Son 1 attended a 007, spy-themed party at the Ranches this weekend and as I drove through the rabbit warren of streets lined with beautiful identikit villas to collect him, it occurred to me that I might not know any of the other parents.
He’s on a school bus, so I have much less contact with his school than my other son’s (higher-maintenance) school, which I visit every day for the drop-off. Plus, the way they do a shake, rattle and roll each year with the six classes in each grade means both the pupils and parents get a fresh start each September.
Anyway, the party was still going on, so the parents huddled in the kitchen while a pair of energetic teenagers led the games outside. I struck up a conversation with another British mum, as the kids hurled water bombs at each other, and we exchanged details about our child’s name, class, etc.
(The drawback with mixing up the classes is I spend ages wracking my not-so-well-oiled brain, trying to work out if the mum I’m talking to is the same person I sat giggling with in a coffee shop three years ago, is the class mum – who deserves deep respect, in my opinion, and I probably owe money to – or is indeed a newcomer.)
The British lady and I didn’t talk about our children for long, because the conversation quickly moved on to her dogs. Specifically, the doggy daycare they were being treated to that day. Yes, treated to.
“Do you want to see some photos of my dogs?” she asked, rhetorically, then reached for her phone, pulled up Facebook and clicked on a post from the doggy daycare.
“There they are,” she said proudly. “Awww, look what they’re doing!”
I peered at her phone. Her dogs, indeed very cute (and known as Little and Large, due to one being big and the other handbag-sized), were pictured frolicking around a sizeable grassy, landscaped yard, with tunnels and other playthings laid out for them.
“That’s their swimming pool,” she said, enlarging a photo of a sparkling blue pool, big enough to hold at least 10 children.
“Swimming pool?” I responded, my eyes widening, “For the dogs?”
“Yes, and that’s where they rest. It’s great – they go every Saturday.” [“Means we can actually do something on Saturdays,” her husband interjected.] “In fact, we must dash – it’s doggy pick-up time at 6.”
She showed me one last photo of her cat [“Do they do cat daycare, too?” I ventured, my mind still processing this whole concept and spinning with possibilities for our moggy.] Then they called their daughter over to leave.
I’m not really a dog person, but later that evening, I found myself Googling it, intrigued by the idea of a pet daycare with a pool, that structures the day to include a dog-nap, has a webcam trained on the playarea, and posts updates on Facebook to allow ‘parents’ to see what their pampered pets are up to.
Turns out, that’s not the half of it. Dogs can board there, and even the standard suites are furnished with a sofa bed and plasma TV; the Urban Suite has a webcam inside; and the Junior Royal Suite offers extras such as a sheepskin rug, bonus cuddles, caviar in the feeding bowls and champagne through a hose (ok, I made the last two up!).
There’s a pet Limo service, a personal butler and a fully-equipped indoor gym with ‘Fit Fur Life’ doggy treadmills – where, I’m guessing, the doggy bootcamp for overweight pooches takes place.
You won’t be surprised to learn that classical music is piped into the communal areas and that eye-soothing views of an indoor oasis with fabulous fountains are advertised.
Seriously, I’ve been in Dubai for five years now and I thought I’d seen it all. But a 7-star pet resort for animals who need a luxury break from their day-to-day routine. That takes the biscuit, surely!
(And, yes, there is a cattery – I checked!)
Find out more about Urban Tails (in the Green Community) at www.urbantailsdubai.com