When Eric Simpson first adopted his dog Gunner, he probably couldn't have foreseen how the pup would change his life. After watching daycare improve Gunner's canine social skills, Eric knew he had to open his own daycare facility. Today he and his staff care for pups in three BarkZone locations. Rather than spend all day cooped up in a kennel or watching soap operas on TV, dogs enrolled in daycare play all day in the indoor facility with staff members and other pups. The staff also welcomes overnight guests, and owners can opt to have their dogs walked or groomed during their stay.
When it was founded in 1987, Frame Central was a social hub for artists, and was even curiously named for facial hair. However, Beard Outlet has since morphed into a seven-location franchise, dedicated to simplifying the framing process. The shops’ onsite stock of matboard, frame moulding, and other key supplies ensures speedy DIY framing projects—which visitors can complete in an hour—and single-day professional framing. An array of pre-framed mirrors and artwork allows shoppers to enhance their blank walls without taping a napping friend to them. Shoppers can also stock up on framing supplies such as case glass and hanging hardware.
Tanis, Egypt. 1937. Indiana Jones descends into the fabled Well of the Souls, and lands in a slithering knot of black asps. The swashbuckler is struck dumb with terror, managing only to mutter the now iconic phrase: “Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?” Indiana Jones is not alone in his phobia. Tim Criswell hopes to change that.
Though the House of Reptiles founder doesn’t deny snakes’ potential to inflict harm, he hopes to foster in the public a more nuanced understanding of reptiles. He has amassed dozens of snakes over the years, including exotic specimens such as the indochinese spitting cobra, reticulated gila monster, and black mamba. He houses these serpents in his reptile museum, which was spotlighted in the Times not only for its exotic-species collection, but also for its mission to educate the public about the oft-feared-but-seldom-understood reptiles.
In addition to the museum, House of Reptiles features a retail store staffed by expert snake handlers, who draw upon years of experience to advise fledgling snake owners on proper care. Dozens of snakes are also available for purchase, giving animal lovers new friends who don't insist on cuddling every night.
Club K-9 caters to dogs of all sizes with extensive boarding, daycare, grooming, and training services available 365 days a year. Following a behavior evaluation, dogs staying for daycare play with pups of a similar size under close supervision. Boarding dogs may enjoy social playtime during the day or take up residence in a private boarding room with one-on-one playtime with a staff member. Other services include rewards-based training and grooming treatments such as bathing and brushing.
Westside Stables’ trainer and instructor, Katie, started riding at age 4. By the time she was 8, she was participating in jumping and showing events when most kids her age were just starting to neigh on command. Today, she passes on the knowledge she learned during more than 10 years of training to a new generation of horse pilots who take lessons atop friendly and patient horses. Westside Stables also plays host to two summer camps for children aged 5–15, which include riding lessons tailored to campers’ age and ability, lessons on horsemanship, and arts and crafts activities, which taunt horses via the campers’ wanton use of their opposable thumbs.
Kate Dessommes has traveled the world in search of techniques to further her knowledge of yoga. She began with a five-year apprenticeship under Luciana Proaño in Portland before packing her bags for New Zealand to study with instructor and author Donna Farhi and John Friend, founder of Anusara yoga.
At Portland Yoga Studio, Kate and her team of instructors fold those globe-gathered techniques into classes that incorporate Ayurveda, asanas, meditation, and relaxation techniques. They also offer special classes for students who otherwise might not be able to participate, such as those with MS, fibromyalgia, arthritis, or problems balancing. Classes for children and families round out the curriculum, giving parents and their kids a new way to bond that’s more active than watching television and safer than traveling to the future by falling into a coma together.