Written by Ammar Zaidi
Forty-eight dogs and 102 people. In the suburb of Andheri, it was an unusual party, a mix of canine ferociousness and their doting masters, who were willing to shell out some dough to mix with other pet lovers.
At a pub and bistro in Andheri east, dog owners brought their favourite pets to a get-together of like-minded people. The dog owners mingled with game sessions where their pet was rewarded with a doggie buffet and homemade food. Lemon and spoon sessions were held with the owners leading the dogs.
There was also a wagging tails contest — the dog who could wag his tail for the longest time won. A ‘Temptation Alley’ followed, where the route was littered with food and toys, and the dog who reached the other end first won the game.
Parth Maheswari, organiser of the ‘pupper party’, said such get-togethers not only help dogs and owners socialise, but are also a platform to share solutions on raising dogs. The programme is generally conducted on weekends.
It is the day of the dog, however, as they are fed buffets and other goodies to their heart’s fill.
Maheshwari adds that they were surprised by the feedback in Mumbai for the event. “Delhi pet owners are not so quick in catching up even though many restaurants in Delhi are pet-friendly, while it was a task to find a pet-friendly restaurant in Mumbai.”
The event plan is released about three weeks prior to the date on social media. The ticket prices are also offered on discount online.
Mickey has a four-year-old dog called Goofy. Both are regulars at pupper parties. This is their fourth visit. This time Goofy did not participate in any games — he won several last time.
Vishaka, who came to this event for the first time with her dog, Tia, said it was a fantastic event. She said it was also a great way to socialise with other dog owners. She said the good thing about this event was they didn’t make you feel excluded and every dog got full attention.
Vedashvi, who owns three-year-old Casper, loved the event that she discovered through an app.
Akshay Gupta, founder of Pet Fed, who created this group in Delhi, said his company organises several events for pets. “The pupper party is a small scale café event done on a monthly basis,” he said. Their main event, a huge Pet Fed festival, is organised once a year in any one of the metros, Delhi, Mumbai or Bengaluru.
The idea was to do something for the pets and help intermingling of dog owners who own the same breed. They also have a cat section.
The first event in Delhi saw 300 dogs attending, and the response encouraged Gupta to make the event a national one. Their best response has been from Mumbai as they claim that Mumbaikars are open-hearted and very outgoing.