It has been four years since S. Shankar, an MNC employee, went on a trip with his family. “I am scared of leaving my Champ with people he doesn’t know. I can’t leave him at pet homes because he does not like other animals,” he says, speaking fondly about his three-year-old Japanese Spitz.
Anuradha Sabharwal’s story is not very different. “My Sanka doesn’t eat or drink when we leave him with others. He doesn’t even come on Skype,” says the Thoraipakkam resident about her two-year-old pet dog.
For pet owners like Shankar and Anuradha, ‘Hotel for Dogs’, started by two young entrepreneurs Shravan Krishnan and T. A. Adhishwar in Akkarai on East Coast Road, is a blessing. They can leave their dogs here for the period they are away and can be sure their pets’ social and physical needs will be taken care of.
“Finding trained people to take care of your pet is very difficult,” says Maureen Hudson, who has four dogs. The facility, she says, would be much sought-after also because owners can interact with their pets through Skype.
“Also, live streamed video updates of the pets will be uploaded to the website every day so owners can check them out at their convenience,” says Adhishwar. He added that only vaccinated pets would be allowed and they would start issuing memberships soon.
The hotel has a swimming pool for dogs, and will soon have a grooming studio. A cafeteria for pet owners and games for the pets are on the anvil too. “The huge play area is to ensure the dogs can run around and play during the day,” says Shravan.
It was a riot on Saturday at the inauguration of the facility when several Labradors, Huskeys, Golden Retrievers, Dalmatians and other breeds made a dash at the pool and chased each other playfully.
“Dogs, when left in places such as these, learn to be disciplined and also socialise with other dogs. The best feature about this place is that the caretakers not only know everything about dogs but also love them,” said I. Subramanian, an advocate, who had come with his wife, and Caesar, an active Beagle.