CNJ+ March 2023

MARCH 2023

Celebrity Pet


Teddi has been a member of the Harish family since early 2018 after a dance competition bet left the Har

ish’s Siri per-

with the promise of a new pet.

Harish, a first-year at the University of Connecticut (UConn), has been a dancer for most of her life, often forming with her younger sister and most recently, becoming a member of Husky Bhangra, a competitive dance team at UConn. While dance has been an opportunity for her to connect with other people, she said it was also the reason the Harish's welcomed Teddi, a Shih Tzu Yorkie puppy, to their family in January of 2018. “My sister really, really wanted a dog,” she said. “She eventually convinced my mom that if we won a dance competition that my mom would get us a dog, and we ended up winning.” Even though Harish was reluctant about bringing in another pet following the passing of previous family pets, and her parents were initially against the idea of owning a dog due to religious beliefs, the Harish’s soon began their search for a puppy. cause of her mother’s fear of large dogs, the family was keen on getting a small dog that was more practical said they looked at local shelters such as The Humane Society and Sammy's Hope, but later connected with a breeder from New York where they quickly bonded with Teddi, who was just a couple of weeks shy from turning 3 months old at the time. “We actually brought her home that night, too,” Harish said. look after.


Be- t o She

Photo by Courtesy of Siri Harish

She said Teddi was fearful when her family arrived back to New Jersey from New York as it was Teddi’s first time alone without her two brothers by her side. Though it took some time for Teddi to become comfortable in her new home and for the Harish’s to become adjusted as well, Teddi now enjoys seeing new people and has made the family complete. “Honestly, I think my mom…and my dog have become so close over the years. You can’t separate them at all,” Harish said. “Whenever [Teddi’s] sick…my mom is the first person she goes to for comfort.” In fact, Teddi joins the family for walks around the community, movie nights, hikes at Thompson Park and games of hide-and-go-seek. Teddi also partakes in the tradition of wearing an Indian dress, presenting food to be blessed during religious ceremonies and celebrating different cultural festivals. Typically, Teddi’s routine consists of going on a walk around the outside of the house as well as surrounding areas, having kibble with chicken gravy for breakfast, practicing tricks, taking a bath, eating a snack of either a biscuit or an egg and having her paws cleaned depending on the weather. Despite attending school in a different state and no longer seeing Teddi everyday, Harish said she looks forward to spending time with Teddi when she visits her family for the holidays. “Taking care of a pet…also reminds you to take care of yourself,” she said. “You put that love out there and you get so much love back, and it’s just the best feeling ever.”


MARCH 2023

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