Matt Caranante’s journey to becoming a dog trainer started, oddly enough, with bed bugs. While working as a handler for a bed-bug-sniffing beagle, he realized how powerful the relationship between dog and owner could be. He went on to rescue another dog, this time an abused beagle from a high-kill shelter, and the reward he felt from rehabilitating his pet made his next step clear: He enrolled in Animal Behavior College’s dog-training certificate program and founded Let's Play!
As a positive-reinforcement dog trainer, Matt brings out canines’ best behavior by mixing work with fun activities that help channel their energy. He offers private, in-home sessions to disengage pups from remote controls, as well as group classes to work on basic obedience and manners. Matt also works on behavioral modification to solve common issues such as separation anxiety, dog aggression, and excessive barking.
A kaleidoscope of color comprised of freshwater and saltwater fish greets guests as they walk into Fish Emporium Plus. This prismatic brood of aquatic creatures swims merrily within crystal-clear aquariums, making elegant rounds while patrons shop for otherworldly bubble coral and marine life. The knowledgeable store employees offer advice on any stage of the aquarium-care process, from selecting food and filters to saving the lives of fish who were sent to “sleep with the humans” by unseemly eels.
Brielle Dog Boutique's self-serve dog-wash houses four elevated pup tubs, granting owners kneel-free access to their canine's besotted coat. Strap on a waterproof apron and combine water with liberal squirts of house shampoo to cleanse fur caked in mud and temporary Marmaduke tattoos. After the wash, owners can take advantage of a fluffy selection of clean towels to dry off their pooch's sopping coat.
When a shop on Ocean Grove's Main Street became available in 2011, fourth-generation resident Cindy Stiles seized the chance to combine her business savvy with her love for animals. She opened Ocean Grove Pet Boutique, which welcomes pet owners and four-legged friends as long as they're vaccinated and leashed. Stiles also enlisted the help of a baker to help make their own all-natural cookies and frozen yogurt. A baker might seem like a misfit at a pet store, but these goodies aren't for the humans. They're for the pets, and Stiles makes sure to give every visiting pup a complimentary cookie fresh from the store's cookie bar.
Aside from the doggie deserts, the boutique also draws in customers with its pet collars, shampoos, and other products made with natural ingredients. Staying eco-friendly is as important to Stiles as being pet-friendly, and as such, there are no plastic bags to be found in the store. Instead, she offers shopping bags made from recycled materials, and when customers bring them in, they receive 50 cents off future purchases and a silent thank-you from every tree they walk past.
Presents of Mind rescues party guests from difficult gifting decisions with a huge selection of one-of-a-kind presents for men, women, kids, toddlers, and infants. Eye-catching floral prints decorate handbags, cosmetic purses, and wallets from Stephanie Dawn, while stencil-cut spatulas emblazon steaks and burgers with proclamations such as #1 DAD. The online and in-store arsenal of gifts can provide for nearly any occasion, with elegant ring stands, photo frames, and tableware for weddings, and baby toys, games, and stuffed animals for weddings.
As a branch of the nonprofit Community Options Enterprises, Inc., Presents of Mind helps fund the noble cause of securing employment for people with disabilities, ensuring that each purchase not only fills gift bags and wrapping paper with thoughtful presents, but customers' hearts with warmth.
Miles of trails snake through the verdant woods surrounding Seaton Hackney County Stables, beckoning riders and their stallions to showcase skills learned from the full-service facility’s multitude of equine activities. A staff of seasoned equestrians imparts English- and Western-style horsemanship techniques during frequent camps and lessons, introducing pupils of all ages to Seaton's stable of more than 35 resident horses. Mounted atop the valiant steeds, the staff also shepherds guests on guided trail rides through nearby environs or leads offsite excursions that explore area parks and horse-only dance halls.