Instead of leaving Fido at home on the weekend, one company is looking to give New York City pet owners the chance to bond with their dogs at one-of-a-kind events throughout the city.
Since starting last year, Chase & Papi — a luxury pet concierge — has been creating pet-friendly events for owners to have fun and mingle, while also spending time with their four-legged family members.
“A lot of people feel guilty about leaving their dogs during the week but at the same time they want to socialize on the weekends,” said owner Desh Valcin.
Chase & Papi — named after Valcin’s two rescue dogs — started off just offering dog walking and pet sitting services to clients.
Then as the company went to client’s homes at luxury apartment buildings they began offering “yappy hours” at the lobby of the buildings, which were cocktail hours for owners and their pets.
Valcin said pet owners were glad to be able to have that time to socialize with their pets by their side and added that many were unaware that they were limited in their own buildings as to where they could take their pets.
“It’s a feeling of not being able to share your home and space with your dog,” she said.
Chase & Papi began creating other events, which are open to the public, that give New Yorkers the opportunity to mingle with their pets. Such themed-events include “Havana Pawty,” “Barkclays Night,” an ugly sweater and Halloween party.
Although the company is based out of Long Island, it caters to clients throughout the five boroughs and holds events across the city.
Each event includes a dog buffet, drinks for owners, and a photo booth for the pooches. Valcin added that event planner Lavinia Gims makes sure every detail of each occasion is unique in its own way.
“Every event that we do we try to make sure there is a bonding experience,” she said.
Dog trainers are also on hand during each event to make sure there are no aggressive dogs, as all the dogs are allowed to roam off their leashes.
Portions of proceeds are also donated to local animal shelters in the area each event is held and customized portraits are also sold, with some of the money also going back to the shelters.
“It’s more like a party and get together and that’s the feeling I like to have for all my events, that it’s catered to the dog but also the people,” Valcin said. “It’s really about bonding with your dog. It’s about giving your dog something to do other than just taking a walk.”
Chase & Papi’s next event will be a doga session on March 26 at Sugarlift, located at 200 Morgan Ave. in Brooklyn. Dog owners will be able to enjoy a yoga class — including a massage, stretching and meditation — with poses accommodated for dogs of all ages and sizes.
After the 40-minute session, dog owners and their pets are invited to the rooftop to mingle and enjoy some drinks.
“It’s a partnership and I think that’s what people think about doga. We don’t want your dog to run around while you are doing yoga, it might happen, but our teacher has really been using a technique that incorporates your dog with every move,” Valcin said.
Currently Chase & Papi offers monthly events, along with their dog walking and petting sitting services, but as the company grows plans are to host events about twice a month.
And for dog owners who might be thinking it is a hassle to have to commute with their pets to the events, Valcin recommends seeing a Chase & Papi occasion as one you would go to with other loved ones.
“One of the things I would say is you would do it for a family member or some else,” she said. “I think you have to experience one of our events to know that it’s worth the trip.”
For more information, visit www.cpdogwalking.com.