Doggie creche opens in Lisbon

It’s a solution that could help guilt-beset working dog owners who feel terrible leaving their four-footed friends ‘home alone’ Monday to Friday.

Lisbon’s Instituto do Animal has just opened its first ‘doggie creche’ – a service that not only picks pooches up and drops them home again, but one that also offers obedience training, behavioural therapy and even canine physiotherapy.

With a monthly fee of €268.80, all shapes and sizes of Man’s best friend are welcomed.

Explains the institute’s founder/ director Sílvia Machado: “What we want is to encourage mental and physical stimulation, as well as company, for the dogs”.

To start with, there will be only one ‘class’, limited to 15 medium sized dogs, or 10 depending on whether some are large-size.

But Machado has told Público that “outside investors” have shown interest in helping the initiative expand, so that there could eventually be more classes, and more animals.

For now, the capital’s first creche will be aiming at pupils from the north and west of town.

Elsewhere, other initiatives are springing up, adding a wholesome new image to the words ‘dog business’.

Indeed, Público reports that there is even a waiting list in nearby suburban Mem Martins’ Atelié CÂOpreensão as all 20 places have been enthusiastically filled.