Last month, on my way out to Singapore, I spent some time with Angel at the Mumbai Airport. It was half an hour to midnight and on my way to the GVK lounge, I spotted this four-legged golden ball of fur, flapping its ears, lying down, docile in one corner.
During my last few departures out of Mumbai, I had noticed a standee after the security check, however, I couldn’t find the dogs anywhere. So when I spotted this charming Golden Retriever I immediately rushed to check with the keeper if they were associated with the same service. The answer was YES!
I started rubbing Angel’s belly and playing with the dog and I could make out that she was enjoying the massage. To my surprise, she was passive in her behaviour, unlike most dogs who usually try to lick and wag their tails swiftly. During my conversation with her keeper Animesh, I learnt that Angel has been trained in advanced obedience as well as socialization. She has also passed all the tests and is a certified therapy dog by the Hong Kong Therapy Dog Association.
Angel is also good at performing tricks in exchange for a treat. Her handler got her to shake hands with me and other passengers around.
In fact, all the three therapy dogs at the Mumbai Airport have a very good temperament and are trained to meet strangers in a very calm and docile manner. Mumbai is the first airport to introduce therapy dogs to help anxious passengers feel at ease before they fly. I tried looking for other Asian countries where they had canine friends at the airport, but could not find any. Kudos to Mumbai CSIA Airport for taking the lead in this department!
I spent about 15 minutes playing with Angel and she never barked once during that time. What an awesome way to spread the cheer with these friendly canines and destress before flying out of Mumbai. I know that the next time I am at Terminal 2, I’m definitely looking out for these dogs.
- Domestic Departures: 6 pm to 8 pm
- International Departures: 9 pm to midnight
And if you’d like to book a playtime with these dogs at the Mumbai Airport you can always contact Fur Ball Story on +91 8130819609.
I sure hope more airports help passengers in the way that CSIA is doing.
Have you met these cute dogs at the Mumbai airport? Do share your experiences.