Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Working at PetStepin' - in the words of Kunal

Behind the scenes @ PetStepin’ - My experience working as a temporary manager.


I was scrolling through facebook aimlessly when I came across a post by Dr.Nezhat regarding an opening In her Pet boarding facility here In Bangalore called PetStepin’. Having worked multiple jobs since the age of 16, this was the first time I found something that truly Intrigued me and I wanted to give It a shot. So after a few messages back and forth and learning more about what my duties as manager will entail, I decided to go In for 10 days and try n get a feel of what It would be like to work there full time. 

On my first day, Being an enthu cutlet, I showed up earlier than I was supposed to as I couldn’t wait to start my day and see what this experience was going to be like.(I ended up coming In as early as I could every day after that as well)  I walked Into the gates of the facility and was confronted by a huge pack of dogs barking In my face as I stood there In the socializing area aimlessly waiting for someone to come get me In. Sam, One of the managers (really sweet guy) who was on duty at the facility rushed out of the office/kennel and told me to get Inside quickly and avoid getting the dogs too excited as the excessive barking might disturb the play school next door. After my little encounter with the guests, I met the rest of the “Happy Pack” that ran the place and got the low-down from Dr.Nez on how she likes things done at Pet Stepin’. 

Here are a few things that I learnt while working at PetStepin - 


#1 - You will always have a good day - I thought I would lose my excitement and enthusiasm after a day or two but I always found myself jumping out of bed early, No alarm needed and tried to get In as early as possible and start my day at Pet Stepin’. Reminded me of the days when I was kid and would jump out of bed on the first call because It was “excursion” day. 

#2 - Your clothes get messy, really messy - I’ve retired one pair of shorts, a pair of jeans and several T-shirts post my 10 day stint at petstepin’. But It was SOOOO worth it! From playtime, to cuddle time, to bath-time to nail trimming time. Their muddy paws leave Impressions all over your clothes and your heart. But...

#3 - Running a boarding facility Isn’t easy - Having about 25 dogs and a couple of cats around on any given day Is no easy task. You have to take care of feeding schedules, medication/suppliment schedules, Phone calls, making sure everyone plays nice outside, bathing the furry ones before they leave, preparing for the newcomers to come, keeping track of who’s coming In and who’s leaving, making sure the place Is up to standards; Cleaned everyday and disinfected regularly, Coaxing and bribing the fussy eaters to eat, preparing the food board for the next day and giving all the doggies attention so that they don’t miss their owners too much..and heaps more. It all seems doable, But when you have a house-full of dogs, cats and a guinea pig (We call him Paul walker),  It can easily get very overwhelming. Thankfully, the senior manager..Sandhya always handles It all gracefully, If she wasn’t around to delegate tasks and run the show, I’m pretty sure I would’ve been stumped. 

#4 - You eat when you can - Sometimes you eat early, sometimes you eat by 4 In the evening, sometimes you eat In shifts while the other managers are out and about taking care of the furry ones. Your schedule will always revolve around the dogs.. they come first.. And rightly so. 

#5 - Checkouts Aka Goodbyes are hard - Even though some doggies are regulars and will come back often, Others might move out of town or maybe not come back for a long time. When you’ve spent so many days taking care of/ feeding/ loving/ grooming and playing with the dogs, You share a certain bond and It always sucks when they have to leave. But its so heart-warming to see them spaz out when they see their owners when they get picked up. :)

#6 - It’s a labour of love - Running a boarding facility for dogs Isn’t easy and Is certainly not for someone who doesn’t love what they do. You have to care for every single animal like It’s your own family, treat them well and give them a quality experience while they stay with you. Dr. Nez and the staff at pet stepin’.. From Sandhya, Sam, the managers... to Shubhankar, Saadhan and their families who are the full time staff and stay with the dogs when they’re put Into their kennels for the night.. every single person works tirelessly to ensure that the dogs that board with them are loved, taken care of and have a fun stay while they’re here. 

There’s so much more I wanted to write and so many little stories of all the dogs I met that I wanted to share but Dr.Nez has told me to keep this short and so I shall oblige. I had an absolute ball working at Pet Stepin for the 10 days and already miss all the dogs.. Jessie, cookie, Hazel, Simba, Appu, wolf, ginny, pixie, aldo, bailey, pickle, bolt, esha, percy, bella,milli, muffin and all the others that I’ve missed out. It has been an amazing experience and I have developed massive appreciation and  admiration for everyone over at Pet Stepin’, Especially the guests. ;) Whether I end up working here full time or not, this place will always be special to me and I shall keep visiting shamelessly whenever sandhya lets me. A special thank you to Dr.Nez for having me over and the staff over there for putting up with my endless chattering and questions. Cheers!! 

Written in the words of Kunal - an animal rescuer who came for a trial at PetStepin' for a position as Manager.