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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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