Tails on a trail

Dec 06, 2018, 09:29 IST | Dalreen Ramos

A Mumbai couple is all set to take off on a 10,000 km journey across India with their two dogs

Tails on a trail
Priyanka Jena and Tanveer Taj with Frodo (right) and Cruise. Pic/Satej Shinde

Meet Frodo and Cruise. One is a six-year-old golden retriever, and his partner is a two-year-old labrador. Frodo detests swimming while Cruise — living up to his name — loves the water, especially when there are other animals to accompany him. And as dog parent Tanveer Taj suggests, the lab has a "weakness for cows".

"It's just that he wants to play with all the bigger animals. That often leads to difficult situations. When we visited Kashid beach this Diwali, for instance, he ended up getting kicked by a horse," he tells us. So, when we were told that Taj along with Priyanka Jena — both adventure explorers who run the YouTube channel Wheels and Tails — are about to embark on a 10,000-km journey across the periphery of the country with their two little ones tomorrow, we can only wish them luck.

The first destination on their itinerary is the western coastline where they will be staying in a 110-year-old organic farm in Karnataka, heading over to Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and Meghalaya. Their final days will be spent in the snowy climes of the Himalayas before driving down to the dunes of Rajasthan. The 100-day trip will end with a drive through Gujarat before they arrive back in Mumbai. "The dogs have travelled with us extensively in Maharashtra, and we're excited to see them play in the snow and the dunes," Jena says while adding that a year's preparation also involved planning a suitable diet for the pets.

The dogs play by Kashid beach before Cruise gets kicked by a horse
The dogs play by Kashid beach before Cruise gets kicked by a horse

"Food is usually home-cooked for the dogs, but it will be hard to do that on the trip. And dog food usually comes with preservatives, which makes them put on weight. Fortunately, our food partner is a Canadian organic dog food brand whose products are similar to home food. Since our trip is going to be primarily activity-based, there won't be problems with the weight bit," Jena explains. In addition, they've also got a partner to support them with doggie adventure gear to be used for activities like kayaking, hiking, or bridge crossing.

There are also special visits planned for special occasions. Frodo will be turning three on this trip and has a surprise party planned in February. And Christmas will be spent in Kodaikanal. With their family and friends all excited for the couple, no cold feet here. Taj says, "We had initially planned on doing this last year but had to postpone it. Now the dogs are prepared, and winter is an ideal time as dogs can't be kept inside cars for too long during summer. So, yes our only challenge remains meeting other animals."

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