Meet Namratha Rao, A Dog Aficionado, A Single Pet- Parent And The Co-Founder Of Woof Woof Walkers!
How does your usual week look like?
I work in the development sector so I have a typical day job during the week and I am a canine trainer and behaviourist (Pawsitive Tales) during the weekends. I usually head out with Ginger to some pet-friendly cafe or go to the district park in Hauz Khas, Lodhi Garden etc on the weekends if I’m not busy training. I do prefer weekday early mornings for these parks though, they’re less crowded then.
Mountains or Beaches?
I have explored beaches in Bombay with Ginger, and now I’m planning to explore the mountains. So, it’s kind of a hard pick!
Your favourite pet- friendly hangout spots in the city?
I love to head out on a morning walk with Ginger at Lodhi Garden. Besides that, you’ll usually find me at Big Fat Sandwich, the District Park in Hauz Khas or Cafe Dori in Chattarpur.
What are the challenges that you usually face while heading out with Ginger?
Due to limited pet-friendly parks in the city, it makes it difficult for us to explore parks around because sometimes people complain of bringing a dog into the park. Besides that, aggressive street dogs also tend to be a concern. I also don’t have a car, so have to rely on friends, autos and cabs when I venture out with her.
What inspired you to become a canine behaviour specialist?
After Ginger became a part of the family, I decided that I wanted to do something for dogs, give back to them in some way. I was amazed and inspired by the trainer who trained Ginger. After watching her train Ginger, I was motivated and hence got certified as a trainer/behaviourist by Shirin Merchant in 2014.
Being a single pet parent in the city, how do you handle taking care of Ginger while you’re away at work?
Apart from me majorly being with her, on our quests of exploring during the week, I am also grateful for my friends and supportive flatmates and Ginger’s pet sitter who don’t mind taking care of her while I’m away at work.
Is there anything you specifically want to achieve with Ginger, travel wise?
I definitely want to head to the mountains with Ginger, though I haven’t planned it yet. But heading to the hills and going on a trek is at the top of my bucket list right now!
How much time do you spend with Ginger every day?
I wake up at 7:30 am and head for a 15-40 minute (it can really vary) walk with Ginger. When I come back home from work at around 5 or 6, I spend time with her either by taking her for another walk, off-leash play time or teaching her new things. I make sure that I walk Ginger at least thrice a day, spending a minimum of an hour with her outdoors.
How did you come up with Woof Woof Walkers?
While Poorvaja, the co-founder of Woof Woof Walkers and a trainer herself (Humans of Canines) and I were on a heritage walk at Old Delhi, we got a bit bored with it and suddenly at that moment Poorvaja mentioned that how great would it be if we had our pets along to walk this trail with us! Poorvaja has also been certified by Shirin Merchant but we both had done the certification at different times, and that’s when we came up with the idea of Woof Woof Walkers, a service where we organise walks at different locations from time to time with the inclusion of fun activities that both the pets and the pet parents can enjoy!