By ALMA J. BUELVA
WHAT started as a pet grooming salon in August 2015 has morphed into a full pet cafe two years later that gives its canine customers and their doting owners thoughtful services fit for a queen.
Barkingham Pet Cafe is located in E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue in Quezon City, a long and busy stretch of road with not much points of interests to offer. So, when a humble pet-friendly establishment with English ambiance opened shop, it attracted a steady stream of dog-loving customers who perhaps also love their teas.
The name Barkingham and the logo of a dog wearing a bearskin hat captured exactly what the British people hold dear in their hearts: their royals and their dogs. Both set the tone for what Filipino dog lovers can expect when they visit the Barkingham Pet Cafe: a royal treatment.
While Barkingham has no red carpet rolled out for visitors, its attention to details helps carry out that London theme in every nook and cranny of the place. Adding a cafe to their dog parlor was a natural progression to give dog owners a place to relax while their dogs are being groomed.
“We specialize in unhurried quality service...We thought there was more we can do for our beloved pet owners who are waiting for their pets to finish their groom. Barkingham is a chill hangout spot for people and pets,” said Pearl Choco, Barkingham's manager.
The cafe area teems with items for humans and dogs alike. The menu lists sandwiches and coffees and teas for the two-legged guests, while paws-ta, pupper patties and sundry items are available for the four-legged ones.
Unlike the usual pet cafes that feature resident pets that guests can play with, Barkingham has no in-house pets. The ones you'll see there are paying (dog) customers who are there for a bath or trim or to nibble on Barkingham's homemade baked dog treats. Pearl said they get visited by at least a hundred pets a week.
“Pet grooming shops are all similar, but we take pride in the connection and genuine love we have for every pet (and pet owner) that comes through our doors,” added Pearl.
True enough, Barkingham uniquely has a veterinarian on standby to check on every dog after being groomed.
“We believe pets and their owners deserve much more, so we put up an in-house vet office to promote a 360-degree wellness of pets...We offer free vet check-ups for our clients after every full groom,” Pearl told MetroPets.
Barkingham's veterinarian is available from Monday to Saturday, 11am to 6pm to provide free check-ups, vaccinations and minor surgeries.
Barkingham's royal-class offerings have customers from south of Metro Manila asking for a branch there. Pearl said they have no expansion plans at the moment, but they are open to building a bigger and better Barkingham for pet owners to enjoy.
“We want to provide only the best service we can and to be a pet's second home where we love and care for them as our own,” she said.
By ALMA J. BUELVA
A distraught owner of a Shih Tzu shared on Nov. 5 in Facebook how his dog's ear was allegedly accidentally cut off by a dog groomer from Animal House clinic in Pasig.
Eyjay Go posted 11 photos of what appeared to be a horrifying ordeal his dog went through in the hands of the pet groomer from the said clinic. Instead of just getting a simple haircut, a large part of the dog's right ear appeared to have been cut off and was not surgically reattached afterwards.
“Animal House Ortigas, why so careless?,” was all that Go could ask after his pet Cola unnecessarily became a one-eared dog.
Members of various dog groups in Facebook were quick to vent their anger at Animal House for its staff's negligence as they lamented over what happened to the toy dog. Many of the comments urge Go to sue the veterinary clinic.
A certain Donz A-Piesta said: “GRABE! Tatandaan ko yang Animal House na yan, kawawa naman yung dog. (Severe! I'll remember this Animal House, poor dog.)”
MetroPets is yet to hear from the Gos, but Animal House has already released an official statement to lay crucial facts regarding the incident.
In addition, a veterinarian from Animal House in Pasig, who spoke to MetroPets on condition of anonymity, shared important details of what he said actually happened. The doctor said Cola was brought to their establishment on Oct. 28 by a nanny and was received by a male groomer and the clinic secretary.
The groomer allegedly found a rubber band that was wound up tightly around the dog's ear, which was also apparently been rolled up. In that condition, the ear would have lost its crucial blood supply, he explained.
"For a scissor to do a cut (like what was suggested), it should open wide. It would have made the dog to cry in pain and caused non-stop bleeding. It would have called the vets' attention," the vet said.
He admitted that the groomer should have notified the vet on duty after finding the rubber band wrapped around the dog's ear, but stressed that after the dog was groomed and bathed, it went home with its ear still attached.
On Nov. 5, the owners of the dog returned Cola to the clinic and it was when that tuft of fur went off and photographed, the vet said. The doctor added they have discussed with the client what transpired and they provided free cone and medicine not as an admission of guilt, but out of compassion to the dog.
Photos of Cola at the clinic have spread among dog groups online, all of which seem to be in agreement that the clinic must be held liable for what happened. The owner of the photos didn't say when those photos were taken.
Left photo shows part of the fur covered ear of the dog that was allegedly accidentally cut off, but doctors said was the result of the ear being tied tightly with a rubber band for a long time, enough to cause necrosis of ear tissue that caused it to fall off. Right photo shows Cola being treated for her wound. (Photos from Eyjay Go's Facebook page).
Cola's case brings to mind a bad grooming incident last January that resulted in the death of another Shih Tzu named Tyler.
Tyler was left by her owner for grooming at The Dog Spa & Hotel in BF Homes Parañaque. After her grooming, the dog was left on a table unattended and when it jumped (or fell) from the table, it got hanged.
Veterinary malpractice and grooming accidents have incensed many pet owners lately. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal advises pet owners to protect their animal before tragedy strikes by doing the following:
* Look for a skilled and caring veterinarian (ask for references from trusted friends and humane organizations, and call proper government agencies and veterinary medical board or group to check for complaints).
* Seek a second or third opinion about your animal’s diagnosis before proceeding with surgery or treatment, and carefully monitoring your animal’s stay and treatment at veterinary clinics.
* Never hesitate to ask questions about your animal companion’s treatment, and never leave your animal overnight at a veterinary hospital unless you are convinced that it is necessary and in your animal’s best interests to do so.