JB Doggie Club: Where Pet Lovers Come Together
Sometimes I believe that virtual communities established on the internet constitute true communities. At least, I can feel a strong bond between each of us, the participants of JB Doggie Club.
“We’re gathered here. Because we all love dogs.”
Founded by Desmen Tan in 2016, JB Doggie Club started with only a few members. Within one and a half year, JB Doggie Club has gathered more than 20,200 pet lovers with at least 120 active members who will attend weekly or monthly gathering.
“Not only Johor, our club aims to bring pet lovers all over Malaysia together, ” said Desmen.
Yes, all of us are welcomed to join this big family with open arms, regardless of nation, state, religion and race. This community dog group is a social space where dog lovers come together and share about dog health, dog behaviour, dog-related information and photos of their beloved dogs.
“The man’s best friend, dogs are unique in their own special way. We don’t classify them according to their breed. Here at JB Doggie Club, we only talk about dogs – there’s no purebred or mongrel or mutt. As long as you love dogs, please feel free to join our group, join the discussion and share the photos of your dogs,” he said, adding that “if you don’t own a dog but you love every little thing about dogs, join us too!”
Devoted to all things doggy, JB Doggie Club is more a family than a group. With so many involved members in this group, support and help are always available for the group’s members.
Behind The Success: Work Hard, Achieve Big
On 30 September, JB Doggie Club celebrated its one year anniversary and there were more than hundreds members joined the celebration fun. With the admins’ hard efforts and their pure love for dogs, the awesome pawsome community group has earned loyalty from its members.
“Managing a virtual group is not easy, at least I don’t take it as a piece of cake,” said Desmen.
Internet is a double-edged sword. Although it brings us together regardless our background, region and religion, we all know the borderless, anonymous and faceless nature of internet can somehow lead to social irresponsibility and unethical activities such as hate speech. Therefore, it takes a lot of efforts and time to manage a community group, especially those with more than thousands of members.
“We have house rules, and they are simple. We have to make sure our members follow the rules in order to maintain the peace and harmony of our family.”
Behind every success is effort. And behind every effort is passion. Desmen talks about how and why he started JB Doggie Club. “Before I established this group, I usually have a dog gathering with my friends at a café which situated at Little Paris.”
“One day, we decided to change our gathering place to a new café and enjoy the buffet. However, it requires a minimum of 50 guests.”
Thereafter, Desmen and his friends created a Wechat group and invited other pet lovers to join them. And of course, their gathering was a success. On 1 October 2016, Desmen and his friends created a Facebook group and JB Doggie Club was established.
“Organizing a dog gathering is not easy. All I want to do is make sure all my members and their furkids can enjoy the gathering. Finding an ideal place is the most difficult thing. It’s very hard to find a suitable, dog-friendly place with a capacity for large group, especially when there are only a few choices,” said Desmen.
“But thankfully, I have experiences in organizing activities as my full-time job is related to entertainment industry. It helps me to overcome the difficulties and contribute to my success,” he said, adding that “ we had tried to hold weekly gathering at few cafes and finally, now we have collaborated with Zoomanji Pet Café – they agreed to provide a place for us to hold a gathering every week! We don’t have to worry about the gathering venue anymore. ”
“I Was Never A Dog Person Until I Met Kobe”
“I never considered myself a dog person,” he said, adding that “but, now I am.”
Surprisingly, the answer is no when I asked him “are you a dog lover since a very young age”. I bet you feel the same – it’s hard to imagine a person like him who is willing to do anything for a community dog group without expecting anything in return, is not madly in love with canines for many years or since young age!
Confessing his deep love for his wife and his furkid, Kobe, Desmen told me how Kobe has changed his mind and turned him into a dog person.
“To be honest, I don’t admire dogs before I met Kobe. I am not a dog person but my wife is. And Kobe is a Christmas present for my wife,” he said. “I have to admit that I don’t like Kobe at the beginning. But he managed to change my mind slowly and now he is my beloved furkid. My wife and I love him so much.”
From zero to “dog crazy”, Desmen has fallen under Kobe’s spell – he is a no doubt dog lover! And we all know the crazy little thing called love.
“And Kobe is the reason why I strive to organize dog gatherings and bring dog lovers together. I want the best for him and also give him an opportunity to enjoy his life as much as humans do. Of course, I hope other dogs have the opportunity to enjoy what a real dog life should be, too,” he added.
Without You, There Is No Us
Success is a team effort. Humble and grateful, Desmen truly appreciates the warm support from every member and the hard efforts of the admins – Esther, AWJ and Jin Yu Mi.
“Without them, there is no us. From the bottom of my heart, I would like to say a big thank you to all the members and also the admins,” he said.
At the same time, Esther, the admin also expressed her gratitude to the members. “Because of my strong interest in pets, I joined this club. Plus, I am a dog owner and I think it’s a good social space to learn and share dog-related information,” she said.
She believes JB Doggie Club can look forward to a brighter future. On the other hand, the admin cum photographer of the club, AWJ hope that there will be more sponsors approach their club in the future. In his opinion, the club is a platform for pet lovers to learn more pet-related knowledge. And he sees hope for a brighter future.
Photo Credit: AWJ Photographer
Facebook: JB Doggie Club
Founder: Desmen Tan
Admins: AWJ, Esther & Jin Yu Mi
Photographer: AWJ Photographer
Date of the gathering: Every Saturday
Venue: DOG Garden Cafe [Updated as at 10 Jan 2018]
How to attend a gathering: Join the club and purchase the official club shirt