Mumbai Airport fields Angel, Muffin and Cookie to help passengers beat jet lag! It will bring a smile to your face
The four-legged therapists help passengers shake off their jet-lag after long flights or cope with their fear of flying.
Mumbai Airport has taken a big step to help passengers who land in the city and that too in a unique way. International Dog Day is on August 26 and it will be celebrated around the world. GVK Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) is celebrating the same by deploying therapy dogs that help the passengers to beat their jet lag, stress and anxiety. Therapy dogs are known for their loving, playful and calming qualities. Notably, the joy of animal companionship and interaction with them is scientifically proven to help in reducing stress levels among individuals.
Usually, in airports, we are used to seeing security dogs that are working and hence no petting allowed, but MIAL has earned the distinction of being the only airport in the country, which has introduced animal-assisted therapy for travel anxiety-ridden passengers who required a stress-busting session with these beautiful, gentle animals. The initiative is in view of the dog therapy that has caught the interest of animal lovers across the globe.
Currently, three dogs present at MIAL are Angel who is a Golden Retriever, a Labrador named Muffin and a Shih tzu called Cookie, and they are helping anxiety-ridden passengers in reducing their stress levels. The four-legged therapists help passengers shake off their jet-lag after long flights or cope with their fear of flying, according to the MIAL.
Notably, this programme was first introduced at MIAL for the international passengers on a pilot basis which was received well. It has now been extended to domestic travellers too in the wake of response and feedback from the travellers. The therapy dogs walk up and down the boarding gates with the help of their dog handler giving an opportunity to first-time travellers, who are anxiety-ridden, unwell, etc. to de-stress and unwind.
The dogs are stated to have been trained to sense a person’s mood through their sense of smell. They behave accordingly helping the passengers de-stress and relax in their presence.
"The dogs that are chosen to be therapy dogs are specifically selected based on their temperament and trained from a very young age to respond positively to an individual's emotional needs. The breeds chosen are those that are instinctively calm and patient even in new and unfamiliar situations, and not alarmed by the presence of too many new people," said the MIAL statement.
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They move freely around the terminals with their handler, and passengers are welcome to engage with them free of cost. Playing fetch, rolling around on the ground, or even simply spending a few moments to cuddle these furry angels is a guaranteed stress-reliever. Notably, the therapy dogs can be found at Terminal 2 of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport on all weekends (Friday to Sunday from 5:30 PM until 12 AM).