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.
Monika's aptitude for obedience training arose organically from her childhood love of dogs. She's been training pups since she was one herself, so her grasp of canine psychology has flourished naturally throughout her life. At Smart K9, she doesn't just teach dogs how to "sit," "stay," and "unlock the door"; she fosters healthier, closer relationships between owners and dogs by teaching the former how to lead and the latter how to follow. Her dog-training sessions range from one-hour private lessons and two-week training programs to classes specifically designed for puppies.
Inspired by a search for quality dog care for their own dog, the owners of Furtastik—finding no options that satisfied their wants—decided to create a 3.000-square-foot, climate-controlled space themselves. Now, they operate a hands-on, cheerful, and intimate facility for dogs and dog services. Licensed and accredited groomers sculpt away excess piles of fur after they clean, wash, and buff dogs into bright new existence, and organic food products line the front room for canine perusal. Meanwhile, daycare and boarding enrollments are limited to 20 and 10 dogs at a time, respectively, allowing for individual attention and care during the cage-free services.
High-energy music courses through the indoor playground at DoggieWorks to keep daycare charges hyped as they play. As they gambol over turf, they might dive through tunnels or traverse teeter-totters. In fact, all the playground equipment is designed specifically for dogs. Meanwhile, pups with more gentle dispositions huddle up with canines of the same attitude while hanging out away from home.
After a homemade bedtime snack, dogs sticking here for boarding slumber atop cushy beds. Staff members change the music to something more soothing and set television channels to more dog-appropriate viewing. Dog owners rest easy too, knowing that their dogs are being watched around the clock by overnight staff. When morning comes, they meet in the play area to cavort for the day. The facility also hosts events in the 2,220-square-foot space, such as birthday parties, doggie meetup groups, and tax-day celebrations.
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In its Best of Chicago 2012 feature, Chicago Magazine praised Before You Go Liquors as “heaven for lovers of local and imported craft brews.” The store’s shelves creak under the weight of more than 100 craft beers. The libation station emphasizes the kind of small batches and lesser-known microbreweries that chain liquor stores overlook, such as Chicago’s Pipeworks. But Before You Go Liquors doesn’t turn its nose up at name brands: lots of its beer, wine, and spirits sport familiar labels, rather than blank labels with Duff Beer, Patriot Ale, or Glengoole Blue Scotch drawn onto them.
Founded in Oak Park, Illinois, in 1996 by pet owners who were sick of bothering neighbors to care for their furry charges when they were busy or away, Out-U-Go! keeps beloved animals happy when their owners are unavailable. Certified members of Pet Sitter International, Out-U-Go’s fully licensed and bonded pet professionals undergo a rigorous screening process, putting in time at the company's Dog Walk University to learn how to deal with willful pets, calmly handle emergencies, and internalize animals’ fear of vacuums. New customers start off with a free meet and greet, with sitters coming to the house to meet dogs, cats, and smaller critters, and discuss special needs and routines. Services range from daily walks to full-time housesitting and pet taxi rides to groomers, vets, and kennels.