Having encouraged her toddler’s artistic side so successfully that by age 4 he was creating impressive paintings, artist Joey Simon was urged by her community members to start art workshops for children. Beginning in 2005, she did just that, hosting classes out of the basement of a Victorian home on Vancouver Island. Today, 4Cats Arts Studio has locations throughout North America, including the Port Moody studio where children’s workshops are flanked by adult classes and family events on the packed schedule. In addition to making its community members a more artistic bunch, the business gives back by hosting food drive events in the winter.
Like many dog owners in a two-worker household, Russell Simpson had to figure out how to best take care of his chocolate labrador, Riley, when no one was home. A growing pup with lots of energy, Riley soon left the house torn apart and riddled with evidence of poker parties. Then Simpson took his dog to daycare and something miraculous happened: Riley started coming home content, relaxed, and manageable. But even with this improvement in Riley's behaviour, Simpson couldn't help but look around his dog's daycare and see an opportunity to make it even better. So he found a warehouse and applied his construction skills to a redesign.
Today, Simpson and his team—along with Riley and regulars such as Lucy—welcome clients and their four-legged friends to We Care Dog Daycare. Together they elevate the dog-daycare experience by rotating the dogs hourly—while some play indoors, the others are taken out on walks, which are included as standard. They also offer owners premium services, such as taking active dogs out on two-hour adventure hikes, or older dogs out on one-hour leisure walks. Further services include grooming, a dog taxi, and training with an accredited dog trainer. We Care's staff also runs a dog-of-the-month program, which recognizes especially well-behaved dogs with rewards such as an adventure walk or a five-album record deal.
Since 1969, dog-loving groomers at Tiffany’s Grooming Salon have served the area's pets with baths, trims, and even hand-scissored specialty cuts. Their doggy paradise is outfitted with specialty shampoos for all types of hair and skin, custom safety equipment, and hydraulic tables to accommodate larger breeds or older pets. To thoroughly pamper and calm canines, they can treat dogs to a four- to six-hour spa day complete with a massaging bath, blow-dry, pedicure, and custom hairstyle that suits their needs.
Big Dog Little Dog Bakery concocts artfully decorated dog treats from all-natural ingredients free of preservatives and artificial colouring. Pooch palates will dribble in Pavlovian anticipation at the sight of doggie delicacies such as crunchy liver slivers ($6.99 for 200 g bag) and luscious peanut-butter hearts ($1.99 each). Give a wet-nosed companion the greatest gift since that plate of chicken vesuvio fell on the carpet with a mini luv-ya cake ($5.99), available in peanut butter and honey, scrumptious liver, or wheat-free pumpkin maple. Customers who come for the sweets can stay for the swag, which includes a selection of collars, pet clothing, and accessories such as rhinestone-studded brandy barrels for saint bernards.
As owners of six dogs between them, Kirsty and Jen had plenty of opportunity to make use of Vancouver's doggie daycares. As they did, they realized that most didn't have the kind of play space their high-energy dogs really needed. So, Kirsty and Jen decided to create their own daycare facility in a 5,000-square-foot warehouse and stock it and the 1,000-square-foot outdoor space with ramps, tunnels, and toys plus a pool and tree fort. They called their new puppy wonderland Canine Adventure Den Daycare.
Instead of expecting the dogs to just play with each other and keep themselves amused, Canine Adventure's staffers lead some structured activities, such as adventure hikes and Hula-Hoop contests. Some of their activities even include owners, such as dating events that introduce singles to fellow dog lovers.
The facility's Muddy Paw Dog Hostel keeps dogs—and other pets, such as rabbits and turtles—overnight. Staffers even sleep beside the dogs to ensure that pups don't get too lonely without their people or Scooby-Doo night lights.