The history books tell us that for thousands of years now, humans have shared symbiotic relationships with pets. Our pets are not just companions but are members of the family to protect, love and most importantly understand. So here’s a story we love to share.
It all started with Charlie coming home!
I’m getting ahead of myself a little bit so let me rewind to 2016 when I woke up one morning with my mind made up – I should get a pet. A no-brainer really and I wonder what took me so long to get to this brilliant idea. But, I was thinking of bringing a pet home for the first time and the questions poured out – should I get a dog? Or a cat? Or maybe I’ll get an aquarium, but are fish pets? I hardly see pet cats among my friend circle (even extended circle) so a dog it is then. Plus, I’ve read about how cats are self-absorbed – or maybe it’s a myth. Anyway, I think I want the unconditional love and loyalty of a dog.
But which breed? Labrador and Golden Retrievers are sweet goofballs! Beagles are cute. German Shepherds are handsome. Rottweilers are majestic. Or maybe a Lhasa Apso because they can be easily handled in a smaller house. All this information from YouTube videos of course. Now, do any of these breeds actually suit my personality? More importantly, are they a good fit in the house?
Now, where do I find a puppy? I don’t really want to ‘buy’ one but where can I adopt one from? So, I check Facebook groups and turn to Google search with my heart set on a golden retriever by now. And…I land up on OLX. It took me a while to digest the fact that there were so many dogs and cats being “sold” as commodities and even though many of the posts were labeled ‘for adoption’, further inquiries revealed there was always a ‘price’. Did I have a choice? It’s with some regret that I have to say that I did. But at that time, I couldn’t find a place that could educate me on how and where I should find the right information on adoption.
I almost decided to give up but the cute puppy pictures I saw on olx drew me in further. And that’s when a thought struck me – “What is the puppy’s fault in this affair? Is it his fault that he’s being “sold” on olx? Is it his fault that we are forced to “buy” him? No. right? But, my fault is that by “buying” I am encouraging a not-so-ethical business of breeding. I decided to visit a breeder just to see the condition of the puppies anyway. And when I heard that the pups were taken away from their mothers when they were just a couple of weeks young and then saw the not so great conditions they were in, I decided that ‘buying’ a puppy would at least mean providing a better home for him/her. And out of this litter came sauntering a mischievous little pup (who also seemed to find one of his sisters annoying) whom we named Charlie after a happy go lucky character in a hit Malayalam movie that came out around that time.
The pet parenting journey had begun but unfortunately, there weren’t really many parenting books I could find on this topic unlike for human babies. The next set of questions began – where can I find a reliable vet? What kind of diet should Charlie begin? And what about training him to be the best boy that ever is? After a lot of searching on Google, I picked a vet and then found out that Charlie had a health issue that would need surgery to ensure that it didn’t turn to a larger problem as he grew older. Again, where do I turn to for a second opinion because I was new at this parenting thing.
And, it doesn’t end there – the questions continued as he grew older. How do I travel with him? Which hotels are pet-friendly and what about restaurants in the neighborhood? What about a pet daycare or a boarding when I couldn’t take him with me?
You get the drift by now. There are so many questions and there wasn’t one place to get all the answers. And the industry was also missing honesty. And when I realized that, I had my next brainwave (remember the previous one was getting Charlie) – why don’t I create an online pet destination where all current and future pet parents can come to for any help, information, support and everything related to their pets. I wanted to shout out to everyone saying that for every scrupulous vendor, doctor, breeder, there are countless loving pet parents and humans who can help you make the right choices.
And then in 2018, I met a bunch of wonderful people, who are pet parents themselves, who shared the same passion that I did and we decided to build something that would address all the worries that we had and keep having as pet parents.
A platform for pet parents and pet service providers to connect and help each other.
Pet parenting is a real job and at floap we want to make it easier for you and your pets. And it doesn’t matter what pet you have – floap is there. The dedication and unwavering love of all parents in making sure their pets are happy, healthy and safe is what drives and motivates us. Now, with the entire team that’s involved, I have greater hopes about floap become something bigger than just a passionate venture. Moving from an idea to the point of execution wouldn’t have been possible without this fabulous team of 8.
Thank you for being such loving pet-parents who took time out to read through all this. We hope you’ll join us in this beautiful journey of building a world full of happy furry, finned or feathered pets and happy families!