When Cheryl Schaaf was shuffling through old items, she discovered something she'd never known: as a child, her mother dreamed of being a veterinarian. She'd written it in her journal. At that moment, Cheryl was inspired to create a business that offered pet owners similar comfort and peace of mind.
The result was Walk the Dog—a team of animal-loving professionals that offer personalized pet care in South Jersey and parts of Pennsylvania. Of course, Walk the Dog's team members know they can't replace at-work or vacationing pet owners. Instead, they make sure pets remain active with walks. They also keep particularly jittery critters company with overnight sittings, offering a much more soothing presence than a broom with googly eyes glued to it.
Shaun Froshour's decade of canine search and rescue experience made him the go-to guy when dogs needed training. Friends and clients swarmed him with requests to work on their canines' behavior problems or watch their dogs overnight. Eventually, Shaun realized he could parlay his expertise and passion for pooches into a business and decided to open the Canine Retreat and Behavior Improvement Center. Known today as Paws-itively Healthy, the center has trained and hosted hundreds of hounds of all breeds.
Froshour and his managing partner, Jill Stouffer, chaperone tail-waggers as they laze, play, and plan book-club meetings at the canine retreat. Grooming services gussy up pups with de-shedding treatments, nail trimmings, and toothbrushings, or the experienced duo can pet-sit or walk dogs as owners travel. Froshour and Stouffer call upon years of experience during obedience training to teach dogs verbal commands and hand signals including sit, stay, and vogue.
Nestled in the heart of a scenic 45-acre expanse, Out of Reach Farm hosts one indoor and one outdoor ring, both equipped with challenging jumping courses. A covered arena juts out from the indoor ring, hosting private and small group lessons. While one of three instructors relays equestrian basics or advanced techniques to pupils aged 5 and older, parents and other spectators keep cozier than mitten-clad sheep in a heated viewing area. As the seasons evolve from chilly to sun-drenched, so do the farm's offerings, which include half-day summer camps suited to riders aged 5–15. For a more intimate peek into farm life, patrons can schedule two-hour birthday parties, with an hour devoted to pony rides for guests.
If you can't find it, build it. Certified master dog trainer Jaime Van Wye searched high and low for agility classes to send her dog-training clients to, and when she came up dry, she opened one herself. Today, the Zoom Room can be found in cities across the country, each one home to an indoor agility course, also known as a private gym. Dog owners can reserve 30-minute sessions for one-on-one some bonding time with their four-legged friends, tackling the course's challenges and playing without the distractions and silent judgments of other dogs. Group classes and private training cover topics ranging from general obedience and agility training to more specific classes such as overcoming shyness, tricks, and canine good citizen.
In fact, improving canine social skills is one of Zoom Room's missions, as evidenced by the regularly hosted meet-up events and Doggy Disco parties, which give dogs a chance to meet other dogs and expand away from the inner circle of fire hydrants. This combination of training and fun, in addition to the facility's selection of organic dog food, natural dog treats, and functional dog accessories, has garnered an array of local and national press.
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