Cindy Robertson, the owner of Out Yonder Dog Training, started working with man’s best friend more than a decade ago, and eventually made it her career after graduating from the Tom Rose School for professional dog trainers, in 2007. Since then, she’s worked as a detection-dog handler as wells as a trainer and evaluator for the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program, a national obedience-certification program. Today, she helps pups learn to sit, stay, and tell the difference between a salad fork and a dinner fork during private or group obedience classes that cover all the basic commands.
Kathy Longwell, the pet purveyor behind All God's Creatures, draws on her experience in boarding facilities and kennels to care for dogs, cats, birds, and lizards on their home turf. The licensed, bonded, and insured caretaker has also earned certifications in animal CPR, first aid, and professional pet sitting through Pet Sitters International. When she isn't looking after pets and houses in their owners' absence, she takes dogs out for a stroll, runs errands, and looks after her own animal menagerie, which includes a german shepherd, cats, and a parrot that squawks ideas for movie premises in the dead of night.
At Fox K9 Training, Brian Fox, a certified trainer of search-and-rescue dogs, coaxes canines out of undesirable behaviors and imparts important obedience skills in classes for puppies and adult dogs. Some of Brian’s specialties include reducing aggression toward other dogs or people, excessive barking, and general anxiety.
Grooming technicians at The Barking Lot trim, shampoo, and brush pets including dogs of all sizes, cats, and bunnies. In addition to grooming both large and small furry animals, the technicians also clip bird wings and file their beaks. The Barking Lot also offers pet sitting and pet placement services to find animals new homes.
Brittany of Dog Fit Unlimited professes a lifelong love of animals, which is what prompted her to begin her own dog-walking business. During each 30-minute walk), she and her canine charge explore neighborhood parks and hiking trails and take in the sights while the pooch meets other dogs and sniffs the grass for lost jewelry. She fortifies each pup with slurps of water and treats and takes photos so owners can check out their pooches' big smiles.
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."