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

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


Nepali sherpa scales Everest record 24 times — with one more to go

Updated 7 sec ago
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Nepali sherpa scales Everest record 24 times — with one more to go

  • Kami Rita Sherpa reached the 8,850-meter summit by the traditional southeast ridge route
  • The route was pioneered by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953

KATMANDU: A Nepali sherpa reached the summit of Mount Everest a record 24th time on Tuesday, an official said, his second ascent in just a week, and he has set his sights on one more climb before he retires.
Kami Rita Sherpa, 49, reached the 8,850-meter summit by the traditional southeast ridge route, tourism department official Mira Acharya said.
The route was pioneered by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953 and remains the most popular snow trail leading to the highest point on Earth.
Two other climbers, both sherpas, have scaled Everest 21 times each. They have both retired from mountaineering.
Kami, who goes by his first name, says he wants to climb the mountain one more time.
“I am still strong and want to climb Sagarmatha 25 times,” Kami told Reuters before leaving for his 23rd climb, referring to the Nepali name for Everest.