Nestled within Columbia's historical Shandon neighborhood, Pupcakes Pet Boutique invites passersby and their four-legged friends to admire the designer dog-wear, stylish carriers and beds, and handy accessories in the homey, family-run shop. Throughout the store, Prada, the assistant manager and resident silky terrier, performs quality-control tests on toys, greets visitors with begs for belly rubs, and reviews payroll time sheets. The scent of daily baked treats tickles the olfactory lobes of discerning doggie patrons, and the sight of pooches dressed in cute vests and comforting Thundershirts reduces human speech to adoring coos and baby talk.
You can hear the dogs before you can see them: the sound of playful barks and panting as tails thump on the ground. The happy pups at In The Dog House spend up to 10 hours a day romping with like-sized dogs throughout the 7,200-square-foot play area at their disposal. The space is divided into four indoor and two outdoor areas, with larger dogs and smaller dogs playing in separate areas to prevent the little dogs trying to hitch piggyback rides atop the larger ones. Canines spending the night can lie down in their own individual, climate-controlled kennel.
To owners Rosanne and Tom Hayes, For Pet's Sake is more of a motto than a business name. Rosanne, a registered nurse, gives pets the same love, care, and scratches behind the ear every family member deserves. With her husband Tom, she eliminates the stress and anxiety pets experience at kennels, opting instead to take care of dogs and cats in their own homes. When owners are away, the pet sitters play with furry family members, take them for walks, and administer any required medications.
Back at their brick-and-mortar shop, For Pet's Sake's groomers—each of whom has at least 20 years experience—ready pets for daily gambols or formal dinner parties, using hypoallergenic shampoos and conditioners to silken coats and never caging animals.
The certified specialists at Wild Birds Unlimited open up an encyclopedia of avian-spotting opportunities in local forest preserves and backyards alike with a stock of bird-watching and bird-feeding accessories that promotes the appreciation and conservation of wildlife. They’ve accumulated more than 30 years’ worth of research and experience, culminating in an impressive array of high-quality birding supplies, some of which boast a lifetime guarantee. The specialists cull regional blends of bird feed that consist of 100% edible seed that’s safe for backyard birds. In addition to vending bird food, bird feeders, birdbaths, and powerful optics equipment, the company disseminates helpful information online about bird feeding, migration, and current top 40 bird song charts.