Companion Dog

I haven’t been posting very much since the wedding because I have felt pretty low and fed up. I love living in India, I feel blessed when I wake up next to my husband every morning but life isn’t all marigolds and lotus flowers. My husband works long hours, six days a week and once he goes to work, I feel lonely and isolated. When I first moved to India, I was optimistic about living in a joint family, I was certain it would gradually become easier and I would adapt to the busy home. Unfortunately, it kept getting harder, especially when the humid heat started to stop me leaving the house during the day. Everyday when my husband left the house to go to work, my stomach sank, another nine hours of solitude. Another nine hours of counting down the minutes, pressing my forehead against the window like a caged bird, missing my family and friends, missing my husband! I am certain I was showing the early signs of cabin fever. Things had to change. So I found myself a companion.

We adopted Alfonso, the cutest little ball of furry rolls I ever did see.

pug puppy, I love you so dearly!
I am trying to find the words to express how much of a God send our little pup has been. When my husband leaves for work, I still don’t want him to go but no longer dread it. I have someone to talk to (even though he is only two months old, he already speaks fluent imaginary English), someone to cuddle, someone to care for. I no longer feel lonely or isolated. How can you feel down when you see these big brown eyes looking at you?

The first name we came up with for him was ‘Mr. Anderson’,  my husbands favourite movie is ‘The Matrix’, but we soon came across some pronunciation problems (something we will have to consider when naming our human children). It wasn’t long until we found a perfect name. He was born during mango season and Alphonso mangoes are the sweetest and richest, they taste like golden honey. He is the sweetest little guy, so we called him Alfonso.

alfonso the mango

It is a well-known fact that pets can make a real difference to the lives of anyone feeling down or stressed (unless you are scared of animals, then that may exacerbate the situation). Cuddling a fluffy friend can leave you feeling wonderfully calm and reduce blood pressure, stress levels and anxiety. They love us unconditionally, they make us laugh and they know when we are sad and try to comfort us. When you look into their eyes you can see their pure little soul full of love (especially if they are watching you eat).

My dog is not my whole life, but he really makes my life whole. I hope he knows how much we love him! I caught this cute little video just before he fell asleep, I am sure you will fall in love with him too:

Now the wedding is over, it is time for me to really work out what I am going to do with myself in India. Together with my little companion, we are going to find something to do with our day, use our time wisely, on something worthwhile. There is a big world out there, surely there is something for a foreign women and a pug to do.


80 thoughts on “Companion Dog

  1. OMG he is just the most cutest puppy 🙂 I am so happy you have him!! I have always wanted a pug, so when i saw your post Im sure my neighbours heard me say OMG hahahahaha. I love his head tilts, I have an english staffy and he’s one and a half years old and she still does the head tilts. He is my everything. My husband works 7 days a week, and if i didn’t have “Bear”, god my days would be SO boring and awful. Bear never leaves my side 🙂


  2. I can empathize with you 100%. My husband is what Caribbeans would call Indo-Guyanese. He was born and raised in Guyana South America but is Hindu and Indian to the core. We married almost a year ago in his country and living with him and the in-laws was an experience all in itself. Our cats, Tiger and Momo saved me during the days when he was at work. His nieces also helped passed my afternoons and slowly I developed things to do and made my own life while he was at work, visiting neighbors, watching favorite tv shows, exercising, surfing the web, playing games, etc. But most of my time was taken up with the cats and the other animals in our yard. I’m now living back home in the states and job searching. Being away from him is torture but a sacrifice we are making to reach other goals. Good luck with ur pug he is adorable!


  3. OMG he is just so adorable!! I love his little wrinkled face! I am so glad you got him! I also love his name. I think its really sad that so many people in India work 6 day work weeks, there is more to life then wages and work. Congrats on becoming pet parents 🙂


  4. Congratulations 🙂 hope yud feel better soon 🙂 maybe try for a job so yu could get out too nd have yur own friends in India 🙂


  5. Oh, Lauren, Alfonso is tres adorable!!! I hope you two help each other as only a dog/human relationship can! Have missed your posts and want you to know you are welcome to email me any time should you need an “ear.” I, too, am a recluse, for other reasons, but I know the ache when Hubbie goes to work each morning and the worry for him. I know that your living situation makes things very difficult and thought your blog silence was because you were out home hunting. I am so happy for the bliss you feel with your husband, and, now with Alfonso, but hope you can find a place soon as I think it would lift your spirits and you wouldn’t feel such a prisoner because it would be YOUR home. Enjoy the good and the bad will pass. Lots of love and happy congratulations for your new addition to the family, Hugs, Ellen


    • Just saw the temp in Nagpur– wow that’s hotter than where my husband stayed in Syria. Take care and now you have a wee one to share your days with! God bless you and your threesome! xxx ellen


    • Hiii Ellen,
      I hope you are well, lovely!! I will definitely drop you an email, I have been keeping away from the computer but hoping to get back in the swing of things now I am feeling happier!

      We haven’t got to home hunting yet, hopefully soon. My husband has to find a job first, sure he will soon. The wait is a little easier now we have our little baby.

      Always lovely to hear from you! I hope you and your hubs are well

      Lots of love



      • Hilo Lauren,

        Glad you are feeling better but please feel free to email me even when you are down. I know depression, whatever the cause, and perhaps just emailing could help. I offer my “ear.” But I am so glad Alfonso is working his magic. Dogs are totally magical. Have had two and miss them both still to this day. What friends! What teachers! You are looking radiant and gorgeous in all your pictures. The clothes enhance your God-given beauty and you do look like a light-skinned Indian. God bless. Enjoy. And good luck to your husband, job-hunting!

        Love and bisous, Ellen

        On Wed, Jun 4, 2014 at 11:43 AM, English Wife, Indian Life | The Diary of a Firangi Bahu Living


  6. Hi again Lauren,
    Sorry to hear you’ve been feeling low and fed up; I had an inkling this might be the case. Re. the ‘What to do?’ issue – I seem to remember you saying, somewhere on this site, that you knew another British woman who is living in Nagpur, and had met up with her? Could she help with coming up with some ideas about what is possible in the area where you live? I’m thinking along the lines of voluntary work of some sort, or maybe offering informal English conversation sessions (many young people in India have learnt good English, but are desperate for opportunities to use their English with a native speaker)… you could do this in exchange for them teaching you some Hindi, perhaps? This would give you something to do, and also enable you to get out and meet people and get to know them.
    Is there an expat society in Nagpur? If yes, I’m sure it would be useful to link up with some people who could point you in the right directions. It can be hard to get things off the ground on your own in a foreign country. Other expats might be able to recommend particular organisations that welcome English-speaking volunteers, as they may have already walked in your shoes or know someone else who has. Just anything to get you off the starting blocks, and then once you’re out there meeting people, one thing tends to lead to another. Good luck! 🙂
    Best wishes, Nicola
    Ps. Alfonso’s very cute!


    • Hi Nicola!
      I hope you are well!
      Sadly, these is no such expat group in Nagpur because as far as I know, it is only the two of us here. I am thinking of furthering my education, volunteering and once I get my PIO card, working. I think the biggest step will come when we get our own place, I will feel much more my own person then.

      I am very excited about what the future holds!

      Hope you are well.
      Lots of love
      Lauren xxx


  7. Lauren, your post is brilliant. I am feeling very happy for you this morning. I did the same as you but with a very naughty German Shepherd. My life has changed too and there’s never a dull or boring moment with this naughty dog around my feet.


  8. Awwwww he is super cute!!! I’m so glad you are feeling better now with your Alfonso ❤ I can relate to everything you wrote… My Rambo made my life so much easier here in India, he is my baby 🙂 I think I can say I know how you feel stuck in here with all days at home ;( unfortunately I don't think I can't take it anymore and I can't wait for my husbands papers to come out so we can move back to UK… And now with Rambo that is even harder because we have to make his papers aswell and takes months and a lot of money… But wherever I go he will have to go too!


    • Hiii Claudia!!
      It is so good to know that it is possible to take him back to the UK, we have no plans for moving back but who knows what the future holds… I could never leave him here. If I had to stay with my in-laws forever, I might be inclined to move back to the UK lol.

      I hope that things are getting better! Rambo will enjoy the temperature in the UK, that is for sure hehe!

      Lots of love and firangi bahu hugs xxx


  9. ‘cutest little ball of furry rolls’ – you’ve described Alphonso is the best way possible. I couldn’t help but smile after reading those words while looking at Alphonso’s pictures…:-)


  10. Such a cute pug! I hope you find something for yourself that you can do to keep yourself busy over there and amuse yourself – I’m sure that it’s not all bad but I know homesickness can be very hard. Skype some friends from back home, or do some online courses perhaps – things you are interested in more than career based though I guess, like digital photography, image editing, web design, I’m sure there are plenty other interest based courses. I also like the idea of volunteer work and english language teaching. The language teaching you could even do via webcam if you don’t want to meet people in real life because its hot or whatever, and even doing via webcam could increase your access to people to help. I also think the Indian accordion is an interesting instrument, and I have been offered to learn it at our local Gurdwara Sahib – perhaps learning music is something you could also consider? I’m sure you can find something 🙂 and congrats on your pug again!


    • Thank you so much, Gorigirl.

      Yes, Skype is a God send! I am going to do another degree once I have my PIO card (cannot study on my x-visa). Once we move from Nagpur there will be so many more opportunities.

      The only Gurdwara I have seen in Nagpur is very very far away but what a lovely idea!!

      I hope you are well, take care
      Lauren xxx


  11. Lauren, you’re worrying me a bit! We are not seeing many happy posts these days.. I know the situation at home has been tense but is it getting any better? Alfonso is great but it won’t substitute you the happiness felt inside.. big hugs x M


    • Aww, don’t worry M.. he really genuinely does make me very happy. I also am very happy that we are moving from Nagpur soon, to another city- our own home. Everything will be good again, living with my in-laws is very tense and that is the reason for my less-happy posts.

      Feeling so much better now we have Alfonso though!!
      Lots of love
      Lauren xxx


  12. Ive really been looking forward to a New post from you! :) Patience is a virtue :) Alfonso is so sweet, and its so good to hear that he has lightened up Your days 🙂 Much love xx


  13. Hi Lauren, Its my first time here. It feels so happy to see that you have married an Indian and living in India with your in-laws. Not many not-Indians do that. Hats off to you. do you always wear a saree/salwar ? Its so nice to see that you enjoy wearing sindoor and bindi. Good luck with your new life and enjoy every moment of it.


  14. Life does look all good when you ahev someone to care for..and who doesnt go to office or school (kids go and u miss them terribly…and feel so so stupid when u realise they were all smile adn happy in school n u were all gloomy back home)…also they love u boundaries of language or countries or culture.


  15. He is sooo cute! ❤ I am so jealous! It is so wonderful to give and recieve love from animals as it's so pure ❤ I stay in rented flat here in India and we are not allowed to keep pets ;( Otherwise I wanted to keep some 😦 I even found an animal shelter for ill and abandoned animals here in my city . They have adoption programme but in this situation I can only support financially as it is not funded by the government by even 1Rs 😦
    I face same problem as my husband is also busy which is ok as I don't work. But at times I feel lonley and other problem is no AC in the flat. So I just catch a rickshaw and go to the mall to sit, roam around some shops, drink coffee or I go to the movies 😀 Otherwise I also have to go to do shopping for food for us and when I go on my own I only prefer some big supermarkets and AC is there too 😀 Best joke flat owner agreed to put AC now when summer is over and horrible monsoon already arrived 😀 So we will put after the rains. Once in a while we host some couchsurfers too from my country so then I have a company and I can show them my neighbourhood but I guess that is not possible while staying with in laws.


    • Awwww, I hope that you can one day move to a place which allows pets and somewhere with a landlord who is more reasonable!

      Sounds really nice to go around the mall and movies!! It is getting upto 49oC next week so glad we have a/c. I don’t know what I would dooo.

      Sooo good of you to support the animal shelter! That is really great. So sad that they don’t have any government support 😦 heartbreaking.

      I would love to have someone from home come and stay but as you say, not possible at the moment.

      I hope you and your husband are well, I hope the monsoon is not too bad! Ours won’t arrive for another couple of weeks.

      Lots of love xxx


  16. Alfonso? That’s clever and sweet. You probably get this all the time.. “aw he is so cute, can i hold him?”
    but when i get out with my bad boy people tend to walk 10 feet away from me! Its kinda hilarious. I have a german shepherd and despite his size and strength he is still very adorable. The thing about pets is, even though you can’t speak their language and vice-versa, the special bond you develop and an understanding of each others action is what makes it fun. Oh his name is Rambo 🙂


    • I’ve got a five month old German Shepherd too and people walk 10 feet away from me. My dog barks at almost everyone but has never attempted to bite anyone. Does Rambo try to speak? I would love to be able to understand what all their sounds mean.


    • Dear Ashish

      Thank you so much!! Rambo is such a great name for a dog! I see quite a few German Shepherds around Nagpur. It is soooo hot in Nagpur, 48oC, he hasn’t been able to go out, Pugs don’t do well in the heat because of their flat faces, they cannot regulate their body temp well. It’s a/c all the way for us.

      He is my little baby. Having a pet is so very special! Take care



  17. Nah he doesn’t bark unnecessarily at people when he is outside home on a walk. We have controlled him since he was a child, you should start too! Everytime he barks unnecessarily just shuss him! Make him stop! Don’t yell don’t hit just calmly ask! Call him by his name and just say no everytime he barks just repeat the words everytime he does it. Yours is five months old, it will take a month or two to develop this good habit inside him. Don’t be a control freak but pay attention!


  18. OMG!! He is the cutest little pug I’ve ever seen! I’m happy that you got this little sweetie to keep you with company until your husband is back from work 🙂
    My fiancé and I are planning on getting a dog once we know where we will be living. I’ve always wanted to get a Pug, but he prefers getting a Husky.. I think we discuss this at least once a week! >.< But I won't give up on my future Pug 😀 haha.


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  20. Your puppy is truly the cutest little thing. I wholeheartedly love animals and I think yours was a great idea to feel less lonely. I miss so much my dog and cat I have back in Italy now that I live in Asia, but I know it would be impossible for me to take care of them properly here.

    I can only partially understand how you feel as a foreign wife trying to build a life in India, but I am sure it must not be easy. You have all my support and comprehension, especially when it comes about dealing with tricky in-laws!


    • Thank you so much for your comment, Marghini!! I miss my cat and dog back in England too, but they are family pets so probably don’t miss me haha!

      Thank you so much for your kind words, it really means a lot to me! There are struggles but like most, it will be worth it in the end, India is an amazing place to live once you overcome a couple of things.

      I hope that you are enjoying Asia and can go back to visit your furry friends in Italy soon!

      Lots of love xxx


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  23. Hi Lauren,came across your blog quite by chance.You are the prettiest Indian bride I have ever seen.Its very interesting reading about your life and the different adjustments you have been making.I wish you the very best and hope you become the happiest Indian ever.


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  29. HI Lauren. The puppy is adorable. And when are you planning to have your human kids? Any thoughts on working in india or are you happy being a housewife? Just curious. No pressure. I know it is not customary for women to work in india. I myself have been a stay at home parent in Australia for 16 months and starting to feel like I need to get out and work in the public sphere, but I think there is pressure for mothers to work in western countries, its sort of expected.


    • Hey Molli,
      This is the question on everyone’s lips 😛 when will we have kids haha. I will leave it unanswered.
      I cannot work until I get my OCI which will be in Feb next year, there is no pressure for me to work here but I can totally understand, in the West there is a lot of pressure to work! I hope that you can find a job that suits you and your family life
      Lots of love,
      Lauren xx


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