Celebrating Role Models – Day 21

Owner of Haven – Hotel for Dogs, ASHWINI AIYAR


I have said it before and I’ll say it again- I have the best job in the world! Running Sri Lanka’s only dog hotel has been so much more than I ever thought it could be. Sure, it’s a lot of hard work and of course, a tremendous responsibility but being someone who is completely nuts about all things furry, it’s a perfect fit!
If you asked me whether I always knew that this was what I wanted to do, the answer would be no. One and a half years ago I was just as hopeful and as unsure of my future as the next person. And then I lost my mother to a road accident in 2009, and it made me really think about what her death was supposed to mean. I realized then, that I had depended on her for so long and I was not really pushing myself. If there was any reason at all that she was taken from me so harshly, it was probably because I had to become more independent. Two days after she died I decided I wanted to open up a dog hotel. And that’s exactly what I did.
There were times when I really did think I would fail, but I didn’t and I learned that sometimes, it’s the thought of sticking your neck out there and taking a chance that’s the hardest. Once you’ve done it, it comes naturally, and you don’t really have time to think, you only have time to do.
I am in no way perfect. I have far too many insecurities to ever be comfortable in my own skin. I am riddled with self doubt and I brood over the many mistakes I have made. But all that doesn’t matter to a dog. They teach me that forgiveness is not as hard as you think it is. That the purest of love is when you expect nothing in return. They would die for you without a moment’s hesitation if it meant that you would live.
I learn something from my dogs every day. They are my world. And if you asked another dog lover why they love dogs, they would probably tell you the same. And because I understand my customers, I am able to become better at what I do.
I have no wise words of wisdom. I am no extraordinary person. I am just a regular girl who does what she loves, tries to do it as well as she can and does it with a whole lot of heart. And when you think about it, that’s really all there is to it.
Photograph by Shakir Jamaldeen

Haven : hotel for Dogs – https://www.facebook.com/havendoghotel

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