When a lawyer turns pet groomer, the four legged creatures have…well…literally no objection! Meet Shona Bhobe, owner of Twix & Butch, a Pet Salon in Pune offering dogs of all shapes and sizes services like nail clipping, ear and eye cleaning, medicated bath and show dog grooming . An ardent animal lover since childhood, she gave up a well established law practice in 2014, turning her passion into a business. Her source of joy: She smiles every time a dog goes woof!
When ‘puppy love’ is serious business!
“My love for animals and in particular for dogs began when I was just one year old. My parents were working in the Middle East and I had no friends there. My father gifted me a Saluki on my first birthday and I grew up with him. His name was Mint. I realised I did not need any friends per se because being with a dog gave me a lot of happiness. At some level I am sure that I am in a better position to communicate with a dog rather than a human!”
I even have clients who insist that their otherwise aggressive dogs become mellow when they come to the spa
The origin of Twix & Butch
” I returned to India when I was eight, and the compassion I felt for dogs only got stronger. After fostering plenty of strays, I got 2 of my own- Twix and Butch. I continued to work and practice law but my heart was never in it. I wanted desperately to do something that would help me be around dogs. In 2015, pet salons and spas were in their nascent stage and I thought- what better way to do what I like! That March I went away for a 40 day intense course of dog grooming with Asia’s renowned groomer Radhiya Hemchandra. I got back in April and with the support, help and encouragement of my partner Praful Chandawarkar, I launched Twix & Butch Professional Pet Salon, Spa & Boutique in June 2015.”
The market acceptance
“The market has been very receptive. Younger couples lately are choosing to have dogs rather than children. Also, working parents may not have the time or the space to groom their dog at home hence dropping them off to a salon is an ideal solution. At the Spa we also educate the pet’s parents on the health and well being of their much loved animal.”
Do we need to change the way we treat our animals?
“I like to encourage people to adopt rather than buy. It would be a lot easier if people did not encourage breeders or stopped abandoning their pets when they have to move or when they start a family. I educate people all the time that before they get a dog they have to understand that it’s a 12 to 15 year commitment. It holds more responsibility than having a child. Because your child will be independent at some point but your pet will always depend on you. So people have to understand that having a pet does not mean only feeding it, walking it and taking it to the vet. “
It would be a lot easier if people did not encourage breeders or stopped abandoning their pets when they have to move or when they start a family.
I love the compliments!
“In a short period I have received quite a few testimonials and its difficult to say which one is the best. But yes it is very heart warming when people trust their dog with me ! I even have clients who insist that their otherwise aggressive dogs become mellow when they come to the spa. That’s a huge compliment!”
Pets or humans?
“Well, it’s obvious☺. My patience level at times goes into minus with humans but with dogs I have all the patience in the world.”