If you scroll through the Instagram stories of Carnatic musician, Rithvik Raja, and his wife, Shweta Prachande, you will see a lot of photos of their Golden Retriever Auro. Auro is really special dog, he is not barking. “We were worried why he wasn’t barking. So, we taught him to speak (responding to sign language) because he wasn’t barking. And now, whenever we do a particular sign, he barks,” his owner said.
How they got Auro?
A friend of a friend had a litter of seven Goldens and they decided to go there and play with the puppies. “It just so happened that this guy (Auro) kept following me around. Seeing our love for pets, our friend asked if we wanted to adopt him. We wanted some time to think as we are artistes who travel a lot. Three days later, he sent four pups home, with Auro marked in a blue thread. While they all played with us, there was something about Auro, which made us decide to welcome him home,” says Rithvik.
Shweta says, “Initially, we thought we’d get a trainer. But we wanted to give raising a pet a shot ourselves. We started reading and watching a lot videos to train him.” Rithvik acted as the trainer. “I am sure he thinks of me as a bullying monster,” he jokes. As for Shweta, she takes him on walks.
“Auro is very intelligent. He is responsive to the atmosphere around him. A lot of students come home for classes. Some are OK with cuddling him, while others aren’t. He knows that and will just wag his tail as a sign of welcoming them home. Whenever I am practising, he will just sit next to the tanpura and begin to doze off,” says Rithvik.
They say that a lot of things changed since Auro came home. “I am definitely more up on my feet,” says Shweta, “You start to work your schedule around him.”