A parade of customers saunters out of Kit + Kaboodle's Austin and Lockhart locations donning edgy mohawks, neon hair color, and sassy tattoos. This is not a group of teenagers from an ’80s flick, though. It's a pack of leashed corgis and everything about their look, including the hair dye and temporary tattoos, is nontoxic and tear-free. The technicians at Kit + Kaboodle love adorning pooches in such details. They groom dogs with organic and natural products and augment treatments with quirky trim such as handmade pup feathers. Their pet-sitting services include drop-ins and daily dog walks to exercise canines, administer medication, or refill food bowls while owners are at work or visiting their secret dogs.
The zookeepers and storytellers at Tiny Tails to You! travel from town to town to organize pop-up petting zoos four days a week, and lease out hands-on learning experiences for festivals, summer camps, and private parties. What beasts turn up at these parties is up to the customer, who might arrange for anything from an avalanche of fluffy bunnies and baby birds to an encampment of chinchillas, hedgehogs, leopard geckos, and tortoises. The staff's love for animals extends beyond informative show-and-tells—head zookeeper Ed Bradfield offers pet-sitting services for dogs, cats, exotic pets, and house-trained rocks, and the zookeepers are nearly always offering baby bunnies for adoption.
At this four-facility network of locally owned animal hospitals, veterinarians—including Dr. Jill Urofsky and Dr. Raymond P. Bouloy—shower clients' animal pals with the same care and attention they give their own pets. Each clinic's team sees to its furry, four-legged clientele with general practices ranging from checkups to teeth cleaning, as well as more specialized services such as microchipping. Some locations boast boarding and grooming facilities, and each practice's staff either offers or can coordinate emergency care.
Instead of "dog walkers," calling the team from Pup Pup Pooch "dog runners" would be more precise. Some dogs like to stroll; others could walk for hours and still get home and want to chase the Roomba. For these dogs, a crew member straps on running shoes and takes them for a run at their own pace, ensuring that they burn off that energy without overheating. Owners know when their pup leaves for their run with automatic email alerts, and GPS tracking systems offer real-time tracking of dog-walking routes.
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.