February is a month of love and Five Question Series brings you stories brimming with light and positivity of lives that illuminate that true love is one that a person must have for themselves—love for one’s existence, passions, and decisions.
Brave. The word that sprang to mind as I noticed a man struggling with a bag of groceries just outside of Tim Hortons one day. What was so different about him? Nothing at first. And then everything afterward.
He couldn’t keep still as he tried putting the bag on his bicycle parked on the pavement — his knees kept giving away and he kept crumbling down on the floor, but he would pick himself up every single time. At first, I thought he was drunk; he wasn’t, it was more of a medical condition. Then he made his way to get coffee. What would have taken someone 5 minutes took him 15. Me? I would have never left the house for fear of making a scene. Him? I am sure he noticed or rather felt the stares, but he put one stumbling step in front of the other and continued to be brave.
Whenever I am going through a rough moment, it’s this memory that springs to mind, reminding that true strength lies in real, imperfect people trying to make it through the day, no matter what the world says or how much they stare. In today’s feature, strength is in the form of a furry little half-human named Queen Clochette and her proud owner.
Having worked as a dog walker this past summer, I am well-aware of the stereotypical perception of Chihuahuas. Many consider them annoying because of their high-pitched bark; or ‘not really a dog’ because of their small size. But the only word I would use to describe Queen Clochette is the one I use to describe people who live with their imperfections but are known more for their grace and true strength… the word I would use to describe Queen Clochette is brave.
Q1. How did Queen Clochette come into your life?
I met Clochette’s father during a difficult time in my life. I had been through a trauma — a loss, apart from health and personal issues. I felt much loneliness in dealing with my challenges. Through mutual friends at the dog park, I met him at a get-together with friends. He had mentioned he had a small Chihuahua but I remained unimpressed. I only knew the stereotype of this breed and wasn’t interested in knowing more. One day as I was leaving the park I heard someone calling out. I turned around and there he was walking towards me. Clochette ran up to me with enthusiasm, eagerly waiting for me to pet her. I had never met her before, yet she looked so excited to see me.
This adorable, tiny little beast with one eye, had such a powerful and positive presence, I instantly fell in love.
In time through what started as a friendship and a few camping trips later, I fell in love with her dad. That love grew when I met his two beautiful little girls. Suddenly I wasn’t alone in facing my challenges. I had a unique and beautiful family by my side. It has changed my life for the better.
“Clochette lost her eye a few years back. The lens of her eye was detaching and had to be removed.”
Q2. What was the inspiration behind your blog?
I introduced Clochette at the end of 2016. I had many reasons to do so. Clochette lost her eye a few years back. The lens of her eye was detaching and had to be removed. She is currently being treated for her remaining eye. Watching this 3 lb Chihuahua be fearless and always cheerful despite her physical disability is inspiring. It gives me a reason to be strong and conquer my own health challenges. I hoped she would be an inspiration to many. I also wished to show the world that there is beauty despite “physical imperfections.” I also used the gallery to share a French word of the week to share her French-Canadian background. I received many positive feedbacks commenting on my style, photography, creativity and how it inspires. That drove me to give it my best for each shoot.
“Watching this 3 lb Chihuahua be fearless despite her physical disability is inspiring.”
Q3. May I also know more about the person behind the pictures… You?
I originally graduated from computer science but changed careers as a graphic designer and learned about marketing. We mostly do our shoots on the weekend with the children and that’s how we spend part of our family time. My style has changed drastically over the years and I hope it will continue to change as I grow artistically. I don’t have any specific plans for further growing my brand. For the moment, I am enjoying sharing another creative part of me in my sewing crafts, which I sell on my Etsy page, and a few local shops.
“Through Clochette, I wish to show the world that there is beauty despite physical imperfections.”
Q4. As an illustrator and photographer, you also use the page as an animal rights activist.
Having a large gallery gives me a voice and I wish to use that privilege to raise awareness about certain animal causes. The most recent one was #forphoquessake. The French word for seal is “phoque” and I wish to raise awareness on the abuse and killing of these innocent creatures in certain parts of the world. The idea was to capture your pet wrapped in a blanket to make them look like a seal and talk about the cause, using the hashtag. I am grateful to small and large galleries for lending their voice to the cause.
Q5. What were the milestones achieved in 2017 and what do you hope to accomplish this year?
2017 was a year to experiment, take risks, develop new styles, make mistakes and grow as an artist. 2018 won’t be any different. I wish to develop further this combination of rustic and modern style in my photography. Make it as magical as I possibly can. I wish to share more healthy recipes. I would like to create more sewing crafts on my shop along with greeting cards to further practice my illustrations. Most importantly I wish to spend time with my little family, who always inspire me to come up with interesting ideas for my fellow Instagrammers to try for themselves.
Born and raised in India, Anisha Dhiman moved to Toronto to study Publishing and then Lifestyle Media at Centennial College. Writer, social media strategist and content creator, Anisha is the founder of Five Question Series, where she profiles people… you guessed it, by asking five questions. In her free time, she enjoys reading and trolling people with puppy GIFs and memes. Her only phobia? Losing her sight, but staring at the screen all day long doesn’t help much.