Vipul along with his wife Dhanshree took their life partners, a 12+ year old male yellow labrador retriever, ‘Happy‘ and a 7+ years old female, ‘Guggu‘ on a bucket list trip to Leh-Ladakh over a promise.
“Well, we are those finicky pet owners who call each of our labrador retriever a family member and we don’t go on a vacation leaving the family behind. As a matter of fact, we had our dogs on our honeymoon as well (if I may say, dogs).”
It might seem like a merry story so far but sadly it didn’t start out so. Grab your tissues because you’re in for an emotional ride.
Vipul’s bucket list owes its origin to an eerie night where after a few pegs of alcohol he promised his furry best-friend, Happy that all of them, would one day go on a trip to Leh-Ladakh.
But then things went awry for this family. One of the saddest things about our canine furry friends is the short duration of the lives they live. The family lost a member, a 6+-year-old female labrador retirever ‘Breezer.‘ And the eldest of the labrador retriever trio, Happy already was suffering due to old age with severe health complications. Frequent visits to the vet became common.
This made Vipul realize the importance of the time that had already passed away. He realized on his bucket list and eventually, the whole family along with a few friends began a 1800+ kilometre journey through Udaipur to Goa.
“There is no nirvana stage that will come and God will not get down on my sofa and say that Yes the time will come.”
Enough of homework was done for such a drive with the dogs, be it getting their Ertiga tuned and serviced, carrying nothing less than 60-80 litres of water for their dogs. They don’t change the water for their pooches whenever they travel as a precaution. The seats were removed from the car to make sure they stay easy and comfortable the most, Happy and Guggu.
Kilos of medicines and constant communication with Dr Jasjeet Josan and Neelam Singh Josan on call/Whatsapp group was ensured to make sure that they are not leaving any stone unturned to make the trip. Dhanshree, like the caring and compassionate hen-mom, made sure to carry oxygen cylinders, sweaters and blankets for their labrador retrievers.
After just about thirty kilometres on the road, the plan changed.
“I wonder why I looked at Happy and what all he wanted to say. Everything changed, routes, hotels, road maps.” – Vipul
On their bucket list road trip, they have covered 4000 kilometres. From Gurgaon to Leh Ladakh via Srinagar, Gulmarg, Sonmarg, Kargil, Khadungla, Changla, Nubra Valley, Magnetic Hill and the list goes on.
“Started from Gurgaon and enough breaks, homework, preparations, We finally did it. Exclusive and Epic places were covered from the Changla to Pangong Lake (the 3Idiots point). From Magnetic Hill to Nubra Valley, from Khardungla till Leh-Ladakh, Gulmarg, Sonmarg, Jammu and Kashmir.”
The Happy Pettings founder recalls of a night after a tiring 800+ kilometre drive. They somehow managed to convince the manager of a hotel and got a room for themselves. But had to leave early because pets were not permitted and the owner was unaware of it.
Their happiness multiplied when they came in the network coverage. They were able to start posting the pictures of their road trip to Leh-Ladakh. This sort of a feeling of self-accomplishment came for the couple after 30+ years.
All of this happened, but they missed a partner. A beloved member of the labrador-trio, Breezer who was the more adventurous out of the three pooches.
It’s a proud moment for the family as they have crossed the world’s second highest motorway/pass with Happy and Guggu.
“We were obliged when people advised us that we surpassed all level/bars of expectations with keeping. Be it claiming for the Limca Book of World Records or having a word with the Woovly Bucket List Team.”
Vipul suggest that one must definitely visit Leh-Ladakh via road to enjoy the real charm.
For their next bucket list, they are hoping for a similar family trip. A road trip to Siachen, 20000 feet above the sea level. However, fingers are crossed since the eldest labrador retriever, Happy needs rest.
Time and tide wait for none !