Lifestyle

Pampered Pooches: Dogs Enjoy Exclusive Members' Club Experience at Soho House in LA

Published On Wed, 12 Jun 2024
Nandini Suri
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SANTA MONICA, California — DOG PPL, a members-only park tailored for dogs in the beachside community of Santa Monica, offers a lavish retreat where canines and their owners mingle and enjoy upscale amenities akin to a "Soho House for dogs." For a monthly fee of US$120 (S$162.23), dogs gain access to a pristine and deluxe environment where they can socialize and are supervised by attendants known as "rufferees," who intervene if any canine gets overly excited. Owners have access to lounge areas, workspace facilities, Wi-Fi, a bar, complimentary parking, and organized social gatherings.
Established two years ago by friends Alex Esguerra and Liam Underwood, DOG PPL arose from their dissatisfaction with the lack of clean and secure dog parks in Los Angeles. "A lot of people refer to us as the 'Soho House for dogs,'" remarked Esguerra. "The comparison is drawn because they envision Soho House as a members' club that prioritizes its clientele, curating community, programming, and hospitality to provide a distinctive lifestyle experience. We aim to replicate that for dogs."
"The humans are guests of their dogs, who are the members. They visit the park, and through them, the members get to enjoy the community and amenities," added Underwood. Prospective canine members undergo a temperament evaluation to ensure they are suitable for interaction with other dogs and people.
"They're not performing tricks or standing on their hind legs; it's more about observing their social skills and how they adapt to the community of varying ages, sizes, breeds, energy levels, and personalities. It requires a lot for a dog to confidently socialize in such a stimulating environment," explained Keitel Frankle, a dog behavior expert and Safety Operations Manager at DOG PPL.
While the dogs revel in their playtime, what about their human counterparts? "I find coming here more enjoyable than my dog does," shared Oliver Damavandi, a 39-year-old from Malibu, who frequents DOG PPL with his dog, Gino. "I believe they've centered the experience around the dogs, but the human interaction is equally fulfilling. We're at a point in the world where communication and connection seem lost, and this space facilitates precisely that," Damavandi remarked.
He emphasized the club's relatability compared to Soho House and highlighted the absence of pretentiousness. "It has facilitated numerous interactions, both professional and personal. I even met a lovely lady here," he added. For Olga Plaksina, who visits with her dog, Bimba, the club offers a secure environment for her dog to play while she attends to work or social engagements.
"She enjoys the company of other dogs and loves to play. My priority is her safety, and I'm pleased to see mostly friendly dogs around," noted Plaksina, highlighting the convenience of working from the park with available Wi-Fi and coffee. "This benefits not only the dogs but also the people."
Disclaimer: This image is taken from Reuters.
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