It's every dog owner's responsibility to clean up after his or her pet. Though that's easy to keep up with on walks, dogs can often transform backyards into danger zones where any step could end up a mess. That's where Doo Care's team comes in. The licensed, bonded, and insured crew pulls up in the company's distinctive green-and-white trucks to clear out poop wherever it may hide in owners' lawns. They can perform this duty as often as twice a week or make one-time visits to prepare yards for a party or a date with the cute garden across the street.
More than a decade ago, K9 Fit Club founder Tricia Montgomery admitted it to herself: She and her dog were both overweight. They set out to lose weight together, and after dropping more than 130 pounds, Montgomery created K9 Fit Club to share her success with others. The curriculum is focused on joint dog-and-owner workouts—the core classes include games of fetch, obstacle courses, and cardio exercises, and others cover tai chi and dancing. The success of Montgomery's program has captured the attention of The Biggest Loser producer David Broome, who will bring Montgomery's program to reality TV in 2014.
Owner Lindsay Rapp surrounds herself with a staff of canine-whisperers who employ both human and animal psychology to help owners and pets live long, happy lives together. Agility training equips dogs for high-intensity play or auditions for basketball movies, and other courses tailored to families with children keep the peace by preparing dogs for a new baby or preparing families for a new dog.
The staff at The Holistic BodyLab works to maintain long-term health with natural, non-pharmaceutical treatments. Led by in-house medical director, Dr. Joseph Maides, and natural medicine doctor, Kevin Gill, they blend spa treatments, such as facials, with holistic treatments, such as massage, in order to revivify bodies both inside and out. This mix of modern medicine and age-old spa treatments aims to both soothe and heal, just like all those old lullabies about mockingbirds curing babies' tension headaches.
In 1997 PAWS Chicago set out to halt the unnecessary killing of thousands of homeless cats and dogs in the region, establishing a No Kill shelter and organizing public-awareness campaigns. More than 30,000 adoptions later, team members still visit Chicago Animal Care and Control six days a week to take as many pets into their care as they have room for, providing necessary medical attention as well as spaying and neutering services. The Lurie Spay/Neuter Clinic and GusMobile spay and neuter van serve the pets of low-income families and tackle the problem of animal overpopulation in city neighborhoods, catching, treating, and releasing more than 18,000 cats and dogs every year to prevent the unchecked growth of local animal colonies. Through the Adoption and Humane Center in Lincoln Park, PAWS also adopts out animals that enter its shelters. The center maintains a cage-free facility to ensure pets live in comfort and dignity until they can be matched with an adoptive family.