SHAH ALAM: What does a hotelier with an insatiable love for dogs do? He quits his job and opens a hotel catering to furry, four-legged guests instead.
Spaniard Carlos Huertas has always loved dogs. In fact, it has been his lifelong dream to have a place of his own where he could keep as many dogs as he wished.
But being a hotelier who was always on the go, this was next to impossible. Until he moved to Malaysia, that is, to join a local hotel chain here.
That was in 1997, and three years later, Huertas quit his job, settled down in Malaysia and started his own business.
Today he is the proud owner of G-Pet Hotel, a pet boarding facility in Shah Alam.
It’s fascinating watching Huertas play fetch with Scooby. The Rough Collie is a ‘guest’ at G-Pet Hotel and part of his stay here includes regular walks and playing games like fetch with Huertas.
Sooky is yet another ‘guest’. The two are clearly mad for each other if Sooky’s furiously wagging tail and gentle licks are anything to go by.
Speaking to FMT recently, Huertas said the idea for a pet hotel came about when he noticed many of friends struggling to find pet-sitters.
Besides providing a safe space for owners to leave their pets while away on holiday or business, the pet boarding facility has given him the perfect opportunity to work with dogs and cats on a daily basis.
And his past experience as a hotelier dealing with finicky guests came in handy too. His canine and feline guests would be no different, he reasoned, requiring that he get to know their different temperaments so he can interact better with them.
All the same, he has been bitten before – literally. Brushing these incidents off as “part of the business”, he added: “There were times I had to get a tetanus jab, and had to be admitted to the hospital.
“Over the years, through training sessions, I realised that there are ways to tame aggressive dogs and to understand why they acted that way.”
Today, he conducts train-the-trainer courses so pet owners can better understand how to interact with their pets. He has also worked with the Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia, training their dogs how to sniff out a fire from afar.
The boarding facilities at G-pet Hotel consist of indoor quarters that are air-conditioned, or outdoor quarters that are not. For an additional fee, you can have your dog walked, or request for a CCTV camera to be installed in their kennel.
Working seven days a week, Huertas said that his life clearly revolves around the pet hotel. During festive seasons, he’s busier than usual as many furry guests are dropped off when their paw-rents go on vacation.
“My friends have to come see me as I’m busy on the job every day. Sometimes, they bring food and we would just chat outside. It’s a sacrifice I have to make, but I’m not complaining because I love the job,” he said.
From the warmth that Huertas exudes, whether physically engaging with his furry guests or simply talking about them, it’s clear that this man is living his dream.
For more information, visit G-Pet Hotel at their website.
Lot 298 Jalan Kota Raja A/27A
Taman Alam Megah
40400 Shah Alam
Business hours: 9.00am to 6.00pm daily
Contact: 018-671 2272