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When The Dog Decides Where We Live

The day we brought Bullet home as a 45-day-old pup, we vowed to give him a good home. In other words, we needed a new house with plenty of room for him to roam.

New Delhi, December 9, 2019: Apartment-hunting Delhiwallas have their wish lists — a view, a formal dining room, a roof deck — and their roster of must-haves — a modular kitchen, a powder room, marble flooring, a bedroom that can hold much more than a double bed. But for a certain breed of pet owners, including us, the furball’s needs take precedence over their silly human desires.

Simply because for many people who don’t have children, they view their pets as their children, and they consider their pets’ needs in the same way others would consider how the schools or playgrounds are in a particular neighbourhood. No, it’s not funny. These are people who have a great deal of empathy, so they worry about their pets as they would worry about another human being — though some have been known to carry it to extremes. Of course, not all pet parents are so intense. As a consequence, these people give a wide berth to apartments and neighbourhoods they themselves might prefer, buy or rent larger apartments than they might otherwise require, and, in a few instances, take a big financial hit for a change of address. Like when we got Bullet home as a 45-day-old pup, we vowed to give him a good home, freedom and companionship he would need.

First and foremost, that meant giving him all the space. In other words, we needed a new house with plenty of room to roam. It felt like the obvious thing to do for any loved one under my roof, four-legged or not. Here is all you need to know about the family dynamic: If the dog isn’t happy, we’re miserable. So we knew what we wanted: a penthouse with a terrace garden for Bullet to feel he had a yard to himself. We wouldn’t say we were ruled by our dog, but we have to give up a certain number of things because of him.

Family and friends suggested we take a ground floor, because elevators stop at every floor and when there’s an emergency and Bullet’s got to go, being able to get out of the building quickly was important. At the same time, however, we knew he would bark at people, especially kids who would pass by the house on their cycles or tease him from outside the boundary wall. We did consider the location of our vet, but thanks to the Expressway, it’s just 15 minutes drive from home. So we bought the apartment with Bullet in mind.

Definitely, it’s bigger because of him as we wanted to have more room for him to roam. But the day is not far when we’ll have condos and rentals responding to the pet-possessed with far more than a pet-friendly policy. For instance, the under-construction Omkar 1973 Worli in Mumbai plans to have on-site day care and dog-walking services and grooming stations provided by The Barkley Pet Hotel & Day Spa – the world’s most innovative and advanced pet care facility. Constructed at a height of 200 meters, the facility will provide an envious view of the Arabian Sea and will be the world’s first and only pet hotel & day spa inside of a super- tall building. Such devotion, however, raises an obvious question: When designing extravagant spaces for pets, is property value even worth taking into consideration? As adorable as some of these properties are, they often come at a hefty real estate cost.

-Editorial by Karan Verma, Buddy Life Magazine

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In This Country Dogs Wear Pollution Masks

The  Asian country is fighting the worst pollution ever. 

Seoul, June 13, 2019: Development had cost dearly to the people of South Korea. The country is has worst air quality in the developed world, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Here people have long protected themselves by wearing masks. However the recent concern is growing among dog owners for the health of their pets.

In order to protect their dogs, their parents are making them wear masks. The air quality in this country is so poor that government has passed emergency measures to tackle the “social disaster” being unleashed by air pollution, after record levels of fine dust blanketed most of the country in recent weeks.

The national assembly passed a series of bills last month giving authorities access to emergency funds for measures that include the mandatory installation of high-capacity air purifiers in classrooms and encouraging sales of liquified petroleum gas vehicles, which produce lower emissions than those that run on petrol and diesel.Seven major cities suffered record-high concentrations of dangerous PM 2.5 particles, according to the National Institute of Environmental Research.

The World Health Organization has warned that air pollution poses a major public health risk due to its links with a host of respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses. Seoul has already introduced emergency measures, such as limiting vehicle use, curbing the use of coal-fired power stations and cutting the amount of dust generated by building sites and power plants. But they have had little success.The crisis has also created friction with China, which South Korean public health experts say is responsible for between 50% and 70% of fine dust pollution in the Seoul area, home to almost half the country’s population. Experts say the particles, from Chinese deserts and factories, are carried to the Korean peninsula by prevailing westerly winds.

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Britain’s pet owners fear Brexit Blow

Campaigns like Barking out Against Brexit are heading up.

Chunky, a bulldog, became an unlikely celebrity after relieving himself on a poster of Jacob Rees-Mogg – an MP and strident champion of Brexit during a march in London.
as the country’s parliamentarians continue to scrap like cats and dogs over the terms of Britain’s exit – or indeed whether to leave the European Union at all – Chunky’s owner Siobhan Goodchild believes the signal sent by her pet could not have been clearer.
The press pounced on images of Chunky’s mischief; bulldogs are a national icon in the United Kingdom, synonymous with a stubborn, independent spirit.
“The photographers loved it when Chunky relieved himself on Rees-Mogg’s poster because he’s a bulldog, and it sort of subverts the image of bulldogs being only for Britain – they can be for Europe too,” said Goodchild.
As reported by, Chunky was also photographed relieving himself on an image of another leading Brexiteer, Boris Johnson. His moment of fame came during a march organised by the “Wooferendum”.
This imaginative anti-Brexit campaign attracted 3,000 people in London with nearly 1,000 dogs in October.
“We voted in the referendum and are strongly against Brexit,” Goodchild said. “The Wooferendum march seemed like a quintessentially British way to make a statement because we are dog lovers.”
Organiser Daniel Elkan dreamed up the campaign to get dogs “barking out against Brexit” after talking to pet owners who voted to remain in the EU during a referendum on membership in June 2016.
He became convinced that leaving the EU would be a “dog’s dinner” in this animal-loving country – Britain has more than 54 million pets and a quarter of the population owns a dog.
Elkan said: “The reaction from dog owners was incredible: Brexit is a tough dry subject and not a great party conversation, but when I asked them whether their dog would like to join the Wooferendum because dogs were never consulted about it their eyes would light up.”
As parliament finally nears a decision on the UK’s future relationship with Europe after two years of divisive wrangling, Elkan is now considering repeating this successful event.
A key reason many informed pet owners oppose Brexit is the new difficulties it will create for those who wish to travel abroad with their animals.
Long-standing fears in the UK of rabies meant that prior to the creation of Pet passports in 2000 – the official Pet Travel Scheme – animals had to be quarantined for six months when returning from the continent.
Mary Fretwell led a lengthy campaign to secure passports for pets, enabling them to avoid quarantine, and she is bitterly disappointed at the prospect of Brexit.
“Not only was quarantine expensive, it was a big question of animal welfare,” she said.
Under the pet passport scheme more than two million pets have since entered the UK and Lady Fretwell, who travels regularly to with her greyhound border collie Roxy, noted on a recent trip that border staff were expecting 900 animals in just one day.
“I devoted seven years of my life to secure passports for pets and to see that now just discarded for this folly is mind-boggling,” she said.
Pet owners heading abroad will now have to consult their vet three months before they travel, but if there is a hard Brexit, by which the UK would leave the EU without a negotiated settlement, pet owners fear quarantine could be reintroduced.
“The frustration, sadness and anger that the removal of this freedom to travel with a dog or cat would cause, after 18 years of doing so successfully, would be seen as a mean gesture by those purporting to implement the will of the people,” said Lady Fretwell.
While the Wooferendum was considered fun, it also highlighted serious concerns about the effect of Brexit on animal welfare in the UK.
Prominent animal rights campaigner Dominic Dyer points out that professionals from other EU member states make up over 25 percent of the workforce in British veterinary surgeries.
Dyer said: “We are very reliant on vets from Europe who care for our dogs, cats and other companion animals up and down the country – if we suddenly start shutting those people out of our labour market we will have a shortage of vets at a critical time.”
European vets also make up 90 percent of those working in abattoirs carrying out vital animal welfare and public health checks – a concern raised by the profession with Prime Minister Theresa May – and Brexit could result in shortages of animal medicines.
Dyer is convinced campaigns like Wooferendum could play a crucial role in determining the eventual outcome of the UK’s Brexit process, especially if there is a second referendum.
“If you have got 15 million dog owners, 13 million cat owners, and millions of people with other companion animals, the vast majority of the population have some sort of pet or animal in their household. And a fraction of those change their minds as a result of these concerns, that would be enough to change the outcome.”

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