastated and mutilated by the ferocious dog.

That evening many things happened. 

Roy left on his tour, viciously excited, probably relishing in his imagination what was going to happen to the unknown “lover” that night.

Later that night, after a furious bout of lovemaking, Helen lying fully satiated in the arms of her lover, asked her passionate lover, “How did you manage? That ferocious dog did not even bark!”

Her lover gently took her to the window, drew the curtains, and said, “Look!”

In the verandah they saw a totally exhausted Bruno, coupled with a beautiful she-dog, both interlocked, pointing in opposite directions, dog-tired after a vigorous bout of lovemaking and mating.

The mysterious lover mischievously looked at Helen and naughtily teased her, “Tell me, which dog can resist the charms of a hot-blooded bitch in full heat?”

Helen looked at Bruno, and then at her lover, which was me.

Helen laughed and said teasingly to me: “You hot-dogs! You have both been upto hanky-panky, haven’t you?”

“Yes,” I said, tongue-in-cheek, “Every Dog has his day!”

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
This Story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)


Posted by Vikram Karve at 9/19/2014 03:50:00 PM

 

Why do people TATTOO – Thrill Fashion or PDA ?

September 3, 2014

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: TATTOO.

Click Link below to read my original post in my journal:
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Article also posted below for your convenience:

TATTOO
Fashion Thrill or Public Display of Affection (PDA)
Musings
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Getting permanently “inked” seems to be getting increasingly popular day by day.

Some have visible tattoos on their bodies, while some have tattoos in private places of their bodies.

Some get names of their lovers inked on their bodies, maybe as a Public Display of Affection (PDA).

Some like people who have a tattoo, some are indifferent and some disapprove.

There are organisations that do not approve of tattoos.

A young man told me that he wanted to join the Army but could not do so since he had a Tattoo.

I was surprised.

I did not know that the Army does not allow individuals with Tattoos to join up.

Traditionally, Tattoos were associated with Navy Sailors.

Merchant Seamen and Naval Sailors, who sailed across the high seas to distant lands, came back with exotic tattoos inked on their bodies as a testimony to their travels and as a permanent memory of the ports they had visited.

So, the tradition of tattooing, or permanently inking your body, soon became associated with sailors – men who sailed the high seas to exotic destinations.

I do not know whether the Indian Navy allows tattoos.

I do not have a tattoo nor did I see any of my shipmates get themselves inked with tattoos on their bodies, but I have seen a few merchant navy sailors with tattoos.

Do the Indian Army and Air Force allow tattoos?

I do not know.

But I once saw an Army wife with a beautiful tattoo inked on her body at a most curious place.

I once read a story about a lovey-dovey celebrity couple who got each other’s names tattooed, permanently inked, on their bodies as an expression of mutual love.

A few years later, the lovers had a break up and separated.

Now, after the break up, the tattoo of love became a symbol of hate, and they wanted to get their tattoos removed, and in the laborious process they ended up damaging their skin.

Tattoos are painful to get inked – so I really wonder why people are willing to undergo pain just to ink their skin.

I never felt the need to get a tattoo.

I have always wondered why so many people, especially celebrities, like to ink their bodies permanently with tattoos.

Let us try to answer the moot question, try to fathom the mysterious question:

Why Do People Have Tattoos ?


WHY DO PEOPLE HAVE TATTOOS

Whenever I see a person with a tattoo, I get intrigued.

Why do people have tattoos made on their body?

Why do some beautiful persons stain and blemish their soft flawless skin?

Why do they go through the expensive and painful process of inking?

What is the reason people want to have a tattoo? 

In order to understand this mystery I decided to go into the basics of human behavior.

Tell me: “Why do you behave in the way you do?”

You behave in a certain way to satisfy your needs at that point of time.

In fact, all your behaviour is governed by your intrinsic motivation to satisfy your needs.

Yes, your needs influence your behaviour.


HUMAN BEHAVIOUR IN A NUTSHELL 

The process of human behavior can be summarized in four steps:

1. A need is aroused within you

2. You behave in a way to satisfy the need

3. The need is satisfied

4. You relax


So, what do you think are the “needs” that motivate a person to have a tattoo?

What are the “needs” that motivated you to get a tattoo, if you already have a tattoo?

Or, if you intend to get a tattoo, what is motivating you get your body inked?


WHAT “NEED” MOTIVATED YOU TO HAVE A TATTOO

Do you have a tattoo?

Yes?

Do tell us:

What was the “need” you wanted to satisfy by having a tattoo?

Was it the need for thrill and adventure?

Did you have a tattoo to satisfy your need to seek attention?

Or is your tattoo your way of expressing your sense of rebellion in order to satisfy your needs for freedom or self-expression?

Did you have a tattoo due to peer pressure to satisfy your need to belong orconformance or identification with a group?

Historically, tattoos were used to brand slaves – so maybe you wanted to be “branded” as someone’s “slave” so you got that person’s name tattooed on your body.

Is that the reason you got your lover’s name tattooed on your body – to fulfill your need to show off your love or your need to be dominated.

Did you want to display to the world that you “belong” to your lover and you are his “slave” and vice versa?

Is your tattoo a Public Display of Affection (PDA) ?

What will happen if you break up with your lover whose name is tattooed on your body?

Someone once told me that people have secret tattoos in hidden places on the body which no one can see – like at the base of the spine on the lower back just above the derriere.

It is a mystery as to why people have such tattoos, but obviously they are satisfying some need.

Maybe, some have a need for secrecy or sensuality or exclusivity.


DO YOU REALLY WANT TO PERMANENTLY INK YOUR BODY WITH A TATTOO ?

They say that tattoos are expensive, painful and permanent.

I also heard that tattoo removal is even more expensive and painful.

I read an article once that in many cases tattoo removal may be ineffective.

I do not know whether it is true, but someone told me that it is impossible to actually remove a tattoo – you can lighten it, nothing more.

And you may never get back the flawless skin that you had before you got the tattoo done. 

If your skin is sensitive, it may get damaged or discoloured forever.

I am sure that before a person decides to have a tattoo done on their body, they know all these implications.

But their “need” is so strong and overpowering that it motivates them to go ahead and satisfy their need by getting a tattoo.

Like I said earlier, historically, tattoos were used to brand slaves

In ancient times, tattoos were used as a mode of communication between spies.

Once upon a time, members of some mafia used to wear symbolic tattoos to identify as members of a certain crime syndicate.

Seamen and sailors came back with tattoos, a tradition that would soon become associated with men of the sea.

But all this happened in ancient times.

I wonder why so many people have tattoos in this modern age.

If you have a tattoo, or intend getting a tattoo, maybe you can answer this question and tell us:

“Why do you want to have a tattoo?”

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
1. These are my personal views. Whether to tattoo or not to have a tattoo is your prerogative, but do so with due diligence.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. All examples and tips are illustrative in nature. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)
     
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.



Revised and Updated version of my Article First Posted by me Vikram Karvein this blog at 8/26/2013 04:49:00 PM at url: Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve

SELF HELP – HOW TO CONTROL YOUR BEHAVIOR

September 3, 2014

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: HOW TO MANAGE YOURSELF – UNDERSTANDING HUMAN BEHAVIOUR – YOUR NEEDS INFLUENCE YOUR BEHAVIOUR.

Link to original article in my journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/09/how-to-manage-yourself-understanding.html

Article also posted below for your convenience:

Self Help and Self Management

UNDERSTANDING YOUR OWN BEHAVIOUR

HOW YOUR NEEDS INFLUENCE YOUR BEHAVIOUR
Musings
By
VIKRAM KARVE


NEEDS DRIVE YOUR BEHAVIOUR

You see a man driving his car very fast, quite recklessly and dangerously.

You wonder why he is doing so, why he is behaving in this reckless way.

Well, there can be many reasons for his behaviour.

1. Maybe he is driving fast to experience a sense of thrill 

(to satisfy his need for excitement).

2. Or he may be driving fast to save time 

(to satisfy his need for urgency)

3. Or maybe he is driving fast to reach his destination on time 

(to satisfy his need for punctuality)


Thus, the same behaviour or action may have different motives depending on the need you want to satisfy at that point of time.

This is one simple example, but all your behaviour is governed by your intrinsic motivation to satisfy your needs.

Motivation is a psychological drive that arouses you to act in a certain way to achieve your desired goal which is satisfaction of your needs.

Thus, motivation is the psychological driving force that stimulates goal directed behaviour towards your desired goal.

Remember: Your desired goal is the “satisfaction of your need”.

For example, hunger is a motivation that elicits a desire to eat and satisfies your need for food, or, at a very basic level, your need for survival.


SIXTEEN (16) BASIC NEEDS THAT INFLUENCE HUMAN BEHAVIOUR

According to Professor Steven Reiss there are 16 basic desires or needs that guide nearly all human behaviour.

Here is the list of 16 basic needs that influence your behaviour (in alphabetical order):

1. Acceptance, the need for approval

2. Curiosity, the need to learn

3. Eating, the need for food

4. Family, the need to raise children

5. Honour, the need to be loyal to the traditional values of your country/clan/religion/ethnic group/profession/society

6. Idealism, the need for social justice

7. Independence, the need for individuality

8. Order, the need for organization – for organized, stable, predictable environments

9. Physical activity, the need for exercise

10. Power, the need for influence of will

11. Romance, the need for sex and for beauty

12. Saving, the need to collect

13. Social Contact, the need for friends (peer relationships)

14. Social Status, the need for social standing (importance in society or at the workplace)

15. Tranquility, the need to be safe

16. Vengeance, the need to strike back, to retaliate, to take revenge for perceived injustice


PROCESS OF MOTIVATED BEHAVIOUR

Of course, as you will realize, this list is not all encompassing and there are so many other needs that influence your behaviour.

Some of these “needs” are tangible, and some “needs” are intangible.

Why do you behave in the way you do?

You behave in a certain way to satisfy your needs.


FOUR STEP BEHAVIOUR PATTERN

The process of human behaviour can be summarized in four steps:

1. A need is aroused within you

2. You behave in a way to satisfy the need

3. The need is satisfied

4. You relax


HUMAN BEHAVIOUR IS NEED MOTIVATED”, VALUE DRIVENand SITUATION SPECIFIC

You have seen how it is your needs that influence your behaviour. 

The way in which you behave to satisfy your needs depends on yourvaluesattitude and mindset at that point of time.

Yes, it is your values and mindset which will influence you to behave in a “certain way” to satisfy your needs in a given situation.

Your behaviour is value-driven and situation-specific.

For example, the need for romance will be satisfied by different persons each in their own unique way depending on their values and the situation.

Some may satisfy their need for romance by indulging in platonic love whereas others may resort to physical sex.

From the moment a need is aroused and till it is satisfied you will be in a state of tension which will “motivate” your behaviour.

Yes, during the period between “need arousal” and “need satisfaction” you will experience a sense of tension, a condition of unrest or uneasiness, which will propel you to behave in a certain way.

Once the need is satisfied you will relax.

Needs can be immediate, short term or long term.

When you cannot satisfy a need you will experience feelings offrustration.


HOW FRUSTRATION AFFECTS YOUR BEHAVIOUR
(ADAPTIVE and MALADAPTIVE RESPONSES)

The degree of your frustration will be related to the magnitude of the unsatisfied need.

Your frustration will affect your behaviour and may cause you to behave in different ways.

You may find a new and acceptable way of reducing or substituting the (unsatisfied) need in order to make it attainable (adaptive response)

Or, you may continue futile efforts to achieve the unattainable need(maladaptive response)

One of the typical maladaptive responses to frustration is aggression. 

Another is to go into depression or indulge in negative activities like alcohol addiction.

I have seen many individuals turn to alcohol when their need for success was frustrated.


CONCLUSION

Reflect on your own behaviour in the past few days (or recall some of your own memorable behavioural fiascoes or those you have witnessed).

Explore the dynamics between your needs and your behaviour.

Is there a connection between your values and mindset and way you behaved in certain situations?

Your “needs” influence your behaviour 

Do you agree?

Please comment and let us know.

Whenever you behave in a certain way, introspect and analyse which was the “need” that drove you to behave in that way.

Now you know that the key to changing your behaviour is to work on changing your needs.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. All examples and tips are illustrative in nature. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.



This a revised and updated version of my article first posted on Wednesday, August 21, 2013 by me, Vikram Karve, in my blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve (Posted by Vikram Karve at 8/21/2013 12:45:00 PM) at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Posted by Vikram Karve at 9/03/2014 10:47:00 AM

MILITARY LEADERSHIP OLQ PARADOX – “YESMANSHIP” versus LEADERSHIP – HOW CAN GOOD FOLLOWERS MAKE GOOD LEADERS?

August 21, 2014

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: MILITARY LEADERSHIP – CAN GOOD FOLLOWERS MAKE GOOD LEADERS – “YESMANSHIP” versus LEADERSHIP.

Click the links above to read my original post in my blog

The article is also posted below for your convenience:

Link to my original post in my blog: MILITARY LEADERSHIP – CAN GOOD FOLLOWERS MAKE GOOD LEADERS – “YESMANSHIP” versus LEADERSHIP

“YESMANSHIP” versus LEADERSHIP

HOW CAN GOOD FOLLOWERS MAKE GOOD MILITARY LEADERS ?
Ramblings of a Retired Mind
By
VIKRAM KARVE

LEADERSHIP IN UNIFORM

THE “OFFICER LIKE QUALITIES” (OLQ) NON SEQUITUR

If you wonder why, at times, the military leadership seems clueless on taking decisions well within it purview and seeks “guidance” from politicians and bureaucrats, maybe the answer lies in the promotion policies of the Military Human Resource (HR) Management System.

The promotion policy of the navy (and army) is based on the premise:

“Good Followers make Good Leaders”

Yes, promotion in the military is based on absurd logic, a contradiction in terms, on the non sequitur:

“You have to learn how to follow in order to lead”

Is this statement not an incongruity in itself?

How can the ability to lead depend on the ability to follow ?

It is just like saying that the ability to swim depends on the ability to sink

Good Followers carry out decisions made by others. 

Followers are required to blindly obey orders without questioning.

Good Followers are not expected to use their own ingenuity.

They must simply “do what they are told”.

Good Followers must never act on their own initiative or “make waves” or “rock the boat”.

Good followers are “yes-men”.

The basic hypothesis of the military promotion system is: “good followers make good leaders”

Hence, in the military, it is mostly “yes-men” who rise up the promotion ladder and get catapulted to leadership positions.

Ideally, in theory, “officer-like-qualities” like professional competence, integrity, patriotism, honesty, straightforwardness, single-mindedness-of-purpose, brashness, and the ability to call a spade a spade by bluntly speaking out your mind, are desirable in combat officers.

However, in practice, especially in peacetime cantonment soldiering, these very same idealistic “officer-like-qualities” may adversely affect the career prospects of an officer in comparison to his more “tactful” morally-pliable peers who “ego-massage” their superiors, practice “yes sir yes sir three bags full sir” yes-man-ship and grovel with sycophancy in front of their seniors.

Well, I have seen this happen in the military services, but when I see so many“yes-men” masquerading as leaders in the civilian world too, especially in politics and bureaucracy, it seems that this absurd non sequitur paradox“Good Followers make Good Leaders” is universal in nature.

YESMANSHIP versus LEADERSHIP

ONCE A “YES-MAN” ALWAYS A “YES-MAN”

In his book “On The Psychology of Military Incompetence”, Norman Dixon quotes Liddel Hart:

“A lifetime of having to curb the expression of original thought culminates so often in there being nothing left to express”.

Similarly, after grovelling and bootlicking for 30 years to “earn” his promotion to high rank, how can you suddenly expect an officer to instantaneously metamorphose from “a dog in obedience” to “a lion in action”.

With continuous dedicated practice of  good “followership”, meek obedience becomes your trait and subservient yes-man-ship becomes your nature.

Once “yesmanship” becomes your natural trait, you will continue to be a good follower irrespective of whatever rank or level of authority you attain.

There is truth in the saying: Once a “yes-man” always a “yes-man”.

Good followers are competent at carrying out orders, while good leaders are competent at making decisions and giving orders.

Yes, a leader is required to take decisions.

“Yesmanship” stifles decision making ability.  

In the long term, continuous practice of “yesmanship” kills leadership qualities.

Thus, when a yes-man is promoted to a leadership position he cannot take decisions himself and hence he keeps running to his superiors for even the smallest of issues though these may well be within his purview.

Is this not visible in the senior military leadership of today who keep running to their political and bureaucratic masters seeking advice for decisions which may well be within their scope or may be purely tactical or military in nature?

Do you see this lack of good decision making capability in the political and civilian leadership as well?


FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Many of the greatest military leaders throughout history, who achieved success on the battlefield and victories in war, were notoriously poor followers, especially in peacetime soldiering. 

In fact, in many cases, had it not been for war, many of them may not even have been promoted. 

(One such example in India is Field Marshal Manekshaw who may have retired as a Major General had it not been for the 1962 war).

Let me end with a quote:

Thousands of moralists have solemnly repeated the old saying that only he can command who has learnt to obey.

It would be nearer the truth to say that only he can command who has the courage and initiative to disobey.

William McDougall, Character and the Conduct of Life (1927)


Dear Reader: What are your views on “YESMANSHIP” versus LEADERSHIP – CAN GOOD FOLLOWERS MAKE GOOD LEADERS?

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.


This article first posted by me Vikram Karve on 28 April 2013 at 4/28/2013 02:35:00 PM in my blog at url: DO GOOD FOLLOWERS MAKE GOOD LEADERS – Absurd Logic – The Promotion Paradox

Posted by Vikram Karve at 8/21/2014 01:55:00 PM

DOG CARE AND COMPANIONSHIP – ME AND MY DOG

August 3, 2014

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: MY DOG AND ME.

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/08/my-dog-and-me.html

Click link above to read my original article in my creative writing blog

Article is also posted below for your convenience:

MY DOG AND ME
Poignant Ponderings of a Pet Parent
By
VIKRAM KARVE 

MY DOG AND ME

Till Sherry came into my life, I did not know that a human could get so deeply emotionally attached to an animal.

I never imagined that I would start loving my pet dog Sherry so dearly.

And I never expected that Sherry would love me so devotedly and become an inseparable part of my life.

For over 8 years, Sherry had been a tough healthy high-spirited dog.

And suddenly, Sherry fell ill, very ill, and as she lay in a critical condition on the examination table in the veterinary clinic, a frail skeleton, almost a lifeless shadow of her former self, the veterinary doctors painted quite a dismal picture – her blood reports were haywire, she had severe pancreatitis, her abnormal sugar levels indicated she had diabetes, so she could not be operated upon for her severe pyometra – things looked bad, very bad – it seemed that her chances of survival were quite bleak.

They gave us two choices:

1. Put her to sleep (Euthanasia or “mercy killing”)

2. Try our best to save her life and put in all our efforts and resources to nurse her out of her severe illness

While the first choice was being contemplated, I looked at Sherry.

Sherry looked at me.

I cannot forget the poignant loving look in her eyes.

I could read through the language of her eyes that Sherry was telling me that she wanted to live – the yearning look in her eyes indicated that she wanted to be with us.

We too wanted Sherry to be with us for as long as possible.

So we chose the second option, to try our best to save her life and nurse her back to health, and the next few days passed in a daze – daily visits to the veterinary clinic for Sherry’s treatment, her strict diet, her medicines, her twice a day injections of insulin, constantly sitting with Sherry, feeding her, talking to her and comforting her.

It was on one of these days, late at night, while comforting Sherry who seemed to be in agony, sitting with her and cuddling her, I switched on the TV, and what I saw was incredible – a fantastic coincidence.

The scene in the movie on TV was a mirror image of what I was doing at that moment.

Here, Sherry had put her head on my lap and I was lovingly caressing her neck.

And on the screen, there was an old man and a dog sitting in exactly the same manner, and the man was lovingly fondling the dog exactly as I was fondling Sherry.

Was it sheer coincidence, a quirk of serendipity – or was it an enigmatic message for me?

The scene on the TV screen before me was the episode of “Candy and his Dog” from the movie “Of Mice and Men”. 


OF MICE AND MEN

One of the most poignant books I have read is “Of Mice and Men” – a novella written by John Steinbeck, winner of the Nobel Prize.

OF MICE AND MEN was published in 1937 and it was John Steinbeck’s first successful book that brought him fame as an author.

The novel “Of Mice and Men” has been enacted as a play on stage and also has been made into a movie (which I was watching that evening on TV).

The setting of the story is a ranch in California during the Great Depression.

The narrative describes the volatile life on the ranch and the precarious relationships between human beings on the ranch – friendships and tensions between the migrant ranch workers (farmhands) themselves and also between the farmhands and the owners.

One of the book’s major themes, and its most poignant sub plot, revolve around Candy and his dog.


CANDY AND HIS DOG

It is said that a dog is a man’s best friend.

This statement aptly describes the relationship between Candy and his dog.

Candy has had his dog since he was a pup.

It is his only friend and companion. 

Candy has been alongside his dog for all of the dog’s life and has had a close relationship with his dog.

Candy remembers the time when he first got the dog.

He always proudly tells everyone that his dog was the best sheepdog.

Unfortunately, Candy’s dog, once a tough healthy impressive sheep herder, has now become blind, toothless, rheumatic, weak, and is in frail health due to old age.

A dominant ranch worker says to the ranch boss, and to the other ranch-hands present, that Candy’s dog is so old that he can hardly walk, the dog has no teeth, the dog is blind and deaf, the dog cannot chew, so Candy feeds him milk, and he asks the ranch boss to tell Candy to shoot his old dog.

All of them tell Candy that his dog is of no good to Candy, and the dog isn’t any good to itself too, since the animal is in misery due its old age infirmities – so why doesn’t Candy shoot the dog and relieve the dog of his suffering?

The ranch boss says that the dog is no good and remarks sarcastically: “…I wish someone would shoot me if I got old and (became) a cripple…”

All the ranch workers suggest that it would be best to shoot Candy’s old dog.

After hearing everyone, the ranch boss decides that since the sick old dog is a useless burden, it would be best to end its suffering by shooting it dead.

Candy is unable to “let go” and tries his best to hold on to his old blind, deaf and disabled dog for as long as possible.

Candy reminisces and tells everyone about the dog.

He describes the time when he first got the dog and mentions that it was the best sheepdog he has ever seen.

Candy harks back to the time when both he and the dog were useful and of great value to the ranch – he was the best ranch handyman and his dog was the best sheepherder.

Now Candy is crippled, as he has lost a hand in an accident, and he has become too old for vigorous work on the farm.

And Candy’s dog is in a similar situation – blind, deaf, disabled and too old to be of any use.

Candy has had his dog since he was a pup.

His dog is his only friend and companion on the ranch, especially after Candy is crippled after losing his hand the accident.

Candy pleads with everyone not to shoot the dog and begs to save the dog’s life: “…I am so used to him…I had him for so long…I had him since he was a pup…I herded sheep with him…You wouldn’t imagine if you look at him now, but he was the best sheep dog I have ever seen…”

But no one listens to his pleas, and the dominant worker called Carlson takes Candy’s dog outside to be shot and buried.

Candy’s dog is “put to sleep” and Candy is heartbroken when he hears the gunshot.


UTILITY VALUE – FATE OF THE “USELESS” WHO HAVE OUTLIVED THEIR USEFULNESS

The “mercy killing” of Candy’s Dog symbolizes the helplessness of valueless persons.

The dog is a metaphor for Candy himself – old and crippled and not of much use to anyone.

Maybe, for Candy, the fear he feels for his dog’s death is parallel to his own fear that when he has fulfilled his purpose and he is no long effectual, when he has outlived his utility, he too will be disposed of as readily as his dog.

The story of Candy’s dog serves as a harsh reminder of the fate that awaits anyone who outlives his usefulness.

To summarize, in the novel “Of Mice and Men” John Steinbeck has portrayed a poignant situation – the hapless ageing ranch worker Candy realizes that both he and his dog have “outlived their utility” when he helplessly watches the cruel way in which his beloved dog is treated.

Candy’s dog was once a great sheepherder.

But now the dog has become blind, deaf and disabled due to old age.

The dog can no longer herd sheep.

Candy’s dog has lost its usefulness – the dog no longer has “utility value”.

So, since the dog has become “useless” – the dog is shot dead.

Candy finds himself in the same position as the dog.

Candy realizes that just like his dog has lost its “utility value”, Candy himself has lost his “utility value.

Candy is anxious, and he is worried about his own future, and he speculates whether he would be fired from his job – if they could get rid of a “useless” dog, what prevents them from getting rid of a “useless” worker?


ME AND MY DOG

There was a time when I was the sole breadwinner for my family.

I provided for my family and I was “useful” to them.

I worked as a Naval Officer and I was “useful” to the Navy.

Today, after my retirement, as far as the Navy is concerned, I am a retired “veteran”, and I am not “useful” to the Navy anymore.

Also, now, after my retirement, I am no longer the “breadwinner”, and my wife and children are financially independent.

So, as far as my family is concerned, in the “material sense”, I am “useless”.

As I told you earlier, I have a dog called Sherry.

Once upon a time, Sherry was a great guard dog (and for me, a loving companion).

Unfortunately, Sherry has been ill for the past few months.

Today, Sherry is a blind diabetic dog – she has diabetes and has lost her vision due to her diabetes.

Like Candy’s Dog, Sherry too has lost her “utility value”.

So, aren’t we in the same situation as “Candy and his Dog” so poignantly described in John Steinbeck’s masterpiece novel “Of Mice and Men”?

I am “useless” thanks to my retirement.

Sherry is “useless” owing to her illness.

Me and my Dog – both of us have lost our “utility value” and have become “useless”.

Is that why we are holding on to each other?

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer: 
All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

  

Defence Preparedness: An unforgiving opportunity » Indian Defence Review

July 30, 2014

At Rs. 2.29 lakh crore, Defence expenditure is the largest component of the national budget. But true to Parkinson Law, when the figures are astronomical an

via Defence Preparedness: An unforgiving opportunity » Indian Defence Review.

Does Spending Money Translate into Defence Preparedness

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