We hear of incredible ideas in today’s startup-crazy world – ideas that instantly spawn the investor minds into wanting to pull out the nearest napkin and evaluate the cash model and customer lifespan or coerce the working class superheroes into putting in their papers the very next day in the quest to start off on their own. Recently, one of my ex co-founders and very current best friends, Rohit came up to me with ‘news’ of this new idea he had chanced upon – Petworking. Hail Mary – my first, instant reaction. But if something as ludicrous as this had one percent chance of seeing the light of day, Rohit had the balls (and time!) to do it.
For Manika and me, it was some much needed time with Ekda outside of home. We will be the first to admit that we represent a growing (perhaps majority) class of pet-owners who shower proxy love on their pets. We are there to take care of most of their needs in the form of providers but rarely there in the form of givers. Pets however, being the amazing beings they are, still manage to keep their loyalties clear and are able to distinguish between caretakers and masters.
The drive to Sandys Chocolate Laboratory in Ganapathy Colony (fabulous, lush green out-cum-in door outlet in Chennai’s Alwarpet locality) had Ekda all excited, head out of the window almost through the 20-minute drive. It was also a time for me to reflect and feel quite guilty about the proxy love that I had been meting out to her. While I was looking forward to the idea of the next couple of hours surrounded by pets & their owners, I was a little hesitant as to how it might actually pan out – given that I am a first time pet owner and definitely at my first ‘petworking’ event.
Walking into the venue, I was absolutely overcome by the pets in attendance. It did help that we knew some of the other pet owners present and that helped us and Ekda ease into the place. Welcoming all pets were treat bags graciously sponsored by ItsPets.in, partners for the event. Though meant to be an all-pets event, it was no surprise that 100% of the animals around were dogs. What was surprising though was that most of them were labradors and beagles! An Argentinian Mastiff and a gorgeous chocolate-coloured Setter added glam value to the event.
120 minutes passed by even before we knew it – we met new people, new pets and it was a fantastic new experience for us humans overall. Ekda, who is otherwise petrified of machines, humans as well as other dogs, came into a bit of her own about 60 minutes into the evening. Though she didn’t really petcialize much (that trophy undoubtedly belonged to Casper!), she did her own bit of exploring the venue, away from Manika and me – something we’d never have ever imagined.
I dearly wish this event happens every weekend. Due to constraints of space and resources to manage an event of this sorts, Petcialize obviously need to restrict entry to about 20 pets per event. But given the demand generated by the first event, I am sure they’ll easily fill up weekly dos such as this with a pet attending at least two events a month. I personally look forward to a beach house event where these fellows jump into a swimming pool and show off their survival instincts.
Rohit – I can only thank you for this. As you have acknowledged, the business future of Petcialize might seem daunting as of now, but trust me, you have the blessings of everyone who’s lives’ you helped reconnect with their pets today.
If you want to attend the events or be notified of goings on at Petcialize, please register with them here for free – http://goo.gl/gzZoqI
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