Wednesday, July 29, 2015

My rendezvous with Pooches at Petspace

My interaction with a dog goes way back to my school days when I used to pet my friend’s dog once in a while. I volunteered for an animal shelter for a long time and I used to spend time bonding with the furry ones and healing them. Petspace was the place where I boarded my Furry boy Max for the first time. I was so apprehensive and tensed about the whole scenario of making him stay while we were out for a vacation. The reason was that Max was a rescued German shepherd and I had no clue about his past. What he feels when he is around dogs, what he feels when left in a boarding place , his temperament around new people, how he would be around his handlers at Petspace etc. So I came there with all the stress inside me and met Hema. She convinced me that he would do just fine. We dropped him and went off for a break of five days. We came back only to know he did exceptionally well, mingling with all the dogs, being extremely calm around his handlers and we were oh so happy.

 Months ahead, I joined Petspace as an employee. As an outsider, my description of Petspace would be of a place where i)the dogs roam around freely- which they never get to do while in a home; ii) are happy resting in the shade when they are tired and iii) a place where they are well taken care of. So can there be a better place to work ? No!.  So my tryst with Petspace began. My mornings began with all the dogs running around and coming to greet me first thing in the morning as I reach the centre. Can there be a more beautiful sight? There have been so many dogs that I enjoy spending time with here, but there are some who have left an impression in my heart. I don’t have many years of experience with dogs, but whatever I have , I can share it openly.

Even though here there are a mix of Indies and pure breeds that come in for boarding, I have always established a deeper, stronger bond with the indie dogs. They take more time to bond but their bond is very deep and emotional. The Indian dogs have an innate resistance towards male humans ,but they bond better with female humans . They say dogs sense vibes very strongly so they are the best judges of purity and wisdom. So no two minds about declaring Women Rule!!

Coming back to Indian dogs; they are more serene, gentle hearted, docile, soft with humans. But if it comes to a dog- dog interaction, a tiny sized indie can give a fight to a full grown St Bernard !! They know whom to bond with and whom to stay away from, whom to ignore. They are the most intelligent breeds ever ! I love almost all the indie dogs that have come to petspace but the ones whom I bonded closely with have been Amulya – the white indie, Bachi- the brown indie ; Robin The senior indie.
Amulya- has been here for long so I have spent lot of time with her. She loves to be pet, is possessive around people, but looks very comfortable in her own space. She is a no- nonsense dog and every dog at petspace knows that ; no dog  can mess around with her!!
Bachi- The indie who comes from a home where she is loved and doted upon a lot, so much that her parents especially her mom was already getting homesick leaving her here. Bachi is a gentle girl who loves petting but is little shy to come near you. Once she trusts you, she loves being around you.
Robin is a 10 year old indie boy who has never been into boarding. He took his time to settle in, but he is a gem. He loves being petted by female humans but once he trusts you, he wants to stick around with you all the time! He keeps whining for attention till you call him by your side. With dogs, he knows his place in his domain and can get a little naughty too!

I also got to meet and bond with two cute buns Ginger and Kiki , they come from the same house but were mere opposites of each other. Ginger is one fun loving, naughty, storehouse of energy even with her tiny size but can bug any of the big sized dogs too!  Kiki the mini girl is a virtual canine saint. She is so calm and peaceful that one can mistake her for a soft Toy !! She can be carried and she doesn’t budge from your hands!! They spent a whole lot of time here and had a complete blast gaining popularity and getting oodles of love and affection from the Petspace team and practically all the visitors here!!

Another dog I bonded well was Fluffy the Shih Tzu. As the name goes, he is a true fluffball . During his long stay here, he made sure that he practically owns the petspace office! From sleeping near my leg to roaming around the office, or jumping onto the chair and climbing up the office table- he has done everything. He looked very comfortable being in the office as if he owned the place and loved his stay here. He didn’t mind other dogs around but he made sure no one bothered him too much.

At Petspace, the dogs love the free space and lazing around in the sun or the shade whenever they want to. Dogs have been animals in the wild and it’s in their instinct to roam around and explore. That’s what they get to do here. Also it’s a place where hyper- active and energetic dogs get to play endlessly with other dogs. Especially the Labs and Goldens of any age and the Young German shepherds have loads of never- exhausting energy in them . Also, there are lots of dogs that get dropped for the day where they get to play around and burn their energy ; so when they get back home they are tired but happy to see their humans !
There have been dogs that take time to adjust, do not like being around other dogs or humans but here we make sure they remain as comfortable as they would be at home. We provide them a separate space where they can roam around freely, with the basic, minimal interaction as they would prefer and let them feel at home in their own space.

I would describe a day at Petspace as : A place where I come to work and get greeted by lovely doggies all jumping their way to make me smile and feel loved ; followed by bonding with them, making sure they are well taken care of and have no inhibitions being here or being in their comfort zone (as they would be at home).

Just to add that there have been dogs who have come out of their shell and have become free spirits and have improved their interaction with other dogs over a period of time . So much to these Happy souls !!!!

Praveena Sanjay

Monday, January 14, 2013

"pet parties bring out the party animals in us"

[This article was published in TOI dated 11-01-2013]

Life is a blessing, a wonderful flow of spontaneity unfolding each day when one loves what one does. Well the story of Petspace is one such journey......

I had an IT engineer's job, going through the motions of a fast track life until one day two furry bundles of joy walked into my life; Buster - my dog and Misty - my cat. While it was exciting to dote and be doted upon by two cuties, it was increasingly evident to me that a part of me remained at home even as I went through the gruelling office hours hoping that they were fine by themselves. Vacations of any kind ceased to make sense any longer. I found most pet owners faced similar issues. Meanwhile, the urge to do something of my own had me enrol in an entrepreneur program at IIM-B. The course helped us to get started with our own business and that is when it occurred to me that I could set up a place where pet owners could drop off their pooches during the day as well as when leaving town. That was the inception of Petspace and there has been no looking back ever since.

Like all businesses, setting up Petspace had its own share of challenges. Finding the right space was crucial. I wanted to ensure that the place was big enough to allow the dogs to run free and socialize. I found the place on Sarjapur road set amidst a fruit orchard, just off the main road, close to corporates and apartments. The ambience of Petspace is best described as a nature's getaway spot within city limits. The challenges are outnumbered by the rewards I receive. The most AWESOME reward is the love and attention from the dogs that arrive at Petspace. From the teeny weenies to the giant Great Danes all shower so much love on me each day of their stay at is hard not to feel like a celebrity!

Since the entire concept grew from feeling of the need for good caretakers of my own pets, we at Petspace treat every pet guest as our own. Dogs and their owners have given us their affection and appreciation many times and it’s sweet when they return always. During this journey, I also realized that just as we all like to party and have fun with friends, dogs too find great joy in running along and making new friends. A huge German Shepherd befriending and playing games with a smaller pug is a treat to watch. Pet parties bring out the true “party animals” in us ;). Special cakes and fun games for the dogs and guests makes every pet party a cherished memory. Imagine the pet owners, kids, festive decor and a bunch of wet noses. Need I say more?!

Pet care during your long days at office or when you want to go out of town or when you want your dog to run free and have fun is not just the need of the hour but also an opportunity for you to choose to enhance your cute pooch's life. I am happy to have moved into doing what I love. Hope to catch up with you over FB (  or during your visit to Petspace...! :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

10 Things I Love & Learn From My Dog!

“Eat when you’re hungry; Sleep when you’re tired.” ~ Zen Teaching

Some of the greatest lessons one learns are learnt from the simplest of truths. Have you heard the above Zen teaching before? Simple isn’t it! And the most beautiful things that we fall in love with also similarly seem to come easily when we open our eyes to the beauty in simple things. Ever took a moment to watch birds or the sunset from your terrace?! And if you learn and love at the same time, it’s got to be with your DOG! 

Here are 10 things I love & learn from my dog:

1. Everyday is a New Beginning!
No matter if its rain or shine, every day for my dog is a brand new beginning. He struts to life with a zeal and enthusiasm that is infectious. 

2. Live in the Moment!
He lives in the moment. 
One moment, he gets disappointed that the bird he tried to catch flew away, 
one moment he is taken aback when I firmly command him to stay by my side when on a walk, 
one moment, he gets startled or fearful due to a loud noise.... 
and the very next moment he is back to his cheerful ways without a care in the world!

3. Lively, Spontaneous, Mischievous!
It’s as if he has taken the responsibility to keep life positive through his lively and mischievous acts. Spontaneity keeps him (and me!) interested in his next moves and playful grooves. There is never a dull moment. Such moments are utilized in recuperating and rejuvenating the body, mind and soul to get back to one’s mindless happy life!

4. Eat, Play, Love!
Ask any Lab owner and they will tell you what they’ve learnt about eating from their dog. And given a chance they play and expend all their energy (and so are fit and healthy). It’s the simplest rule when it comes to food and exercise!

5. Self-Belief!
Have you noticed how a small breed doggie could easily tame or subdue a much larger breed with his confidence? It’s an amazing lesson about self-belief. 

6. Look Cute When You’ve Goofed!
A funny lesson but works really well (practically speaking). Goofed up on something? simply roll your eyes, look cute and plead with love. Most hearts would melt even without a word being spoken. [This is as opposed to the defensive cloak many of us wear when caught on the wrong foot]

7. Explore New Possibilities!
He’s never afraid to put his wet nose to a new object. Given a chance he would take a bite too. How often one stops short of greatness simply by not treading unchartered paths!

8. Repetition begets Mastery!
We did this as children. How do we grow out of the ability to do something we love repeatedly? Imagine the results if we could relearn that! So just go find something you like and do it to your hearts content. 

9. Fun sometimes requires getting soiled!
He doesn’t need a swimming pool. A muddy puddle will do just fine. He could turn that into a most amazing pool of heavenly bliss. I learn to find joy in the simplest things in life.

10. Stand up for what you believe!
How often we hesitate to speak up for ourselves. I find no dog who would hesitate to bark up a riot to make his point clear!

And no post on my dog is complete without mentioning the one quality that got his kind closer to ours and teaches us to this day what makes us human: Loyalty and Trust. He trusts me completely and stays true to me in his every breath. Even though he may not say it in words, his every action speaks volumes.

I Love You dearly Buster! Thank you for making my life so much more full of joy. I dedicate this to every dog owner who would certainly vouch for these experiences with their own pooches. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Cute Pooches, Cuter Gestures!!

One turns into an instant celebrity when he / she brings a dog into their homes. I remember the first day after bringing Buster (my cute Pug) home, when I returned from work. He was so delirious with excitement and joy he truly did not know what to do! He was running all round and in circles, shouting and yelping in joy with frequent kisses to my cheeks! It was amazing! This continues to this day!!

Couple of days back, I noticed a very usual gesture and I realized that I should write on these little cute things our dogs do that just makes us go weak in our knees and melt in love. These day's Buster comes to office with me. I get this hunch that he thinks likewise about me accompanying him! Anyways, toward the end of day he sits in my office and as I wrap up for the day he just seems to sit disinterested in the immediate surroundings, occupied in his own thoughts...I guess of saving the world and other significant ideas. The moment I am done he immediately gets up in excited anticipation of the drive back home. It could be the end of a call or shutting down the laptop, I just don't know...but every day he KNOWS even before I actually get to leave!

And the look on his face!!! :) :) Its almost like he's saying, "A'rite! So let's get goin'"!!
As I thought about this I recall many similar gestures and events with my pooch.
  • Buster is blissfully unaware that he is a pug and he may be talking to 'bigger' dogs like German Shepherds and Labs, especially when we are at Petspace. Somehow he has picked up that we or rather 'he' owns the place and has undertaken the responsibility of keeping the dogs in line, ensuring that they wait for their turn to eat, to be petted etc. Of course, the turn is a simple rule "after him" :)
  • He can eat! Yes! Ask even the Lab owners and they will tell you this. He can eat. It doesn’t matter if he just finished his 'lunch'. You offer him and he shall take it as if he was never fed for days! These guys are the cutest foodies in town. He even knows his dinner time and will scratch on the door till his dinner is served. And yes...he is one dog who only drinks water from a cup just like humans without spilling!!
  • He loves to trouble Misty, my Cat. She is a princess who sits in all majesty....until Buster gets bored with the usual games. Then he is on to her and would trouble her unless she climbs on to a higher ground (read table tops or shelves!). There is a reason why God didn't give dogs the ability to climb like cats...
  • Now a days he has become such a lazy pug (what with the rains), he is all tucked in his bed and he is so lazy to get up and welcome people that he just lies there wagging his tail or making cute noises.
And I can go on and on and on.... I am sure that you would have splendid moments with your own dogs and his / her cute gestures too. Feel free to share 'em.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Amazing & Amusing Dog Tales!!!

"Laughter is the best Medicine" they say. This one is dedicated to all those lovely pooches and is a collection of some Amazing Dog stories and a few Amazing Stories of dogs!

How it came about was - while talking with a friend I heard a couple of bizarre stories of dogs from her life. It just got me thinking and I saw the doggie club at Petspace assume a new color schema. Presenting some of the finest...:)
[Note: All pics have been taken from the net to protect the identity of our pet guests ;) ]
Read on...!

The Hermit: (This one from the friend)
There was this dog that would on each Friday morning come up to the owner and take a rudraksha garland (rosary) and actually keep twirling it in his mouth giving the illusion of doing prayers!!

The Companion (Again from a friend)
The owner was a compulsive drinker and many a night he would lose his ground and grounding and fall just before he reached his home. His dog would actually come pull him to a 'safe' corner and sit by his side till he woke up from his stupor!

Now for some tales from closer home (Petspace)

The Shrewd:
We were trying to train a German Shepherd. The deal was to shake hands with the person he was meeting and greeting. We rewarded him with his favorite goodies. Within a while he caught on. He would do it accurately...and WHENEVER HE wanted the goody treat, he would shake hands with me and ask for the treat by pointing to where the packet was kept! :)

The Dude!
I mean with due respects, we know that when a doggie decides to sit lazily (which is rare) he just sits tight. So here was this amazing 'dude' who couldn't care less for the worries of the world and the only thing that got him to his feet would be the presence of a female in the yard! Suddenly we would discover the latent athlete in the making! Lol!!

The Leader!

My cute pug, when he is with me, BELIEVES that pugs in general and he in particular RULE the world. He would immediately start bossing over and acting as the quasi supervisor of Petspace! My able assistant, I love the coochy and his leadership!

The Follower!
There are these wonder-struck cuties that arrive at Petspace and who for some reason turn into fanatic followers of mine. The simplest way to get them into their kennels at night is to simply walk around (they would be at my heels), walk into the kennels and then walk out leaving them inside. That cute look saying, "You got me" that they wear whenever I do this is so SWEET I can barely leave!!! :)

The Roller!
Give a lab some mud, dirt and add a little water to the mixture. Boy! Do they love to ROLL in the mud. I have had these nice white and bright puppies turn into unrecognizable brown babies in minutes. If not for their eyes it would practically be impossible for even their owners to identify them. Luckily, these chaps love water and so the bath! The unending sequence: Whiteness - roll in the mud - turn brown - bath & more play in water - Shine white and bright again!!

The Nibblers!
All pups bite when they are teething. We know this. Some dogs, even huge and grown ones, simply believe that they are still cute koochies who are teething eternally! Sometimes it is startling when a big dog takes my hand in his mouth, even though I realize that it is just an affectionate nibble!!

The Rockers!
I'd heard of a Japanese dog that had a preference for music. I have seen my fair share and I totally agree that there is a bunch of Rock music fans out there in the dog world. Give him his bone and some metal to go with and you have a happy, rocking dog!

The Movers!
Yeah! We pay 'em packers and movers to do a similar job. But when your little stuff gets relocated and sometimes to secure, unfound locations it can get really interesting. How often have you had your dog move or take some object and put it among his toys or in some nondescript corner of your house. The vast area in Petspace gives them ample space to play hide and let us seek!! :)


The Shakers!
From tugging at our furniture to rocking us when they greet us with glee, our pets sure do know the way to shake a leg! Of course, the funny part is that they don't seem to care if the leg is yours! I have a dog and a cat who scratch at my door and actually insist that I let them in!

This is just part-I of this series. Maybe next time I'll present specific anecdotes with names of each of these adorable darlings that make our lives so beautiful in such inspiring ways as written above (and more...)
Do feel free to share your own stories and experiences...

Thursday, March 15, 2012



Quite literally in this case as Chocolate's birthday is indeed EIGHTH March! :)

Chocolate's fifth birthday was celebrated here at Petspace. In attendance were his doggie and human friends and...yummy yummy food not to mention music and FUN. A loving Mom, Rachana baked the Birthday cake as well as took care of all the arrangements along with dad Anurag. It was really sweet to see the family and the love that spilled over and filled Petspace and my heart too. My most hearty wishes and love to Chocolate.

About an year ago, Rachana brought in a most beautiful Golden Retriever with a lovely bronze-gold coat to Petspace. I was even more thrilled to know that he was named Chocolate! As if it was required to feel the irresistible love and attraction to this cutie.

It’s always a pleasure to interact with Chocolate. Like all Golden's go, he is very friendly and affectionate with humans. He is such a 'cuddle-bear' wanting to be petted all the time. He has learnt that he can melt any human's heart to do his bidding by demonstrating his routine of - sit, offering his right paw, his left paw and even standing on his two feet!!!. When he came here for the first time he was not so comfortable with other dogs. That has now changed considerably. Do you know how common it is for people to bring in dogs that (as they put it) 'think they are humans and look with wonderment at the other dogs'!! Well....that's not a stretch, certainly that’s how Chocolate looks and behaves with other dogs:). He is content watching the dogs at play and only when a desirable female come along he moves from his perch!

Interestingly, I came across another quote that went:

THE 12-STEP CHOCOHOLICS PROGRAM: Never be more than 12 steps away from Chocolate!
~ Daniel L. Worona
Lemma 11.9: You can never be more than 12 steps away from Chocolate!
~ Hema :)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Doggie Boarding tips

At times, it is heart wrenching to see the plight of pet owners having to drop their furry companion off at a boarding facility. I have myself gone through these emotions and I fully understand what they are going through . A pleasurable boarding experience is the result of the owner and the boarding staff working in the interest of the pet. I get asked a lot about the preparations that needs to be made before you drop your pet off and what to expect in a boarding.

  • If your dog has never been boarded before, consider few hours of day care as well as at least one overnight boarding prior to the actual stay. This acclimatises the dog to the new environment and the staff. It also gives an opportunity to the owner to give any feedback to the staff and vice versa.
  • Get your dog used to other dogs, people, new environments, travelling in a car/vehicle and most importantly eating independently (At Petspace we do hand-feed the dogs that do not eat on their own, but some dogs look for their owners to hand feed them).
  • Ensure that all his immunizations are current and that he is not suffering from any contagious disease.
  • Get your dog on an anti-tick/flea treatment as a preventive. Tick collars and spot-on applicators are effective.
  • Get your dog dewormed regularly.
  • Bring any familiar clothing/object that smells of home.
  • If your dog gets anxious seeing you pack, bring the dog in before the suitcases come out! The less stressed the dog is, he will adjust faster.
  • Let the staff know in case your dog has any abnormal fears (water, birds etc), allergies (wheat, milk etc) or has any medical condition (such as epilepsy, hip dysplasia etc).
  • Arrive as early as possible in the day, so the pet has enough outside time to make new friends before “lights out”.
  • Dogs sense and reflect our feelings; don’t allow a family member to stage an emotional farewell. Keep your good-byes short and happy. Most dogs view their boarding stay as a vacation.
  • While at boarding, eating habits of dogs may change – some eat a lot, while some may reduce their food intake. Some dogs tend to gain weight while some tend to lose weight running around with other dogs having a great time.
  • It would be best if the dog is kept on the same diet as at home.
  • Some dogs do not eat for the first day in a new environment.
  • Most dogs sleep a lot for the first couple of days after they return home.
  • Your dog will be very excited when you pick him up. Do not feed him for a couple hours as excessive food and water consumption may cause issues as the dog is in a very excited state.

As always, feel free to call us at 9900020364 for any suggestions or information.