Mark and Sheryl McEachern, owners of the Woof Gang Bakery location in Lutz, opened their shop in hopes it would become a place where pet owners enjoy visiting with their furry friends. "We plan on knowing all the neighborhood dogs by name," Mark says. Bubblegum-pink walls and a chandelier hanging from the ceiling give the shop the feel of a clothing boutique, though displayed trays of dog biscuits and homemade canine cakes leave no doubt as to the store's intended clientele. Helping pet owners provide holistic food for their animals is a priority at the shop, with plentiful dog- and cat-food choices in natural and grain-free varieties. The McEacherns also stock their shelves with chew toys and accessories, perfect for doggy birthday gifts or house-training recognition ceremonies.
The strength of CrossFit's program lies in its unpredictability, with a new Workout of the Day unveiled in every class, led by certified trainers and scheduled throughout the day, six days a week. The nonspecialized program places heavy emphasis on gymnastics, Olympic weightlifting, and endurance regimens, catering to athletes of all stripes, from bodybuilders to team-sports players to kettlebell choir members. The 3,300-square-foot facility is home to a full complement of strength-training and conditioning gear, and the adjacent 15'x70' expanse of astroturf provides a weather-guarded venue for sled pulls, indoor sprinting, and agility work. The overall effect develops ability in 10 distinct fitness domains, including endurance, flexibility, balance, and playing washboard abs in a jug band.
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Courteous Canine's founder Angelica Steinker literally wrote the book on dog training. Actually, she's written two books on the subject, in addition to articles published in professional veterinary journals. So it's no surprise that she and her staff are aces at caring for their canine charges.
Pups entering Courteous Canine's doggie daycare program must first undergo a thorough screening process before they're carefully matched to a playgroup of no more than four other dogs. Knowing that dogs need balance, a typical schedule includes time for play, individual attention, and nap time, as well as an opportunity to work on the New York Times crossword puzzle. Overnight guests rest safely under the watchful eye of 24/7 supervision by staff members who are pet CPR-certified. And because the staff boasts extensive training and experience, pet parents can join their shaggy brood for group or private training classes, whether they're looking to correct behavioral issues or to get dogs up to speed for agility competitions.
The American BellyDance Studio
The American BellyDance Studio's artistic director, Kadayif, captains a team of instructors that crafts a distinct style of belly dancing by marrying traditional Middle Eastern dance with ballet, jazz, and theatrical staging. As the sound of rhythmic music and jingling coin belts courses through the air, seasoned instructors teach students of all skill levels to shimmy through intricate choreography that shows off curves through crisp isolations and rhythmic hip movements.
Kadayif calls upon her experience as a registered nurse to assist students in safely shaking off pounds and limbering up muscle groups on the studio’s suspended wood floor, which was crafted out of chopped down Giving Trees. The American BellyDance Studio showcases its budding performers during performances and social events such as the Florida State Fair and the Lutz Fourth of July parade, as well as the studio's annual gala and awards banquet.
As a girl, Angela Bubley was always bringing home stray dogs and convincing her friends and family to do so, too. She had a true passion for pups, which she later transformed into a career by founding B. Paws-itive Pet Dog Training. The American Kennel Club-certified trainer and Hillsborough County-approved dog obedience instructor leads one-on-one sessions and group training classes that instill consistent, good behavior in dogs. Sessions can take place at clients’ homes, in Angela’s facility, or in a pile of cats for an added challenge.