This Ukrainian couple hunting for the ‘perfect place’ to live may or may not have found their dream land, but they certainly found a tiny pup on their first destination. Kristina Masalova and Eugene Peterus’ love for exploring new places brought them to Asia first, and their first stop happened to be India’s Kochi.
It was here that they met and adopted a tiny desi pup. Calling him Chapati, the couple decided to start an Instagram page, ‘Traveling Chapati’, for her. And, guess what? Chapati already has more than 6,ooo followers.
InUth got in touch with Kristina to get to know some more about Chapati, her exclusive Instagram account, and their journey with Chapati so far:
1. Please tell us something about yourselves.
We are a family from Ukraine, who quit their jobs in search of a perfect place to live. As we are very passionate about Asia, we decided to explore as many Asian countries as we could manage. We are still on our way and almost nothing has changed in our plans. Our only change is that our family has upgraded.
It was the night of great changes in my life. A few hours ago I was nameless. I don’t remember when I lost my family, but this day I was alone in the streets of Kochi, left on a meter height pedestal to die. I was starving, overheated and dehydrated. I was scared and couldn’t already stay on my feet. I was weeping for help… Day 1
2. Was this your first visit to India? When and in what condition did you find ‘Chapati’? Why did you name her so?
We found Chapati on the third day of this huge journey. She was crying, being all alone on the crossroad in Fort Kochi. When we inspected her condition, we realized that she has only a few hours left. We were not sure that we could save her life, but we really wanted to try.
We couldn’t find any pet hospitals working at night, so we had to do everything by ourselves. We could rely only on our intuition and that is why it was one of the hardest nights in our lives. On the next day, when overheating and dehydration was already in the past, we started to fight all other problems she had: tons of fleas and ticks, parasites, healing her arched leg and giving vitamins for her weak bones.
At that point, we found that we want to name her like our favorite Indian bread because she had the same tan color and was very thin.
Probably the moment of naming her was the point of no way back: we realized that she is definitely OUR dog and we are not going to search for new owners.
I had sweet sunset dreams today, cause They are almost ready to adopt me At first They told that is impossible because of Their journey plans. So They expected to find either an owner for me, or a #dogshelter . But now She started to google the subject and She’s almost sure, that EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE Day 7
3. What was the idea behind starting an Instagram account exclusively for her? What prompted you to decide to adopt her and travel with her?
We started to communicate with many-many people, who came to us being interested in tiny Chapati in hands of non-Indians. It shocked both locals and tourists: nobody could believe that it is actually even possible to adopt a puppy from a different continent. That was the point when we realized that the main reason that stops tourists from adopting Indian dogs is their unawareness that it is actually possible.
At the same time, many Indians are unaware that street dogs can make the same family members as purebred dogs.
When we understood this problem, we found ourselves wishing to popularize Chapati’s story. We really started to believe that our experience could change some people’s attitude and could inspire. Our plans were to explore Asian countries, so Chapati had to share the same lifestyle. We are very happy that so many people now started to know, that Indian Pariah dogs are such a great companions.
4. So far, what all places has Chapati been to?
We try to make it in a chronicles style, posting every single day of her wonderful journey, and every missed day of posting gives you a bigger gap with the real-time events. In her Instagram she has already left India and came to Nepal.
We have already traveled to India, Nepal, Thailand, Myanmar and now have reached the Philippines.
We are not quite sure about our future plans, but maybe, if everything will be favorable, after reaching Ukraine, we will take Chapati on (sic) a wedding in Italy with us. After that, we dream to go back to Asia.
5. You faced quite a few issues while traveling in India with Chapati. Tell us a little about that.
Of course, traveling with a dog is definitely not easy. Probably the hardest part is to prepare all documents for entering every next country. Sometimes it is difficult to find a place to live (which would be on your budget). Sometimes, it is very hard to find transport, which allows dogs. And one time we even faced a real problem in finding a place to eat, which was in Mumbai.
But overall, I would say that our Indian part went quite easily. As Indians are very welcome to the tourists, many times we were let inside the places, where owners were really afraid of dogs. It was also very easy, cause Chapati was really small at that time, so many train conductors closed their eyes on this, even though we were traveling in the classes which don’t allow dogs.
6. As far as traveling goes, which country is the easiest in your experience?
So far, it seems that Nepal was the most dog-friendly country. We never faced any problem in finding a place to live, to eat and to transfer. We could even visit all the temples and places of interest with Chapati. All other countries, which we have visited, are approximately on the same level of pet-friendliness, except Thailand.
Thailand is sometimes extremely unfriendly to dog owners and we faced many problems there.
7. How is Chapati taking her new found fame and family?
We are very lucky to have such a perfect traveler with us, as we never faced any problems concerning Chapati’s attitude to a nomad lifestyle. Speaking about her internet fame, I think that it really suits Chapati: she is very communicative and friendly in life. She wants to make friends with everyone, whom she meets, whether these are people, or dogs, or cats, etc.
Actually, Chapati’s fame is mostly displayed in her love to live and love to her from those, who surround her.
Note: This is an InUth Original.
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