“Ever since I can remember I’ve been surrounded by rescued animals, mostly dogs and horses. I started working with horses from a young age. And I’ve come to realise that animals have a great way of showing emotions. To be fair, I feel they probably care more about their humans’ emotions than their own. When you are sad, a dog will instinctively feel it and lay down by your side or put their heads on your lap, not to mention that they are great cuddlers,” says Keri Darwish.
Together with her husband Hussain Darwish, Keri runs HK9 that organises outdoor activities in the UAE for humans and their canine companions. HK9 has found a unique way of helping humans bond with their dogs.
Also read: HK9 isn’t a business it’s an expression of my love for dogs
What do you like the most about your work at HK9?
Keri: The thing that I love most about HK9 is how a group of friends got together to start something purely out of our passion to do outdoor activities with our dogs. That passion led to where we are today, particularly Hussain’s love for everything to do with dogs.
Did you have any alternate career aspirations?
Keri: I initially started my career with endurance horses and racehorses. But when I had my children, I began to assist Hussain wherever I could. As such, innately I think I always wanted to work with animals. And that’s why running something like HK9 is extremely fulfilling. Our goal is to drive awareness among people living in and outside the UAE about how this country is becoming a dog friendly place to live. And I think we achieved that globally through the Canicross event we recently hosted in Hatta.
Tell us a bit about your pack.
We have four rescued dogs – Max, Violet, Lana and Lily – along with Mr. Bobby, our rescued giant African tortoise and Mr. Jackson, our rescued African parrot. Max, particularly, inspires me a lot as he is a great family dog. He was the first family member my daughter met when we brought her home from the hospital. Max went straight up to her, gently sniffed her face and since that day he has never left her side. Dogs are also great at getting us humans out and about. We are a big outdoorsy family. My family is my life, we do everything together. We love to take our girls hiking, go for drives in the desert and explore places along with our dogs. On the other hand, I also like to watch TV shows with our pets almost always lying around me.
[Keri Darwish, Dubai, UAE]
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