Ten-Second Takeaway

The Mumbai airport {T2 and International} keeps adorable, ‘comfort’ dogs for tired, stressed-out passengers to play with, and we spotted them last weekend.

Who Let The Dogs In?

Photo source: CSIA Comforting Angels

Photo source: CSIA Comforting Angels

The good folks at the Animal Angels Foundation and the Chattrapati Shivaji Airport did. And we only came across this last weekend.

While waiting tirelessly at the Mumbai domestic airport, weighing our options between splurging on food or splurging on books, we almost ran into a huge signboard and a smiling face of a dog which bore the words, ‘Free hugs and wagging tails waiting for you!’

Confused and excited, we turned around to find the meaning of all this was when we saw two beautiful dogs laying near a shop with their caretakers. Their names were Pepe and Pearl, both girls, and were part of the ‘Comforting Angels’ programme for the airport. Pearl, a year-old mischievous puppy, and Pepe, a more laid-back 5-year-old were calling all the passengers to them. We spent a good part of an hour with them, playing, petting and hugging them {and somehow wishing to take them away with us}. Don’t worry, we didn’t.

These dogs are well taken care of by their trainers Aakash, Gayatri and Harshita and water is always available for them. They take a walk outside the airport after a break and dinner is served at the other terminal later. After their ‘duty’, they are either picked up by or dropped back to their family home.

#LBBTip: Rub Pearl on her stomach and she’ll love you. Also don’t forget to give her a paw-shake.

How Does This Work?

Photo: Bhavika Govil

Photo: Bhavika Govil

At the Animal Angels Foundation, people with dogs can volunteer their pets for all sorts of causes – to be with kids with special needs or spend time at old age homes. These dogs undergo training for around eight months to a year. They become trained therapy dogs who are gentle in temperament, and not easily startled or perturbed by the many noises at the airport – suitcases falling, kids screaming, trolleys and wheels or loud passengers.

So, We’re Saying…

The next time you’re flying out of the city, and find yourself at the T2 airport, you know that you’ve got the best creatures on earth waiting for you.

Where: Domestic Departures, T2 airport, in front of Fabindia {right before the boarding gates start} and International Departures, T2 Airport, near the computer terminals.

When: On the weekends only, between 5.30pm–8.30pm at the T2 domestic airport, and between 9pm–11.30pm, they are at the international departures

Find out more on their Facebook page here. To be a part of the Animal Angels Foundation, check their page here.

Featured photo source: CSIA Comforting Angels