Being in the doghouse takes on a whole new meaning when we consider some of the super-posh living spaces people are willing to splash out on for their furry friends. This includes one high-tech kennel that a dog-loving Briton dreamt up. Barkingham Palace—not its real name, just a cheeky moniker one website came up with—came equipped with a doggy spa pool and retina scanners for its two canine residents.
This deluxe kennel was planned to house a pair of Great Danes, and as part of a £1.4 million luxury home belonging to a surgeon living in Gloucestershire, England. The owner chose to remain anonymous. It was designed by architect Andy Ramus in 2008. Spread over a 1,000 sq ft area, the kennel had two bedrooms and a living space to accommodate its two residents, and had an additional outdoor play area. The interior space was air-conditioned, with the ability to manage climate controls remotely.
The kennel was designed with elevated sheepskin-lined temperature-controlled day beds for the dogs to relax in while they performed their watchdog duties. Automatic food and water dispensers were added to keep the pooches in chilled, filtered water and dry dog food. In addition, meals were automatically dispensed in self-cleaning food and water bowls. There was a special 18-inch spa bath included with a saline purification system for muscle relaxation and coat cleansing.
For their entertainment needs, the canines had a 15-inch plasma screen TV and a £15,000 sound system in their ‘living room’. An auto-dispensing treats cupboard allowed the owners to remotely dish out treats whenever they wanted. An outdoor adventure play area with a climbing ramp and a sheltered space was also included for the dogs should they want to run about and stretch their legs. The entire doghouse was fitted with cameras so the owner could watch the dogs gambol about. When they wanted a break from their luxurious dog digs, the two Great Danes could access the main house dogs via a high-tech dog flap equipped with retina controls, which ensured only the two dogs in question were allowed pass through.
As for how much this would have cost our dog-loving friend—a cool £250,000, that is, over Rs 2 crore, was the estimate. Makes your eyes water, doesn’t it? As to whether this doghouse was really built to plan, and whether the lucky doggies were able to move in, we are unable to ascertain. However, a quick online search does show that high-tech, luxury kennels are not as uncommon as we might think. A reality TV host called Rachel Carter laid out $30,000 (over Rs 19 lakh) on a kennel with running water, lighting, air-conditioning and heating, while Paris Hilton (what a surprise) had a two-storey designer doghouse, a replica of sorts of her own mansion, specially created for her pooches, and kitted it out with crystal chandeliers, miniature designer furniture and, of course, air-conditioning.
Whoever came up with the epithet about a dog’s life was certainly barking up the wrong tree.