Over on the outskirts of the city centre is a new park just for dogs that’s been purpose-built for playtime.
Here, dogs are matched in small groups with similar sizes and temperaments to take part in a variety of assault courses and attractions, ranging from assault courses and squirrel chasing to their very own ‘Wimbledog’ tennis court.
There’s even a dedicated ‘pet taxi’ service included as standard for busy owners, meaning that dogs can easily be picked up and dropped back at home without you having to worry or lift a finger.
Formerly a derelict car park in Miles Platting, this patch of land hasn’t been used since the 1970s – that is, until Doggyland co-owners Beth Lemons and Pablo Perez took it on mid-pandemic and swiftly set to work transforming it with their bare hands.
Prior to that, Beth had worked in dentistry for over a decade whilst her partner Pablo had worked as a mental health doctor since coming to the UK in 2016.
However, both had begun to feel ‘a spark of playfulness was missing’ in their professional lives so, when they hit upon the idea of Doggyland Park during the pandemic, they saw it as a new opportunity ‘to build a culture of happiness and mental well-being” for their staff and for themselves.
Using nothing but a mattock and a wheelbarrow, whilst the country was in lockdown the couple busied themselves by planting trees, hedges and grass, bringing in woodchips and sand, then building various dog-themed attractions, before finally opening the gates to their first doggy visitors last year.
Nine months on, it is filled with happy dogs of all sizes busily charging around assault courses, sniffing butts, bulldozing through tunnels and popping out of teeny, tiny dog houses – with an average of 45 bookings a week.
The park has been inspired by Beth and Pablo’s dog Bella, who just so happens to bear a strriking resemblance to Lady in Lady and the Tramp.
Describing the whole thing as “reverse engineering”, Beth explains:
“First we thought : what do dogs like? and then we accommodated everything else to that concept.
“It wasn’t like…we have a building, lets pack 40 dogs inside. Our idea was, Bella ( our dog) doesn’t like what the market is offering, what would Bella, really, really like?
“Well…be with her friends, outdoors, off lead, chasing things, smelling things, playing, running…
“We provide for other doggies what we wanted for Bella and for us. And what do we want for Bella?
“That she is safe, that she is happy with her little group of friends, that her carers can pick up on signs when she is not fully happy and correct it… and that’s what Doggyland is, it’s her gigantic playground, but also everybody else’s.”
An alternative to doggy daycare and dog walking, play sessions at Doggyland Park are small, with a ratio of one staff member to every three dogs.
Whilst Beth acknowledges this means they are ‘perhaps [their] own worst enemy’ when it comes to growth, by ensuring that dogs are looked after in small groups, with a maximum of six per session, they can avoid some pitfalls common to the industry.
Sessions last roughly two hours and focus on creating harmony amongst the pack – all important for eradicating common industry problems like altercations, disputes for toys, lack of enrichment and personalised attention.
Aside from the two co-founders, Doggyland Park’s team is also made up of four other highly qualified, enthusiastic, wonderful people who Beth describes as being “more like family members than colleagues”.
You can still see on Google Street View how it looked before, but we hear that the neighbours are massively impressed with how the views from their balconies have changed – greatly improved after what ended up being a full year of intense manual labour. .
Speaking on their journey over the past few years, Beth said: “Nine months ago we opened Doggyland Park’s gates for the first time, it has been a lovely journey and we wouldn’t change it for anything!
“Coming from heavily regulated fields, we have been able to combine our occupational awareness for safety and good practice with the niceties of caring for adorable pooches.
“Opening our own business has been more fulfilling than we could have ever imagined!”
Feature image – The Manc Group
A Japanese fine dining restaurant is opening in the former Randall & Aubin site
A new Japanese fine dining restaurant will open on Bridge Street in Manchester this October, bringing a theatrical ‘multi-sensory’ dining experience to the city.
Giving diners the chance to dine from specially created 7 and 11-course tasting menus or opt for a traditional ‘chef’s choice’ experience at its six-seat Omakase counter, bosses say it will offer a contemporary interpretation of Japanese dishes currently not seen outside of London.
Called MUSU, which translates as ‘infinite possibilities,’ the restaurant is the brainchild of Chef Patron Michael Shaw, who has worked at top eateries including Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons and Richard Neat’s eponymous restaurant in Canne.
Shaw has spent the last 18 months honing his passion for Japanese cuisine in preparation to open MUSU and will bring on Head Sushi Chef Andre Aguiar, who has trained under renowned Japanese sushi master YugoKato, to head up the kitchen.
When MUSU it opens its doors on Bridge Street on 6 October, diners will be treated to a new tasting menu concept that promises to deliver a ‘multi-sensory dining experience.’
Its menu is divided into three sections – Sentaku, Kaiseki and Omakase – giving diners the choice between ordering dishes a la carte style, opting for a set seven or eleven-course tasting menu, or entrusting the chef to create their ‘perfect menu.’
As for the new high-end Japanese restaurant’s design, MUSU’s multi-million-pound interiors will boast bespoke Italian furniture, subtle mood lighting and bespoke Geisha-inspired walls, with a bar made from Dekton stone, banana leaf patterned brass and onyx.
Feature image – Supplied
Police give update and appeal for information after man dies following shooting in Moss Side
The appeal for information and eyewitnesses comes after police were called to a serious incident and reports of a shooting on Claremont Road at around 00:15am on Monday 15 August, and a 20-year-old man was subsequently found with serious injuries.
Officers administered CPR at the scene, but the man was taken to hospital and was sadly pronounced dead a short time later.
A scene was put in place by detectives at Princess Parkway and Claremont Road following the incident yesterday, and members of the public and commuters were strongly advised to avoid the area where possible.
An investigation has since been launched and enquiries are ongoing, GMP confirmed.
Police also confirmed that formal identification of the victim has taken place and officers are supporting the family through this process as they inform loved ones, but the family has requested privacy until this time.
“Firstly, my thoughts are with the family and friends of the young man, aged 20, who senselessly lost his life through this violent act,” Detective Superintendent David Meeney said in an update statement.
“Our officers were completely focused on administering CPR and trying to save the victims life but despite best efforts, he was pronounced dead in hospital a short time later [and we worked] throughout the night to fully understand the events that occurred early this morning, and specialist officers are supporting his family and loved ones.”
Detective Superintendent Meeney confirmed that the victim had “sustained multiple wounds” when officers arrived at the scene, but the nature of these injuries are “yet to be confirmed”.
He also reassured local residents and the wider public that GMP does not believe at this time that this incident was related to a firearms incident in the area on the 29 July 2022, but added that the force is “keeping an open mind” and is “investigating all lines of enquiry”.
Directly addressing the public in an appeal for information and eyewitnesses, Detective Superintendent Meeney continued: “We are appealing to anyone who was in the Claremont Road area in the early hours of this morning, who may have seen something that could help us in tracking down the perpetrator(s).
“We know there had to be witnesses to this offence, as people made their way home from Moss Side Carnival.
“The investigation is in its early stages, but we are committed to identifying the person or persons who committed this horrendous act of violence and bring them to justice.”
Greater Manchester Police confirmed that it has increased patrols in the immediate area to “keep the community safe”.
Anyone with information relating to the shooting in Moss Side is asked to contact Greater Manchester Police on 101 quoting log number 40 of the 15th August 2022, or alternatively, details can be passed on anonymously to the independent charity, Crimestoppers – 0800 555 111.