Mikey (3) is waiting by the main door of his house. It's lunchtime.
His less privileged comrades from the neighbourhood have gathered near the gate and all are waiting for the Man On The Scooter.
At 2.30 pm, a battery operated two-wheeler stops outside the gate and the delivery boy hands over a red and white parcel to the domestic help. The ‘boys’ finish the food in minutes — Yummy Chihuahua stew and chicken soup.
Mikey, a black Labrador, is among the 300 dogs of Noida and Delhi who gets its meals home-delivered every day.
Deepali Khanna, in her thirties, is the owner of Mikey. She lives in Noida. “Pets become like your children. They won’t eat what’s made at home, plus they get bored and like variety,” she says, hugging Mikey.
She became a member of this service over a year ago. “They keep changing the menu. So Mikey and the other stray dogs I feed are eating well,” she says.
In Sector 43 of Noida stands the single-storied house, which is the workplace of Scooby Corps, from where the meals come.
An overpowering smell of chicken liver, roti, vegetable stock and oatmeal greets you as you enter the kitchen. Some young men are busy cooking, while others are packing meals in foils and plastic packets. In the adjoining room, five scooters with red food carriers stand ready. For these 15-odd employees, work begins everyday at 4 am and ends at 5 pm.
Two friends Himanshu Bhasin (26) and Abhishek Kapoor (28) launched Scooby Corps two years ago.
They deliver fresh-made meals for dogs twice a day, seven days of the week.
The two, who live in Gurgaon and Noida, first heard about this in the US.
“It’s a regular feature there and very convenient for those who keep pets but work full-time,” says Kapoor, who earlier imported fruit juices.
“People used to laugh at our idea. We started in Abhishek’s kitchen, getting recipes off the net, cooking ourselves and together going to deliver that precious one order in our car,” says Bhasin, who was into the pharmaceutical business.
Their company now feeds nearly 300 dogs, both pets and stray ones — in the National Capital Region. They consult a veterinary doctor for a diet chart for their ‘customers’.
“It’s not easy feeding dogs and one has to convince people that they are not supposed to be given salt or sugar. I remember meeting someone who used to order butter chicken for his dog!” says Bhasin.
Dr S.C. Varma, a vet in New Friends Colony, says the concept of getting their food delivered is an acceptable idea "as long as they are prepared well and hygiene standards maintained".
Interior designer and Kalindi Kunj resident Sita Nanda, famous for the designer clothes her pooches wear, finds the service convenient.
“Who’s going to think of making a variety of meals for them. The servants feed the dogs, so one never knows what they give them to eat. At least, here I know what my dogs are eating,” she says.
High Court advocate Anjali Sharma has four dogs and feeds several stray dogs since she became a member of the service.
“It’s like your kids are bored of ghar ka khaana and this is like the Nirulas’ food packets coming home! They are nutritious.”
Scooby Corps' future plans?
“We will introduce a premium range - food made with celery, broccoli, mushrooms, etc. and cooked in olive oil, and open a bakery that will have health drinks, fruit cookies and cakes, especially made for pooches’ birthdays,” say Bhasin and Kapoor.