When Amrita Das first went to bring home Zero as a puppy, the breeder had just one word to say about him: “duronto (restless)”. Within minutes of reaching home, Amrita would know why.
“Zero had puked in the car and so I had asked the vet to come home and give him a check-up. When the vet arrived, Zero was asleep on my lap. But the moment he opened his eyes he pounced on the tea and chananchur kept on the table for the vet!” Amrita recalls, laughing.
True to his breed, Zero is a foodie. “If he could, he would eat every waking hour,” says Amrita, who is a photo editor for a wildlife publication. His favourite dish must be curd, for his antenna catches the word “doi” even when he’s asleep!
“We don’t even call it ‘doi’ anymore; we use code words,” Amrita laughs. “But even if I ask my mom about ‘the white, cold food in the fridge’ after Zero has eaten a sumptuous lunch and is fast asleep, the Lab will pop open his eyes and spring into action, demanding his share.”
Zero also loves water, and does not restrict himself to bath time. “The other day when it had poured, our driveway had got water-logged and Zero’s joy knew no bounds! He dived into the knee-deep water and started pedalling before I could stop him,” recalls Amrita.
The name Zero was chosen by Amrita’s dad, who derived it from the concept of shunya (nothingness) in the universe. “Quite a philosophical name for such a mischievous dog,” remarks Amrita. “But come to think of it, he plays with a Beagle when he goes for his morning walks and even that dog’s named is Om!”
Zero loves parties and gives the guests no space. “If you don’t warm up to Zero, he won’t leave you be. He’ll just work harder on impressing you,” Amrita shakes her head, recalling their Christmas party last year. “If you saw how Zero dozed away to glory the next day, you’d think it was he who was tired after organising the bash!”
Amrita was based out of Delhi for work but moved back last year due to the pandemic. And she couldn’t be happier. “Actually many people complain that their dog is too naughty. Yes, Zero is all that but I’m very happy with that too. I wouldn’t have it any other way,” she smiles.
If you have a pet you have brought up at home as a family member and which has its eyes only for you, write to us with your contact number at The Telegraph Salt Lake, 6, Prafulla Sarkar Street, Calcutta 700001 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org