Paws for breath: India’s pampered pooches get clean air as people choke on smog

1 / 3
TopDog is a luxury pet resort in Gurugram, India. (Reuters)
2 / 3
The resort offers several amenities for pets. (Reuters)
3 / 3
Owners bring their pets to the resort, and spend time with them in the grounds. (Reutere)
Updated 14 November 2018
0

Paws for breath: India’s pampered pooches get clean air as people choke on smog

  • The air in the pets' rooms is cleaned by purifying machines
  • For those unable get their pet into TopDog, a pollution mask for dogs, which its makers say is a world-first, will soon be coming to India

GURUGRAM, India: While most residents of the Indian capital Delhi choked on toxic air this week, the dogs of the city’s elite were enjoying ambient music and purified air at a luxury resort for pets.
Pollution in the capital rose to “severe” this week after revelers let off fireworks to mark the Hindu festival of Diwali, adding to the heavy smog caused by crop burning, vehicle fumes and industrial emissions.
Delhi’s air is among the worst in the world, although many in the city of more than 20 million are unable, or unwilling, to protect themselves from the cocktail of gases and particles.
But at the TopDog Luxury Pet Resort, Gautam Kari, the chief operating officer who studied animal behaviorology in California, is offering relief for posh pooches.
Rooms at the site, next to an organic vegetable farm in Gurugram, one of Delhi’s satellite cities and an IT hub, start at 2,000 rupees ($28) a night — more than five times the average daily wage.
The canine guests — many owned by politicians, diplomats and business figures, the resort says — have had their outdoor time reduced during the bad-air days of Diwali.
The air in their rooms is cleaned by purifying machines made by American manufacturer Honeywell.
“We don’t want them out smelling the air for more than 45 minutes,” Kari said.
Kari said clients brought their dogs for training and the resort’s other luxuries, including food imported from Canada and music more commonly heard in high-end spas.
But air pollution is also a concern for owners.
“I think the air purifiers ... are as relevant to dogs as well as to human beings,” said Vineet Durani, an executive at US software giant Microsoft, who was collecting his Siberian husky Juno.
“It’s hard to breathe.”
Other guests include a trio of dogs owned by Japanese diplomats, and two Portuguese water dogs, Peanut and Snicker, from the Dutch embassy.
The resort’s presidential suite — named after former US President Barack Obama’s dog Bo — is occupied by a pair of street dogs adopted by an employee of the World Health Organization, the agency that developed international standards for monitoring air quality.
For those unable get their pet into TopDog, a pollution mask for dogs, which its makers say is a world-first, will soon be coming to India.
The K9mask, that costs $39.99 and promises “easy air intake for resting or panting,” is looking for an Indian distributor.
“India is definitely a place experiencing air quality problems that will benefit,” said Kirby Holmes, managing partner of the Good Air Team, which manufactures the masks.


102-year-old great-granny becomes ‘oldest’ skydiver

Updated 12 December 2018
0

102-year-old great-granny becomes ‘oldest’ skydiver

  • 102-year-old says she "felt normal" during the jump
  • She made the jump to raise awareness for motor neuron disease

SYDNEY, Australia: A 102-year-old great-grandmother is believed to have become the world’s oldest skydiver after plunging 14,000 feet (4,300 meters) through the South Australian sky.
Centenarian adrenaline junkie Irene O’Shea said she “felt normal” after a 220 kilometer per hour (140 mph) dive that sent her cheeks flapping wildly.
She completed her first skydive to mark her 100th birthday in 2016, but organizers claimed it was Sunday’s successful tandem dive at the age of 102 years and 194 days that earned her a place in the history books.
“It was very clear up there, and the weather was good but it was very cold,” said O’Shea, according to Australian media.
O’Shea took the plunge to raise funds for a motor neurone disease charity, after her daughter died from the illness.