A five-minute walk from Marol Naka in Andheri and you will find yourself standing next to a residential complex. But as soon as you enter its gate, keep your ears open to the distant sound of barking dogs that will guide you to your next destination. On paper, Pawfect Life might be a pet boarding centre, but in reality it is heaven on earth. One step inside the facility and you are greeted with the deafening sound of frantic barks. But the next minute, you are soothed with a sight of excited dogs running around, wagging their tails and jumping on people. The place is truly every dog lover’s dream.
This Sunday, the atmosphere at the centre was a little different as the dogs and people geared up to celebrate the Friendship Day in the company of each other. All dogs were dolled up with cute bandanas spelling out phrases like, ‘cutie on duty’, ‘give cuddles pls’ and ‘being cute is a full time job’.
The centre first started as a boarding facility for canines and felines, where pet parents could leave their furry family members while away from home. Unlike normal kennels, Pawfect Life provides a free space for dogs to roam around like they would at their home. But, soon they realised they could do a lot more. Talking about the idea behind the petting zone, which started in mid 2017, Niharika Sekhri, the owner of Pawfect Life says, “The petting zone was introduced because there were several people who came to the centre asking me to allow them to play with the animals. I realised that life in Mumbai is very stressful and many people can’t have dogs because of various reasons. So, with my resident dogs, we now have a petting zone for people to come and have fun and forget all the worries in their lives.”
Another initiative started by Pawfect life is their corporate and school visits. “Corporate visits have been very successful. We mostly visit MNCs with our therapy dogs and they assign us a space where the employees can come and play with the dogs and get de-stressed,” says Niharika. Most corporate visits are on Mondays or Fridays to beat the Monday morning blues and de-stress before weekends. Moreover, Bira, the Chow Chow and Frosty, the Husky are happy to play with them. Talking about school visits, Niharika says, “We’ve mostly been to international schools. But, we also visited a school in Bandra which is for special children.”
“It was more of an introduction to a dog session to them because many of them were scared of dogs but some were also very excited, so it was a different experience for them and they were very happy by the end of it,” she adds with a smile.
The centre is nothing short of a joyride with a black pug running around the place and plonking itself on everyone’s lap; a tiny beagle slipping out of people’s hands; and an indie dog showing off her athletic skills by jumping over a four-feet high divider. The dogs are a constant source of happiness and manage to steal everyone’s attention at will. Talking about the Friendship Day plans, Niharika says, “We have special cake for dogs which we will cut later in the evening when they are a little calmer. People will get to feed the dogs and have fun with them.”
This is for sure, by the end of the session you’ll be smelling like a dog; have your camera roll full of adorable, blurry dog pictures; and you’ll depart with a heart full of happiness.