Rick DuBois left a career in the cutthroat corporate world in favor of his current and more humane profession as the owner and resident "pack leader" at You Luckie Dog! The lifelong pooch aficionado brings more than 20 years of dog expertise—including a stint as a chow-chow breeder and trainer—to his canine daycare, boarding, and grooming spa. "Pretty much whatever a traditional kennel does, we do the opposite," says Rick, who personally groups his tenants into amiable playgroups according to size, temperament, and fastest time swimming the 300-meter dog paddle. The canine resort rejuvenates man’s best stressed friend with physical exercise and socialization, with stays ranging from day-long excursions to overnight boarding. The popular daycare service allows early morning drop-off and pickup as late as 8 p.m., and Rick makes a point of never smacking his customers with dollar-per-minute fees for late pickups. "I know what it's like to have meetings run long while people drone on. I want people to know I'm not trying to nickel-and-dime them."
Obedience training for puppies and older dogs alike. We help dog owners to understand the psychology behind training and provide them with the tools needed to transform their overly-enthusiastic slightly mis-guided canine into a calm well behaved member of the pack.
With 35 years of experience under his belt, Hugh White of Hugh White Training Stables and fellow equestrian Jody Werner impart horse-whispering skills to riders of all levels during fun, expertly taught lessons. After one to three students saddle up, experienced instructors draw on classical training methods to teach basic, intermediate, or advanced skills. Horses paw at yellow sand in huge arenas or leap over jumps in outdoor fields as students trot, cantor, jump, or arrange their mounts in My Little Pony–inspired tableaus.
A cage-less doggy day care and grooming facility, AlphaDog pampers pooches with outdoor frolicking and sudsy shampoos. Before their stay at AlphaDog, all dogs must take part in a one- to four-hour temperament trial. Customers with crowded schedules can drop off their loyal labradoodles at 7 a.m. for a full-day stay that keeps them out of harm's way as their owners attend to important workday business, such as fomenting against widespread usage of split infinitives. As the dogs bound around the springy turf of the day care's 5,000-square-foot outdoor play area, canine companions can sample carefully selected crunchy treats and make new friends before the 7 p.m. pickup time.
With a stylish expanse of brand name products, Proof Lab outfits aspiring boarders with all they need to dexterously maneuver decks around watery and cement-covered bodies. Prepare for a day of carving through waves with rental of a surfboard and wetsuit ($40), or flex bristling arm muscles without swapping bodies with Mr. Universe by renting a standup paddleboard ($40). Proof Labs' surf and skate swamis carry threads from Patagonia, Volcom, Quiksilver, RVCA, Hurley, and Billabong, as well as designer shades to shield eyes from half-dressed pipes. Equip surfboards for the fall swell season with a new traction pad ($22–$38), and keep toes toasty with an aquaiferous pair of O'Neill or Xcel surf booties ($40). In addition to hosting regular demos and outdoor events, Proof Lab makes connections with local skating societies by granting budding sky artists free access to their indoor skate park to test new boards, practice tricks, or recreate scenes from Xanadu.
Whether your dog needs a walk, your cat needs some cuddling, or your houseplants need water, Little Green Dog is there to lend a hand. The pet specialists cater their services to each individual animal, providing longer walks for energetic pups and shorter stints if the weather is bad. They also care for homes while owners are away, taking in mail and petting the gutters regularly.