CHENNAI: Puffing, panting and with an eye on the finish line, Hunter was running through the obstacles set for him. Hoots, cheers and calls of ‘Go Hunter!’ filled the air and grew louder as he completed the race and headed straight for a bath, wagging his tail, feeling happy and accomplished.
After this fully-grown Labrador, in spirit a puppy in all its antics and butt-sniffing the other dogs, was a smaller canine scurrying through the obstacles as the others waited in line — their owners keeping them on a leash.
Amid a cacophony of woofs in varying pitches, it was a union for adult dogs of varying sizes and breeds from Dachshunds to Alsatians. It was quite an exciting experience for these furry friends and even their owners to make new friends at the Big Dog Carnival, at the Hotel for Dogs on ECR.
While some of the pooches were chilling their tails off in the pool after their obstacle run, a few others were dressed in blue, pink and green t-shirts — not only awaiting to be adjudged as the best-looking among the lot in a fancy-dress competition, but also, possibly, to check out their fancier-looking new friends — all suited up.
If witnessing dogs run, swim and cuddle up to their owners was not enough, there were also merchandise exclusively for the dogs and a range of products for dog lovers. Teethers for puppies, fancy leashes, dog-themed notebooks and t-shirts were sold in stalls, much to the excitement of dogs and humans alike.
Those who were enamoured by the sight of dogs sniffing, playing and showering love on their masters, and wanted one of their own, were in for a treat at a small enclosure in a corner of the hotel. Ten puppies, abandoned and fostered by volunteers from the Chennai Adoption Drive were awaiting a new home. There were also sessions on fostering and taking care of dogs under the name WoofX by Jennifer Jacob from the CAD.
Fun and festivities for dogs and their owners apart, proceeds from the event’s sale of tickets and merchandise would go towards taking care of abandoned dogs at a newly-set up shelter for dogs near the hotel. The enthusiasm, patronage and love for canines shown by the enthusiasts was possibly the best first anniversary celebrations Hotel for Dogs could have had.