In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of “hard-to-find tools,” and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone’s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.
For the past decade, Rub-a-Dub Dog’s groomer Andra Holmstrom has given cats and dogs spa treatments in the comfort of their own homes. She brings a fully loaded grooming van to domiciles or businesses to trim and fluff pets’ coats, making them nearly unrecognizable from the scruffy images on their drivers’ licenses. In addition to standard nail trimming and ear cleaning, Andra also lathers up canine pelts with specialty shampoos, brushes teeth, and staves off shedding with FurMinator treatments.
Monster Wash's three auto bays house an elite touch-free car wash with a three-sided sudsy assault, undercarriage wash, and a wind-shearing drying system. The wash and wax combo may be found on the detailing menu, as can the Express Interior Detail, which includes a vacuum for carpets and seats, a scrubbing of the windows and dash, and a fumigation for mischievous gremlins. With the interior package, autonauts earn a free exterior touch-free wash to tackle caked-on insects and snow. The Express Exterior Detail clears grime and gunk from the chassis by hand and replaces it with a lustrous coat of wax and polish, leaving jalopies as fresh and shiny as a mouthwash-scented candle. Additionally, this package includes a tire shine and cleaning of the inside and outside of all windows.
Leaving a pet home alone can add undue stress to an already stressful out-of-town trip. At TLC Pet Sitting, owner Donna Freeman and her licensed staff of pet-sitters aim to ease that stress, giving owners peace of mind and pets a caring and playful companion during owners’ time away. Besides being licensed and emergency trained, all of the company's sitters are dedicated pet owners themselves, a quality that helps them understand the unique nutritional needs, personalities, and political leanings of their clients' furry friends. The staff spends 20–45 minutes several times per day tending to the needs of dogs, cats, and even birds and rabbits, including filling bowls, cleaning cages, and providing ample playtime.
AK Must Love Dogs' owner Marlene Britton embraces the Cesar Millan method of dog discipline in all her services, whether it's keeping dogs from getting lonesome during workdays or caring for them during vacations. Drop off doggy dependents for daycare ($18/half-day; $26/full-day), where canines expunge excess energy and practice flash-mob routines with one another amid 12,000 square feet of outdoor space and three interior play areas. The 8'x4' pet suites ($30/day) house hounds overnight in private quarters outfitted with carpeting, a bed, and an occasional treat after they've spent the day cavorting with similar-sized pooches in the daycare area. Otherwise, scrub away the evidence that you ever tried to dye your pet green for St. Patrick's Day in one of AK Must Love Dogs’ canine-cleaning stations while skipping the fur-coated bathtub ($15/self-service; $25/AKMLD staff). Customers who opt for daycare or pet-suite services must schedule a temperament test ($15) prior to bringing in their dog for boarding.
After working for two decades in pharmaceutical sales, lifelong animal lover Maggie Joyner knew it was time to follow a vocation closer to her heart. After trading in her medication samples for a pair of clippers, she founded Hair of the Dog Wash and Groom Salon. She immediately set to work making her grooming room as stress-free as possible for her canine customers.
As one means of accomplishing this goal, she installed hydraulic-lift fiberglass tubs and tables designed to accommodate large or aging animals without having to restrain them by the neck. A Clipper Vac professional grooming system was the next addition, allowing Maggie’s combs and clippers to comfortably remove matted fur and bones buried beneath dense overcoats. Today, when she isn’t busy combing through fur or clipping nails, Maggie continues to demonstrate her love for animals by finding new, permanent homes for foster dogs.