Feature: Hanging with puppy friends in Cairo's new "dog cafe"

CAIRO, May 21 (Xinhua) -- Humans and dogs were seen in a new coffee shop in the Egyptian capital Cairo, with dog owners drinking their tea and coffee, and their puppy friends enjoying their meals and treats.

The newly-opened dog cafe is believed to be the first specialized one in Cairo, where there are few pet-friendly coffee shops and restaurants.

The business was initiated by two friends and dog lovers who, like many dog owners in Egypt, didn't have many places to go and relax when they go out with their dogs.

Ola Loutfi, co-owner of the dog cafe who has been keeping dogs for three decades, said that during the coronavirus-related lockdown, many people bought pets because of feeling lonely.

"So, I thought of opening a specialized cafe for both humans and dogs" to help fill in the gap in this area, the lady told Xinhua.

"Dogs also have the right to eat something they like and what they eat should be good and healthy," she said, expressing her belief that "being merciful to animals generates a positive energy in life."

Dog owners and lovers are encouraging the new trend that is trying to solve their long-time challenge of where to hang out with their dogs.

The counter of the cafe, where snacks and beverages are ordered, is divided into two parts, one serves humans and the other is for puppies.

At a table in one of the corners, Omar Islam, who works in technical marketing for Microsoft Egypt, was having his coffee with his "best friend" Eva, a seven-month-old German shepherd.

"After COVID-19, most of us started to work from home. I personally don't like to work at home," Islam said.

"When I leave Eva at home alone, I feel I need to go back as soon as possible," the man continued, adding, "I see the place as a solution to this problem."

Another customer, Hams Akil, was enjoying her time in the cafe with her golden retriever Suki.

"Now there's a place where I can bring my dog, drink coffee and gather and talk with friends," the young lady told Xinhua.

The cafe owners explained that the place has house rules and is designed in a way to ensure the safety of customers and their dogs, such as having dog hooks near each table and suitable distances between tables.

The cafe also has a wall serving as a bulletin board where people announce missing dogs, sick and injured dogs that need help, dogs available for adoption and places to donate for dogs.

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