"Life Off the Leash" on SonyLiv - Inspiring Journey of a Couple who Drove the Length and Breadth of India with their two Dogs

"Life Off the Leash" is unusual content for Sonyliv, the OTT platform that is popular for the amazing series Scam 1992 and also an enviable collection of reality shows such as the ever-controversial Indian Idol and Kaun Banega Crorepati? We chanced upon this show and were immediately hooked onto it. It is a travel show and follows a couple Priyanka and Tanveer (and their dogs Frodo and Cruise), as they travel across 20 states of India in their SUV over 120 days. In these restrictive times, such travel shows are a form of escape from the present reality. They make us feel nostalgic as well as hopeful. 

While there are many travel vlogs out there, this one caught our attention because of the dogs. And of course as we continued watching, we found other interesting aspects to it. Let us discuss these a bit. First and foremost - how practical is it to travel with two big dogs? Those of us who love the idea of having a pet, but are skeptical because of our other love - travel - can definitely seek inspiration from this show. 

Related blogpost - Travel Inspirations : Roonie & Barty vlog about Himalayan Expeditions - They are doing what you always dream & keep dreaming

Frodo and Cruise are a delight to watch. While Frodo, the golden retriever, is brooding kinds, Cruise, the lab mix, is on a constant red bull high. While Cruise loves to swim and not even oceans can keep him at bay, Frodo isn't too fond of the water. Frodo can, however, scale mountains across rocky terrain, whereas Cruise likes to stay on a more level ground. Despite these stark differences in their personalities, both the dogs get along really well. That probably makes things slightly easier for Priyanka and Tanveer. 

About whether India is a pet-friendly country when it comes to travel - as per Priyanka and Tanveer, it apparently is. One interesting observation in this regard is that while they did not face problems finding accommodations in the heartlands and remote locations, in cities at times they had to rely on their social media to navigate through last minute cancellations by hotels that had apparently mentioned pet-friendly on their websites, but refused at the last minute. Other problems that they faced had nothing to do with the dogs. They stemmed from the fact that most people are still very judgmental of unmarried couples sharing a room in hotels. They were refused accommodation at some places because of this. 

Also, there was an incident when Cruise fell sick in Cherrapunji and wouldn't get better despite medication, leaving Priyanka in tears. So they had to leave Cherrapunji earlier than planned and seek medical help in Guwahati. Cruise got better eventually, and they were able to continue their journey in better spirits. 

Apart from these hiccups, people in general were curious about the dogs and kind to them. Be it property owners, people they came across on the streets, petrol pump employees, all were delighted to see these two dogs travelling in the rear seat of an SUV. The dogs also met other dogs and made friends. One curious thing here was the dogs tried to hump all dogs they met, regardless of the gender. :)

The show is entertaining also because of the presenters. Priyanka is kind of goofy with a great sense of humor and her voiceovers add spark to the narration. On the other hand, Tanveer is that constant, balanced presence who adds a great backbone to the adventures. The show is candid, real, and spontaneous. If there is some script involved, the editors have hidden it very well.  

However, there is one aspect that the viewers may find lacking - the details. The show kind of skims through the experiences, and appears like highlights. You never get to really experience most places. Some cities, such a Pondicherry, are just mentioned as the SUV passes through them. It isn't anyone's fault really. Covering almost the whole of India in 120 days isn't easy and wouldn't really allow for lengthy stays. 

And one must wonder how relaxing the trip would have actually been with all the driving through all possible terrains while keeping a close watch on ever enthusiastic dogs. If it was us, we would have preferred to probably explore one state at a time, and would have also stayed at a place for more than a couple of days. However, it isn't us who has managed to complete such an inspiring journey, so while we can give all the gyaan we want to, Priyanka and Tanveer (and Frodo and Cruise) deserve a huge shoutout for planning such an ambitious travel and actually making it a reality (and then turning it into a show on SonyLiv). The couple has definitely busted quite a few myths about travelling with dogs. 

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