‘Paw’rty – the exclusive Xmas party for Chennai’s pets and pet parents – began with a bang at the Indie Frost Café, Egmore (Chennai) on Christmas evening! Merry barks and happy paws joined the clinking of smoothie glasses to form a perfect symphony of sounds at this charming cafe, where both people and pets are welcome. The Indie Frost Café, run by the avid pet lovers Divya and Vivek, has been one of the favourite hangouts for the city’s cats and dogs, since it first opened in West Mambalam, Chennai. The Egmore branch, which was launched recently, has more space at its disposal, and is hence the perfect place for pets and pet parents to create more beautiful memories for their families!
At the ‘Paw’rty, the fun started even before the games did! The ‘party dogs’ invaded the park at the venue, with a vengeance! The pets started running around like there was no tomorrow. A few of the pets bonded big time. A few other pets tip-toed around each other, wondering what their next move should be. But what was evident was the fact that all the pets at the park, regardless of their size, colour, or breed, felt totally at home….felt like they belonged together. And that ‘feeling’ was the Pet ‘Paw’rty’s first success!
One must have thought that all this heady socializing would have exhausted the pets. But on the contrary, it only recharged their batteries! With their enthusiasm intact, pets and parents next made a beeline to the swanky café, where they were made comfortable by the café’s affable, friendly staff. Pets greedily quenched their thirst in the water bowls that were thoughtfully placed in many corners of the café. Inquisitive parents started browsing the little ‘dog treat parlour’ that the event’s partner, Scooby’s Café, had put up inside. Scooby’s café is a pet-centric café in Nungambakkam, which specialises in baking birthday cakes, muffins, and cookies for our furry friends. It is the only café in Chennai which prepares chicken-based cakes for dogs, and tuna-based cakes for cats. Pet parents at the ‘Paw’rty happily grabbed many of the homemade treats and muffins from Scooby’s counter to delight their pet children.
Get, Set, ‘Paw’rty
Just when we thought nothing can up this excitement level, in came the Emcee of the evening, Ms. Khyathi Thaker, with her energetic welcome address! Khyathi, in her inimitable style, added more vibrance and pizzazz to the party. As soon as Khyathi declared the games open, pets and parents rushed to the gaming zone at the café’s green backyard. The ringmaster of the evening was celebrity dog trainer, Mr. Sharath from Chennai Sniffers Dog Trainers. Sharath is an expert dog trainer and animal behavioural specialist, with many years of experience training pet dogs of varying temperaments. He had painstakingly designed some fun, interactive games for pets and pet parents at the party. First, it was the Recall game. This tests how pets respond to voice commands from their parents. With her straight, undistracted walk, obedience, and eye contact with her mom, the pet labrador Venba emerged winner of Recall. Next came the tunnel game. Pets, big and small, trying to scurry down a tunnel to reach their parents, was a sight to behold! Some naughty pets even tried to jump over the tunnel, or bypass it completely, but they looked absolutely adorable while at it. Venba and her laser-sharp focus, won this one too hands down. The Agility wave poles game seemed intimidating to us. But for the pets, it was like a walk in the park…literally! Just like in a park, they simply followed their parent, regardless of how they walked – straight or criss-cross. The Labrador Buddy edged out Venba to win this one. Finally, it was time to jump some Hurdles! We were so surprised with how well the untrained dogs performed at this game. The pets mimicked their parents and jumped each hurdle just the way the parent did. Venba’s victory in this game is a testament to how far unflinching trust and unbridled faith in someone can take you in life. To the oohs and aahs of all the pet parents who had come, Venba was crowned the ‘Star of the ‘Paw’rty’! For us, however, all pets who participated in the games were winners!
As happy pets and parents walked back into the café, the mood turned slightly sombre. Divya, the owner of The Indie Frost Café, cares for the world around her very deeply, and has spear-headed many social causes and campaigns that bring about a positive change in society. Her journey has been inspired and enabled by many individuals, who go out of their way to help the needy – be they people or animals And there is no better way to say ‘thank you’ to these kind, compassionate hearts, than to honor them at an event that seeks to help animals find their place and voice in the world. As Khyathi called upon every awardee on stage and shared their story, the audience welcomed these ‘heroes’ with their thunderous applause! Dr. Raja earned his place in this illustrious list by being the only person who cared enough to feed the strays near the café, every day for the past many months. Mr. Arun and Ms. Akshaya, united by their love for animals, feed over 300 strays around Chennai every 2 days with home-cooked meals. Ms. Nisha’s exemplary animal rescue and rehabilitation works , the psychologist Manjula’s humane attempts to prevent suicides by counselling, and Ms. Durga’s resolve to feed strays even beyond her own means were all lauded. The good work done by of Ln. Sandhya, Ln. Kalpesh, and Ln. Kavitha towards improving the standard of life of the very young and the old came in for much appreciation. The biggest service that one can do to mankind is to spread happiness all around. The band, On The Streets of Chennai, has made this motto their life’s mission, and has been accomplishing it through the medium of music. They broke into an impromptu ilaiyaraja song even at the ‘Paw’rty, and got the crowd to sing with them too! That performance changed the mood of the guests from sombre to scintillating! For their dogged efforts in this noble direction, Surya, Raj, and Jaypratap from the band were honoured. After the felicitation, the focus shifted back to pets. Mr. Sharath came back on stage to announce the winners of the games. The pets cutely trotted to the dias with their parents, as and when their names were called to receive their prizes! The labradors Venba, Buddy, Shadow, Coco, and Portia, the goldies Vaibhav and Harry, the husky Ghost, and the daschund Silver won big that day! Mr. Ragoo, the National Secretary of the National Fishermen’s Union gave away the prizes to the winners. Gift vouchers awarded to the winners and participants were sponsored by our gifting partners, the Pretty Pawz Pet Grooming Studio in Annanagar, Om Kandan & Kannan Pet Store and Medicals in Aminjikkarai, Scooby’s Café in Nungambakkam, and Sanchu Animal Hospital.
Pets and parents continued to troop into the café, even well after the ‘Paw’rty ended, just so they could experience the joy of it for at least a few minutes. As night approached, pets and parents left the café reluctantly, with their hearts full and a single thought in their minds – ‘When’s the next ‘Paw’rty??’