The Telegraph
Wednesday , January 9 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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The Best Man Who Woofs

Spain to Hong Kong to Canada to Chile to Germany to India, just eight years old and Sabah has already been around the world, all on a valid ‘pet passport’ complete with visa, er, vaccination stamps! Since 2005, Sabah has not just been a constant companion to Marc and Tami Lorenz, he’s also been their “first child”.

The Hyatt Regency GM might be very busy throughout the day but he always makes time for the kids. “Soraya, Talia and here is the king of the house — Sabah,” wife Tami introduces her three ‘children’ as they troop up to the front door to greet t2 into the family space at Hyatt.

A mix between the obedient Labrador and a Spanish Sheepdog, off shoots Sabah to show off his prized possession — a furry white blanket! “That was a gift from my mother to Sabah on one of his birthdays. Initially it used to be really soft and fluffy. Well, now it’s quite changed,” smiles the proud mom as three-year-old Talia climbs onto the black dog’s back. He couldn’t care less. Or so it seems.

“Sabah is a great family dog and a fierce protector. When Soraya was barely two years old, a big stray dog had crept up right behind us in the park and I didn’t notice it. But Sabah barked loud enough to scare the dog away,” says Tami.

So whose pet is he? “Ours!” says the shy Soraya, all of five.

Sabah was picked up by Tami and Marc from a doghouse in Spain. “There were just so many stray dogs out there that we thought why not bring home one of them. All the puppies at the dog pen came up to the half-door, all excited… kind of saying ‘pick-me, pick-me’, while Sabah, three months old then, was quietly sitting right at the back. Marc noticed him first and I thought why not,” says Tami.

Being the first child, Sabah has had his share of being spoilt. But when Soraya and Talia came along, Sabah was perhaps one of the most understanding dogs. “At times when we come back home and cuddle the kids first, he tries and nudges us with his nose saying ‘Hey, I am also there’,” says Marc, playing throw-ball with Sabah.

Talking of games, he is always full of energy. “One of our favourite games with Sabah is to throw a ball in any direction and as he chases it, we run in the opposite direction and hide. By the time Sabah has fetched the ball he realises that we have all disappeared. He immediately drops the ball... and with a sad face he tries to find us. And we end up playing hide-and-seek,” adds Marc.

Quiet and understanding, yes... but the dark brown eyes also have a mischievous twinkle. Surely he has been up to some naughty time of his own? Marc and Tami look at each other. “Once when in Spain, we got to know about jamon — Spanish for finely-cut ham. It has this special holder and Marc took hours to finely slice out the ham. Finally, when we sat down to feast after all that hard work, we heard a good slurpy sound behind us and realised Sabah had gone and cleaned off the entire plate of jamon!” laughs Tami as Sabah sits with an I-am-innocent look in his favourite spot — the living-room couch!

Sabah tales don’t end there. After all, he is the dog who got to be the “best man” at Marc and Tami’s wedding, complete with a tuxedo and a collar that read — Best Dog!

Life, however, is really sad when the four family members roll out their suitcases. “As soon as he sees suitcases, he realises we might be leaving for sometime and goes completely quiet. Even though there is someone always to take care of him, he misses us immensely,” says Marc.

l said, Sabah is one adorable dog the whole family is possessive about. So, don’t try messing with him. Grrrr....


Origin: Spain

DoB: March 17, 2004

Relationship status: Currently single but with a Spanish past (with a Spanish bitch, of course).

Loves Chuck-it: Bring on a game of ball with chuck-it (a stick with a suction end for picking up the sticky ball) and out comes Sabah with his ears up, ready to run.

Loves bathing: Getting cuddled up and scrubbed, bath time for Sabah means a good time. At times he is joined by Soraya and Talia, who love giving him a bath.

Loves baking: Yes, that’s right! No guesses for what, of course. It’s gotta be dog biscuits out of special recipe books, like Doggie Deluxe.

Loves drives: Car, outside, play! Thrilling enough for Sabah to get into a four-wheeler.

Loves food: Give him cheese and he will gobble it clean. Dog food mixed with tuna is also a brilliant idea. (Doggy licks!)

Books You Can Buy Online — Flipkart Or Amazon — To Cook Your Dog A Mean Meal!

Sreyoshi Dey

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