Although dogs may not like taking a trip to the vet, a stop at Just-Pawfection has been known to bring out the pride and playfulness in even the shabbiest four-legged friends. The shop’s professional groomers can do anything from basic shampooing to full-fur cuts and nail trimmings. Rather than corral the dogs into cages or try to get them to sit around and play a game of poker, Just-Pawfection uses a leash system to tether dogs before and after their groomings.
A practicing veterinarian since graduating from the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine in 1984, Dr. Keith Niesenbaum cares for four-legged friends as the owner and medical director at Crawford Dog & Cat Hospital. Alongside senior associate vet Dr. Brian Spar, Dr. Niesenbaum and his staff treat ailing pets in three facilities that offer inpatient and outpatient care and also make house calls.
Though doggie doors and automatic feeders offer stay-at-home pups some autonomy, they can't replace the attention of a loving owner and socialization with other dogs. NY Puppy Club gives their canine visitors the attention they need while their owners are away, either during daycare visits or long-term vacation stays. Two spacious play rooms match pups with playmates of their own size. Smaller dogs can take turns riding down a plastic slide, while larger dogs can cooperate on toppling the treat refrigerator. Inside the club's 16 boarding rooms, dogs can sleep on plush beds amid soft lighting and music. At the daycare's sister shop, owners can peruse a selection of foods and toys, or consult with the onsite veterinarian.
The bright-blue awning hanging outside Queens Animal Health & Emergency makes it hard to miss; it's blend of Eastern and Western medical treatments make the clinic hard to forget. Its veterinarians are well versed in general-wellness care for their clients' four-legged friends and use acupuncture to manage a variety of chronic issues, such as arthritis, asthma, and the anxiety that stems from trying to bark in Morse code. With its boarding services, staff members care for pets while their owners are on vacation, and grooming sessions keep animals looking their best.
As a 4th-degree black belt, Alexander "Soca" Freitas’s fighting resumé is a formidable one. He has won multiple competitions - including the highly prestigious ADCC Championship, where he was also named "Most Technical Fighter" - and is a five-time Brazilian National Jiu-Jitsu Championship winner. He earned his black belt under Carlos Gracie Jr., the son of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s founder, and he spent 25 years mastering the grappling art at the Gracie Barra main academy. Since becoming a teacher himself, Soca has awarded black belts to 24 of his students. However, he doesn't try to force any of his protégés into following his footsteps—instead of matching his impressive accolades with an intimidating attitude, Soca welcomes students of all ages, builds, and abilities to his gym.
Soca leads classes in both beginning and advanced Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques. The martial-arts discipline depends on leverage and holds rather than weapons to subdue opponents, and he demonstrates these maneuvers during practice drills. Students progress through the curriculum by testing to receive successive belts rather than by wrestling a written exam to the ground. Soca ultimately leaves their goals up to them, whether they hope to perfect their self-defense moves, compete in MMA tournaments, or simply engage in healthy exercise. Aside from standard Brazilian Jiu Jitsu lessons, the gym also hosts private classes, children's classes, and strength-and-conditioning sessions, led by co-owner Samantha Freitas.
Nationally certified dog trainer Jessica Freedman doesn't believe in a cure-all for disobedient dogs. Having graduated from National K-9 Learning Center, where she was introduced to an array of obedience-training techniques, she knows you have to treat each dog on a case-by-case basis.
That's why, at Sublime K9 Dog Training, before a "sit" or a "stay" or a "file the taxes" is uttered, she schedules a complimentary evaluation. Using the info from the evaluation, she tailors a plan that suits both the dog and the family. Her services range from alleviating puppies' separation anxiety to teaching older dogs who have gotten behind the learning curve.
Her knowledge of canines also shows during her bite-prevention classes. In them, she teaches kids how to read canine body language in order to prevent bites.