June 25, 2010, 8 pm: A chance call by a pet owner to Ganesan Jeeva and Uma Ganesan, asking the couple whether they’d take on her pet dog, while she was away. Pooch Holiday Home was created on the same night at 10 pm.
“My wife and I had been discussing the possibility of opening a boarding for canines for a while and word got around through a vet in our area. As a result, we had our first enquiry and the canine boarding was born,” beams Ganesan, project lead in an IT company.
It was an idea allright. But there’s Maya behind it.
“Yes,” laughs Ganesan, adding, “When we first brought our ‘cute girl’ Maya home on May 24, 2008 at 7.30 pm, my wife Uma and I didn’t know our lives were going to turn around, drastically. We kept awake the entire night and ever since, Maya has become more than a child to us. She doesn’t like anything dogs do, neither the food not the biscuit. She is very hygienic and sleeps beside us. But one day, when we decided to go on a holiday, we couldn’t locate a single place to take care of Maya where she wouldn’t be chained or locked up in a kennel. We certainly didn’t have the heart to leave our kid in a place like that and cancelled our holiday plans. That was when we started contemplating the idea of opening a friendly boarding for pets.”
What Ganesan and Uma have today is a canine home away from home. It’s defined by a large play yard for ‘unlimited exercise space.’ Canines on holiday boarding here get to play mind and body exercising games.
“We also ensure they have a nutrition-rich meal with all sorts of yummy treats,” saya Uma. But what makes this a bow wow destination, is that canines get to make a lot of friends.
Of course, this holiday home would be imperfect without Ganesan and Uma’s ‘kids’ Maya, Sarah and Brownie. “Our pets are our alarms. So at Maya and Brownie wake up at 6 am to wish good morning to all their guests, friends and fellow canines in the boarding,” says Ganesan.
Soon after, the cleaning completion starts. “Our pets as well as those visiting us get all over my husband and me to lick our faces clean and we end up having free half hour long facial sessions every morning,” beams Uma.
Reward for the good job done, is a doggie treat of ‘slurpurlicious, not so doggy food.’
Then, Ganesan fishes out his magic carton full of sporty equipment – balls and toys for a whale of a run around the open area. Once they tire of the fun and games, its ‘bask in the sunshine time,’ out in the play yard or in the portico. And, like many mothers do, Uma’s gets in the kitchen to prepare a ‘full meal of juicy chicken and veggies’. Post this meal at 9 am, its ‘canine in paradise time.’
So Labrador, Golden Retriever, Pug and Beagle walk in the play yard, while others sink in the sunlight comfort of the terrace and a few others, lounge in the comfort of Uma and Ganesan’s bed!
“Post 11 am, we start our grooming session with the doggies – it really helps us bond and also enables them to repose confidence in us,” explains Ganesan. And Uma disappears into the kitchen to whip up buttermilk and chicken soup.
“I ensure they get enough fluids down, because some pets don’t drink enough water,” explains Uma. Scene for a dream home set, Papa Ganesan heads to work, while Mama Uma relaxes with the pets.
Rested and fed, it’s time for Papa to return in the evening and all the canines are at their bow ‘wow’, leaping into his car, licking him clean. “Some bring me their toys and nudge me to play with them, which I wholeheartedly do,” says Ganesan. Post dinner, each pet finds his/her cool corner, to retire for the night. “It could be anywhere at all – the kitchen, living room, our bedroom...” smiles Uma.
And in their hearts, too. “We love dogs, they are our lives,” say the couple, adding, “In fact, they are our children and our own kids Maya, Sarah and Brownie help us a great deal in running the place.” Among them, Maya is especially gifted. “She helps me control the other canines, its her inherent nature,” says Uma, adding, “Maya doesn’t play much, but watches out for each pet who is with us. She alerts us soon as she senses something amiss. If there’s a fight for a ball among the pets for instance, she jumps in between and diverts their attention.”
Watchfulness is the motto of this holiday home. “We don’t take non socialised pet and never leave our dogs alone. We use only verbal commands to control the pets,” says Ganesan.
The unwritten command at Pooch Holiday Home is to ensure the pets are happy. When it’s time for them to return to their parents, the couple misses them dearly.
Some pet owners who have left their beloved pets with Uma and Ganesan have this to say...
Kiran Bernard Kutinha and Sheena
Our Peppa quite evidently had the most wonderful time and we can't thank you enough for the love, care and attention showered on her. Lots of love and licks from Peppa while a big heartfelt thank you from us.
Hi Uma and Ganesan, Thanks so very much for looking after our Fangio, he was very happy there, I can see it from his behavior and today whenever I called out Maya or Browny's name he would bark. I am sure he is missing their company. Would bring him sometime to play with them for an hour or so, hope that is fine with you both. Thanks once again.
Pavneet Vohra Soni
Thanks Ganesan and Uma for taking good care of "Zoe". She has come back more cheerful than ever.
Ganesan, Uma - thanks for taking such good care of Delsie and Dude for Ranjita. It was great to see them enjoying themselves with the rest of the family and by the time we came to fetch them; it seemed like they didn't want to leave at all after the frolicking time they had!