One of the hottest neighbourhoods in the city, Koramangala, has a secret, says Subhalakshmi Roy. Tucked away in the middle of the cacophony is a slice of doggie heaven – about 100 acres of wagging tails and many voices going, well, 'Ruff'.
Founded in 2014 by corporate professionals Syed Shibly and lopa Saikia,Ruff Pet Services was born out of their own frustrations while boarding their Cocker Spaniel Choko. "We thought about the problems we face as pet parents in Bengaluru – commuting long distances, the undue stress it causes to the dog – and figured out what we can do better for the animal and consequently, for the parent." says Shibly.
Starting with five dogs and no staff, Ruff has now expanded its services to include a day-care and long term boarding. The day-care currently looks after 47 dogs, and the long-term residents number between 12-15. The staff is trained under Cessna lifeline to handle any medical exigencies and emergencies, from cough and cold to CPR. Ruff also has three vets on call 24x7.
But that is not all. Ruff has added a whole bunch of other services to its repertoire as well. Abow & Beyond, the in-house salon run by Saikia, is one of the few which cater to breeds of all sizes – from a Maltese to a Tibetan Mastiff. "We do not muzzle or sedate the dog. We train them to enjoy the process of grooming, so that it is very blissful for them", she says. She uses herbal products and minimal tools. "The dog is happy, we are happy, there is no stress and the work is faster," says the former HR professional.
It also organises legendary birthday parties for pooches to gambol around with its doggie mates. A splash pool, funky balloons and a yummy doggie cake; you name it and they'll get it done.
Ruff's got a taxi service to pick up and drop your pooch, and can also handle inter-city and international transfers. And, if you are one of those unfortunate dog lovers who can't keep pets, you are welcome to hang out with Ruff's dogs.
Ruff donates a certain portion of its profits to CUPA Second Chance, CARE, Precious Paws Foundation and other shelters in the city which care for abandoned dogs. It also grooms their dogs for free and provides the taxi service for rescue cases.
Ruff joins a long list of pet facilities across the city where pooches are living the good life, enjoying spa treatments, gourmet meals and birthday parties. There are Tailspin and TherPup Café in Whitefield, PetSpace off Sarjapur Road and many more. A dog's life in Bengaluru is not a sad thing after all, at least for some.