Earlier this year, at least three universities in the United Kingdom started 'puppy rooms' for their students to help them beat exam-related stress. For an allotted time period, students could cuddle and play with the young dogs and get their mind off exams. The idea being that people with dogs are more relaxed since the pets bring up levels of serotonin and dopamine—neurotransmitters that work on emotions and keep a person calmer.
And now it seems like 'puppy therapy' has caught up in India too. On July 8, cab company Uber offered UberPuppies for Delhi residents. The company tied up with Dogspot.in, a one-stop shop for pets that connects pet lovers across the country. In this, a user with the cab's mobile app could request for a 'play date' with a puppy between 1pm and 4pm on July 8 and get 15 minutes of play and cuddle time. The icons on the app showed if puppies were available in an area. All for Rs 10.
Their only requirement being that there must be open space for the puppies to play in. In case the user wanted to adopt the little one, the company had adoption forms available with their volunteers. A noble thought indeed.
A unique initiative to promote animal love or a just a PR exercise to win back goodwill? The company had done a similar initiative in Pune earlier this year where a selected user got to ride 15 minutes with a puppy in an Uber cab and, a free cupcake.