Every year brings its share of discoveries and, one of my favorites from 2017. is the Year Of the Monkey. It is a gorgeous San Francisco based blog featuring a senior Tibetan Spaniel, Babu, and his human companions.
Paroma is the blogger, and she has the happiest smile. I can’t help but smile back at her every time I see her photo. All photos courtesy of Year of the Monkey.
From Paroma: “Growing up in India includes an innate fear of dogs due to the presence of a large number of street dogs who can be quite aggressive (for sheer survival) and for the eternal tussle over space and resources that ensues between man and animal. I was not immune to this, and somewhere along the line, my indifference towards dogs morphed into a deep strain of fear and loathing, the kind where I failed to fathom as to why people even had them as pets.
I brought this fear with me to the USA fifteen years ago, and it kept on going strong till as fate would have had it, I met someone I clearly liked, and who also happened to have a dog. This dog, a little Tibetan Spaniel mix, and his owner lived in San Francisco, where I moved to seven years ago after finishing grad school in the midwest.
The three of us first met on June 21, 2010 (summer solstice) at Alamo Square Park (flanked by the famous “Painted Ladies” of San Francisco) in a leash-free dog play area where I was trembling like a leaf in the presence of so many playful canines. My date’s canine companion wasn’t the least bit interested in me which came as a great relief since I was petrified of the notion that he would bite me any second. That first date turned into many, followed by a proposal a year and a half later that soon culminated in a fall wedding at a flower observatory in San Francisco.
Much like the progression of my personal life, my feelings for that little brown dog took a complete U-turn from being just a dog to a living breathing creature who needed my love to the apple of my eye. I even rechristened him as Babu (which is a term of endearment in my native language Bengali), and since then he has been my baby, my furry bundle of joy and someone around whom my world revolves 24/7. He is no longer just a dog but my child, not borne of my womb, but loved much more than I would ever love a human equivalent.
Our relationship strengthened when I took care of him when my husband was gone for an emergency trip to India (my very first time of being a responsible adult and taking care of a living being other than myself) and during Fourth of July, when I stayed awake next to him all night, holding him as he shivered out of fright at the sound of fireworks.
Thanks to Babu, we have hiked our way through San Francisco and the Bay Area, discovered beautiful trails leading to waterfalls, gone on memorable road trips all over and had some pretty amazing experiences like spending the night in a houseboat in Sausalito! Babu has accompanied us to the redwoods in Mendocino and Santa Cruz, witnessed the Old Faithful geyser erupt in Calistoga, sat through my wine tastings in Sebastopol and frolicked on the beaches of Carmel and Santa Barbara. We hope to take him on many more adventures, and I feel blessed thinking of how lucky I am to be spending this borrowed time with him.
From a tiny little pup rescued from San Jose SPCA to a fourteen-year-old, somewhat grumpy king of Fillmore street, Babu has come a long way and so have I, from a rabid dog-hater to a proud dog mom. He has rescued me with his unconditional love, and for that, I am forever grateful. Whether you are an armchair adventurer or someone who is always on the go, you’ll be inspired by Year of The Monkey. Be warned though, her restaurant posts might make you hungry.
You can see more of Babu and Paroma by following them on Instagram as well as Facebook.
About Year of the Monkey: Based in San Francisco, Paroma Chakravarty primarily blogs about travel, pet-friendly destinations, and food.
Aww what a lovely insight into Babu’s and Paroma’s journey together. So inspiring and a special connection.
I love Year of the Monkey. And the pics are stunning. They are a great fit here on Daily Dog Tag.
Every time I go to Year of the Monkey, I either want to travel or eat and often both!
The Daily PIp says
I love her blog, too! Her photos and adventures are always amazing (and the food always looks delicious).
How interesting that she once was afraid of dogs, but learned to love them with Babu’s help. I wish them many wonderful years together! Babu is so adorable!
Like you, I think it is great that she was able to overcome her fear of dogs.
The pup is so adorable, I can’t even!!!
Lecy | A Simpler Grace says
What a cute pup! I love getting to meet other bloggers in posts like this!
Lola The Rescued Cat says
We love their blog! It was so nice getting to know more about Paroma and her love story with Babu. (Her pictures are ALWAYS gorgeous.)
Tenacious Little Terrier says
I wasn’t a dog person at all either until shortly before getting Mr. N! And now look haha. I love seeing all the food/travel shots with Babu.
I can’t imagine not growing up with pets and I’ve been warned if I ever visited India I might likely be upset by the number a street animals there. Glad you came around to loving dogs. Now, what about cats?
Thank you Sherri! Yes, the sight of strays in all developing countries is very upsetting for animal lovers. I did grow up with cats though. They were strays but we used to feed them in our courtyard. I do have a soft spot for cats but Babu does not get along with felines.
Lori Hilliard says
Babu’s and Paroma’s love story is inspiring. I hope this story inspires others who may be afraid of dogs to give them a chance.
Glad you came around to loving dogs. they are the most amazing creatures. I have not travelled to India…. I am sure I would really struggle with all the homeless animals. BUT up side… more vegans. 🙂
Susan and the gang from Life with Dogs and Cats says
What a sweet story. I love how Paroma learned to love dogs. You can see the relationship between her and Babu.
—Wags (and purrs) from Life with Dogs and Cats
Cathy Armato says
This is so beautiful! I love that you teamed up with Paroma on this post. I would never have believed she had a history of disliking dogs, as she is such a great dog mom and seasoned traveler with dogs! I’m always pinning her amazing travel photos with “Babu”! Love this post.
Thank you Cathy! Yes, my biggest achievement in life has been getting the love of a little brown dog. I am lucky to have been accepted by him!
Dash Kitten Crew says
Paroma always presents an awesome lifestyle perspective on her blog. The pictures are simply wonderful and her dog is so cute!!
Irene McHugh says
Oh Babu and Paroma, I never would have guessed that such a dedicated dog mom like Paroma overcame a fear of dogs. Sniff. I hope you two inspire others who may be struggling with their animal fears.
Thank you all for you super sweet and kind comments. A huge thank you to Beth for featuring me on Daily Dog tag!
Paroma, it is my pleasure!
We’re fans of Paroma and Babu, too! In fact, they have pretty much set us up with our entire list for the California leg of our retirement tour!
I wish I would have found her blog before I visited San Francisco!
Amelia Johnson says
Oh, yes…it just takes one dog’s love to transform your emotions from fear and hate to love and joy. I’m so glad Babu also found additional love and acceptance that will lengthen and strengthen his life. Live it with Gusto!
This is such an inspiring story! I love that Paroma and Babu’s lives both changed for the better when they came into each other’s lives.