Anushka Manchanda’s cocker spaniels — (L-R) Bella and Achilla — are like chalk and cheese. The Dum maaro dum singer tells t2 about her twin joys…
Achilla (4½ ): She is gentle, sweet and very intelligent. It’s almost as if she knows how to communicate with us… she gets her point across. We know when she wants to go out. We know when she is hungry. We know if she wants to go for a bath. She gets upset if you don’t give her attention.
Bella (3): She is very naughty… full rascal! (Laughs) She will demand your attention. She is an intelligent dog but so stubborn! If you call her she won’t come, she will just wag her tail. Within a week, she chewed up more things than Achilla has chewed up in all these years. She chews everything… wires, shoes… she has even tried to chew my phone! And when you scold her, she will wag her tail and get excited. Now, of course, she understands when she has done something wrong.
How i got them: I had seen a picture of Achilla on Facebook. A friend of mine had put it up… her cousin’s dog had puppies and anyone interested to give them a home were welcome. At that point of time, no one at my home was interested.
Achilla was almost two months old then. The lady said she wanted to keep her for a month more at her place. I would go to her house every second day and hang out with the puppies. So, Achilla was familiar with me before she came home. I did the same before bringing Bella home.
caring for cocker spaniels: I have always had cocker spaniels. I love them! They need to be groomed. They have a tendency to get weird infections. You have to really take care of their eyes and ears. We saw their mother wear special caps. We also have made these caps for them and when they go out, which is when they pick up the most dust as they have long ears, we make them wear those... it is a wide strip of cloth with elastic attached. It looks like they are wearing bonnets. You cannot give them a bath all the time. We take warm water and put some eucalyptus oil in it. With that we give them a sponge bath.
We give them chicken and roti or lamb and roti for one meal and we put beans and carrots in it. It is a healthy meal. We don’t give them sweet or salt… my dogs do not eat things they are not supposed to eat. They love their calcium tablets. When I travel, I shop a lot for them. I once gave them Alaskan salmon oil!