Of Humble Beginnings…
The Dog Chef!! … over 90% of the people I introduce myself to as The Dog Chef have the standard response… “Dog Chef?? Is that really a thing? … You mean, you cook for dogs?
”Duh… yes… I don’t think that title makes me a chef who cooks dogs now, does it?? (eyes rolled back …)
So, for the benefit of those 90% + people who can’t fathom what it may be like to be a Dog Chef, this post is for them. I shall attempt to put into words the utter joy and pleasure, not the mention the satisfaction, that I receive when I cook for my furry four legged friends, along with the reason I got into this as a profession.
It all started with Harley, my son, who I adopted from a construction site near my office. I had made up my mind to get a dog and when I heard through a friend that there was a litter just a building away, I visited them and my heart melted instantaneously. At this point, allow me to point out, that all my babies are what you may call Strays, Pariahs, Indies, etc… but what I like to call “Bombay Settlers”. I have never been of the opinion that I needed to get a ‘breed’ in the nonsensical manner of speaking as I believe that our Indies are the best of the lot. A lab will come in just 3 colours… all the labs in the world look alike, so do the retrievers, and boxers, etc etc… but every Indie has his or her own markings, their own identity so to speak.
So, we all hear that we choose our dog, but in this case, Harley chose me! I had selected a pup, and then had gone for a vacation, post which we returned to take him home, but alas, in those 2 weeks, the pups, while growing underwent a few physical changes and we couldn’t spot the one we had selected. All this while, there was this naughty little imp who kept gnawing on my shoelaces and trousers … while I was confused, I looked to him and said, “Since you like me so much, why don’t I take you home?” and thus Harley entered my life.
Cut to the ‘cheffary’ bit… Harley was never too keen on eating the pellets and always hung around me waiting for some tit bits off my plate. As I noticed him do this, I thought to myself… “If I wouldn’t appreciate eating dried out food day in and day out, so why would he like it… and thus began the very first step towards me becoming ‘The Dog Chef’… Research began with Google baba and with his ever present wisdom and guidance, the first few batches of Harley’s food was cooked up in my kitchen, with a drooling and wide-eyed Harley boy sitting around waiting for these yummy things dad was making for him. Recipes which included lamb, chicken, beef, fish along with an assortment of vegetables and different types of carbs, be it rice, oats, etc were dished up and served to my baby boy. He would relish each morsel and if I would pay attention, I am sure I would hear a satiated burp from my boy!
Meals turned to treats, treats to cakes and very soon I was proudly telling the world that I was the only one who could whip up a 5 course meal for a dog. I think that to this day, I still am the only person who can do so!! Just understanding food, their inherent qualities, the way the flavours gel and match up weren’t enough, and thus began my journey to become a Canine Nutritionist.
This journey shall be completed within the near future, adding another first to my basket… India’s First Canine Nutritionist.But besides all this, the sole motivator to all I do, is the smile on the face of the dog, the wagging of the tail and the big meat-flavoured licks I receive after a dog has happily wolfed down his/her bowl of food, treats or their slice of cake. Nothing else matters at that point of time….and I don’t think anything ever will!
Watch this space for more…