“I was over the moon when my brother surprised me with Hazel on my 20th birthday.”

“I was over the moon when my brother surprised me with Hazel on my 20th birthday. She hardly weighed 600 gms and fit in my palms. We used to wake up together, have breakfast on the same table and were stuck to each other all day. Hazel slowly became the most favourite member of our family.

When I decided to move for my post-graduation, Hazel wasn’t happy. She would sit inside my bags and not let me pack or pretend to be miffed by not eating. With a heavy heart, I convinced myself that it’s a matter of just one year. When I was away, I would speak to her everyday on video call– she would run towards my room thinking that I was back. The biggest reason for me to come back home after my graduation was Hazel.

She took some cajoling after I moved back, but she was so happy to have me, that we were back to being stuck together in no time! But within a month, Hazel fell ill. We remedied this with her vet, but he said there was no issue– her test reports were normal, except for a minor discrepancy. Before we could investigate further, Hazel fell terribly sick. I vividly remember that night– it was 10pm when we took her to the hospital for an emergency operation. She had started bleeding internally– we tried hard to find matching blood for her, but we were unsuccessful. Hazel didn’t make it through the night–she passed away in my arms.

The next few months were hard. All of us tried to resume our routine, but something just didn’t feel right. I was heartbroken– even though we had caught Hazel’s symptoms at the onset, we still lost her. Having experienced this trauma first hand, I knew that the state of medical services for animals is very poor in our country.

I decided to do something about it. After 10 months, I came up with PetKonnect– a networking site for dog owners to exchange notes, access resources, connect with vets and get emergency aid. During the pandemic, we’ve also launched a 24 hour vet-on-call service to make sure pet parents get the help they need– we’ve already managed to assist several people.

In Jan, when I was at petfed, I spoke to over 200 pet parents. I had a mini pop version of Hazel with me and told everyone that I was doing this in her memory. The reviews were amazing. One dog owner came up to me and gave me a badge with a heart on it. She hugged me and said, ‘I can’t imagine what you must have gone through, but I’m sure Hazel would be proud’– it was the best moment ever.”

1 Comment

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