According to Buffalo Grove Countryside, Candy Oppman trained her first dog when she was only 9 years old. Like many people, she grew up and started a family—only her family turned out to be a combination of kids and rescue dogs. After founding her own pet-sitting business, Candy went on to learn about training and animal behavior. These skills would prove useful for her next endeavor: Bark University, Inc.
Inside Bark University's 3,500-square-foot facility, trainers rear canines through a method called "pack leadership"; or as Candy puts it, "training them as a mother dog trains her puppies, in a language they understand." The full-service facility is also open to daycare, where supervised dogs can frolic along the 5,000-square-foot fenced backyard and in the rubber-matted playroom in groups separated by size, temperament, and playing style. They round out their services with grooming sessions and overnight stays—wherein a staffer remains on premises to keep pets safe and see if they start to talk.
Wild Birds Unlimited promotes the health of avian species at more than 275 locations throughout the country. Rockford owners Robert and Carol Bailey supply customers with the products and advice they need to transform outdoor spaces into chirp-filled habitats. Nutritious bird foods attract flying locals with seed blends that are formulated to the tastes of area species. Bird feeders can draw specific types of feathered friends, such as the Dinner Bell, which is known to lure cardinals, mockingbirds, and baby pterodactyls to lawns. Rockford's Wild Birds Unlimited promotes environmental responsibility with high-efficiency light bulbs, a high-efficiency rooftop, and extensive recycling practices.
Bliss Beauty Lounge’s experienced stylists and aestheticians depend on years of bodycare experience and professional-quality treatments to dramatically transform the appearance of their clients' hair and nails. Stylists snip custom looks and slather manes with vitamin-packed haircare products, some of which are vegan and gluten-free. At their stations, nail techs treat digits to french manicures and pedicures before capping nails in polish or gel designs that sparkle brighter than a firefly playing with matches. Other services include facial waxing, highlights, and thermal straightening, a chemical process that can transform curly hair into smooth, flowing locks for up to a year.
In 1990, the owners of Summerfield Farm set aside part of their grounds and turned it into a zoo. Since then, they have introduced countless visitors to some 200- plus animals: monkeys, camels, zebras, and mountain lions, just to name a few. While Summerfield offers a unique, intimate viewing experience to guests across its 17-acre facility, the staff also showcases up-close interactions during animal encounter presentations. Summerfield Zoo also has a petting zoo, and visitors can ride ponies and feed baby goats with bottles.
With its cozy decor and absence of ominous cages, The Dog Waggin’s welcoming facility gives busy pet owners peace of mind as their pups comfortably socialize and play. The 4,000-square-foot digs house a play room with pooch playground equipment—including slides and tunnels—a relaxing play room—characterized by fluffy pet beds—and a backyard, where dogs can caper about or stretch out and bronze their bods in time for swimsuit season. Pups are free to rest and play as they see fit with their fellow boarders, all under staff supervision during daytime outings and overnight stays. The canine caretakers also offer a number of other services, including walking, in-home sitting, and training from owner and certified dog trainer Lisa Harvey.
Agility Junkies®, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the sport of Dog Agility. Located in Barrington, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, Agility Junkies is the only indoor/outdoor dog agility training facility offering agility classes in the area. With 3500 sq. ft indoors and 100X75 outdoors, fenced and on grass