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.
Spring Valley Equestrian Center has been family owned for four decades. Current owners Marie Cotton and Chuck McWhirter spearhead instruction in both English and Western horseback-riding techniques on the scenic ranch, which abuts the Appalachian Trail Ridge. A large indoor arena complements the center's three riding rings, allowing horses to gallop comfortably throughout the year and eliminating the need for them to fly south for the winter. Spring Valley’s saddle shop allows equines to suit up onsite. In addition to group and private lessons, the center hosts summer horsemanship camps that include a week of lessons and conclude with a student horse show.
At the award-winning Camp Bow Wow's locations spread throughout the U.S., certified doggy counselors supply love, attention, and 24-hour monitoring in indoor and outdoor play areas. Throughout the day, canine campers splash in pools, climb over play equipment, and exchange sniffs, barks, and phone numbers with other furry friends. Camp counselors certified in dog behavior analyze the personality of each guest before placing dogs into separate playgroups. Meanwhile, live webcams allow owners to check in on pups either online, or via iPhone or Android phones with the Camp Bow Wow mobile app. Trusted pet whisperers feed, walk, and care for pets in-home with a Home Buddies service in some regions, which allows dogs, cats, birds, and fish stay to remain at home to field telemarketing calls. The staff also helps dogs brush up on their manners with obedience and behavior lessons.
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.
Mike Kelly had a sore back, not to mention torn-down shower curtains, a decimated bathroom, and clogged drains, all courtesy of his 160-pound newfoundland, Gordo. He decided to start a self-service dog-wash business, not simply for his own sake but for other sore, slobber-riddled dog owners as well.
And so In n Out Self Serve Dog Wash was born. There, pet owners find a series of green-walled semiprivate stations that house walkup tubs for a variety of dog sizes, including a couple of extra-large sizes to accommodate massive pups or several small dogs that became stuck together after an ill-fated jelly-sandwich incident. Equipped with washing hoses and shampoos, dog owners can disrupt muddy paws and fur before rinsing and styling their pooch's pompadour with a high-velocity, no-heat blow dryer. Or they can seek out the help of the shop's professional grooming services, which include nail trimming, ear cleaning, and packages with breed-standard trims.