Former England rugby star Tony Underwood might be more famous for chasing peanuts around than pooches, but he is now offering unkempt canines a new leash of life.
The sporting great was one of the first owners through the doors to My Second Home’s luxury pet resort, and now he’s giving something back – by sponsoring its new five-star grooming and pampering salon.
Underwood’s own doggy duo, Daisy and Luna, are regulars at the Dhs10 million centre in Dubai Investment Park, taking advantage of the world’s largest air-conditioned indoor play space and leisure pool. Originally, co-founder and managing director Sanjiv Dhiman had planned to expand operations in time for the summer holidays. But after a hugely successful festive period in which the site’s 41 suites, six villas, 12-guest chalets and four-dog family rooms were fully booked, the completion date was brought forward.
That’s where Underwood winged in. Keen to show his support, he asked the team how he could best do so. And together they came up with the sponsorship idea, with the new facility, Underwoods, opening to clients, with the help of respected Russian groomer Olga Zabelinskaya.
“As a family, we’ve been supporting Sanjiv and the My Second Home team from the outset, and like so many of Dubai’s dog-loving expats, have thanked our lucky stars that their huge commitment and hard work have given us a chance to care for our pets as we would at home,” says Underwood, now an airline pilot based in the city. “It gives us great pleasure to continue that support as sponsors of the grooming salon.”
A shaggy dog story, you might say, and you’d be right.
From Dhs120 (basic grooming). Dubai Investment Park 2, www.mysecondhomedubai.com (04 881 800204 881 8002).