HT Brunch
01 November 2014, Saturday

It’s a dog’s life…and you want it too

Sonali Shah, Hindustan Times

Piping hot, nutritious food is hand delivered for Joey and Phoebe every day, and they lick their plates clean, literally. They sleep on special beds in an air-conditioned room. They swim in a non-chlorinated pool. And they like to strut around in cashmere coats especially bought from London. The two are also enthusiastic about regular spa treatments, and, because they hate flying, they’ve turned their family into road trip experts.

Also read: Are you an indulgent pet parent?

We can see you shake your head as you read this. We hear you muttering, ‘Kids these days! Why, for heaven’s sake, are parents so indulgent?’ Well, prepare for a shock, because Joey and Phoebe aren’t children. They’re a pair of Dachshunds with lifestyles that most human Mumbaikars can only dream of.

We all know how pets are pampered these days. But wouldn’t you love to live these dogs’ lives?

Bro and Doobie

Parent: Cat & Dog Nutritionist Rashee Kuchroo, owner of Doggie Dabbas

What fun it would be if your mum owned a restaurant and sent out tiffins with delicious meals each day! For Bro (a Shih Tzu) and Doobie (a Lhasa Apso and Pekingese mix), this is a reality and they love every bit of it. You would too, if breakfast was chicken or turkey. ‘They’re extremely active kids and run around the house crazily, messing everything up, but they do love their afternoon naps,’ Rashee Kuchroo says proudly.

Bro & Doobie are groomed daily and visit a pet-spa every 10 days or so. During the monsoon, they step out in specially-shipped raincoats with removable hoods.

Cara & Noah

Parent : Nikhil Thampi

Cara and Noah are adorable beagle pups who are pampered silly by their pet parent, designer Nikhil Thampi. “I know it’s unhealthy, but I feed them chocolate every alternate day. They love it!” he admits.

Also read: Meet the dog saviours

Nikhil’s extended family wrapped around their little paws already. “We shop first for these babies and then for us,” he says. The dogs enjoy a home-service spa, have leashes and accessories shipped in from Canada and wear special fragrant collars which help keep ticks at bay.

Barbie and Romeo

Parents: TV Actress Karuna Pandey

If they weren’t Labradors, you could call Barbie and Romeo morning persons – they begin their day at 6:45am with a breezy walk. Malad’s back road is where they run about while the neighbourhood’s humans get ready for work. Back home after socializing with the local pooches, they’re fed a healthy meal of soya and English eggs, thanks to their mum Karuna Pandey’s cooking.

Once every fortnight, specialists arrive at their doorstep to give them a thorough bath and buffing session and once they’re back to smelling divine, each slips into their customized collars. Sometimes Barbie and Romeo take a trip to the masterji, who measures them for bespoke costumes for canine camps and fancy-dress competitions. But at home, their only competition for their parents’ live is Maau the cat, who’s Pandey’s third pet.

They call it puppy love

“Many of my clients are busy young couples who do not have a child yet, or do not want one. But they want to pamper someone and that’s where the pet fits in,” says Rashee Kuchroo, owner of Doggie Dabbas, a premium tiffin service for dogs in Mumbai and Delhi.

And where there’s love, why worry about money? “I fear sometimes that my dad might will everything to our pets instead of my sister and me!” says Thampi.

But why do pets need a nutritionist? “It’s a stitch in time saves nine” situation,” says Kuchroo. “Meals customized to a dog’s individual needs, means fewer trips to the vet.” There are other services for your pet too.

Pooja Advani who runs It’s a Doggiie Dog World, a pet wellness centre, offers grooming and boarding, and now Mumbai’s first pet pool for general fitness, like hydrotherapy. Her increasing list of clients is proof that a pet’s health matters.

Dramatic Paws

*Doggie Dabbas delivers hot meals, personalized for dogs according to their health history. Expect dim sum, pizzas and fudges in their tiffins.

Monthly charges are between Rs. 6000 and Rs. 8000 for a kilo of food.

*It’s a Doggiie Dog World is based in Versova, and has a non-chlorinated pool fir pets. Hydrotherapy helps in rehabilitation for the injured, to reduce swelling, stiffness and pain, stimulate recovery from illness and trauma, and aid weight loss and general fitness.

*Karuna Pandey’s NGO organizes feeding, population control and medication for city strays.