Ten thousand square feet is plenty of space for dogs to run, play, and relax. At Bark Park, dogs play both indoors and outdoors, romping onto play structures, catching balls between their teeth, and discussing alternate endings for Homeward Bound as they sunbathe on the grass. The staff supervises its canine charges 24 hours a day, even during overnight stays, and owners can take advantage of other services such as grooming and training sessions.
Zoom Room?s dog training facilities have one cardinal rule: owners must be present during class. This is because humans need just as much training as their canine companions when building confidence and communication, and it?s important that owners learn the best positive-reinforcement techniques from the knowledgeable staff. Group classes cover topics ranging from general obedience and agility training to more specific needs such as overcoming shyness. Other classes include Urban Herding, where dogs herd exercise balls into soccer goals indoors, Scent Work, where dogs learn to sniff out missing car keys or the TV remote, and Pup-lates, which is geared toward overweight or senior dogs, or those recovering from an injury.
In fact, improving canine social skills is one of Zoom Room?s missions, as evidenced by the regularly hosted fundraiser events and Doggy Disco parties, which give dogs a chance to meet other dogs and expand away from their inner circle of fire hydrants. This combination of training and fun, in addition to the facility?s selection of solution-oriented training gear, natural dog treats, and functional dog accessories, has garnered an array of local and national press.
Fluff and Puff Dog Wash mirrors a human spa in that it strives to pamper, not merely clean, its clients. Groomers consult with owners before they brandish scissors, designing custom haircuts for each animal. Staff members also double as cleanup crews at self-service tubs. After owners bathe their dogs with specialized shampoos for puppies, parasite prevention, and dogs with dry skin, the cleaners sop up residual grime. When owners are too busy to clean their own pups, these crews intervene with pickup and drop-off services. During daycare visits, supervisors stand by as dogs cavort through an indoor playground, rescue children from local wells, or recline on couches in front of dog-oriented movies.
The sky is overcast, and an instructor stands off to the side of the riding area with a camera in hand. Chance, a leather-brown horse, stands poised, ready to jump over an x-rail. Moments later, Chance gallops toward the hurdle, throwing its front legs into the air and gracefully arcing over the lofty obstacle.
This is just another day at Aspire Equestrian, where passionate trainers lead private and group riding lessons for students of all ages and levels of expertise. With a community-like feel, the instructors at Aspire hope students riders gain a comfortable atmosphere to learn and enjoy their new skills. The equine enthusiasts also board horses and lease select animals to people who want to hit the trails on their own or secure better lawn seats at the next outdoor music festival.
Glynis Dewing and her fellow caretakers at Lucky Pawz Pet Services look after clients' best nonhuman friends with services that include walking, in-home visits, pet-sitting, taxiing, and helping pets finish their first novels. Their quality of care has kept Lucky Pawz in good standing with Pet Sitters International.
Rick DuBois left a career in the cutthroat corporate world in favor of his current and more humane profession as the owner and resident "pack leader" at You Luckie Dog! The lifelong pooch aficionado brings more than 20 years of dog expertise—including a stint as a chow-chow breeder and trainer—to his canine daycare, boarding, and grooming spa. "Pretty much whatever a traditional kennel does, we do the opposite," says Rick, who personally groups his tenants into amiable playgroups according to size, temperament, and fastest time swimming the 300-meter dog paddle. The canine resort rejuvenates man’s best stressed friend with physical exercise and socialization, with stays ranging from day-long excursions to overnight boarding. The popular daycare service allows early morning drop-off and pickup as late as 8 p.m., and Rick makes a point of never smacking his customers with dollar-per-minute fees for late pickups. "I know what it's like to have meetings run long while people drone on. I want people to know I'm not trying to nickel-and-dime them."