The seasoned brewers at Southern Brewing & Winemaking impart the secrets of crafting artisan ales at home during friendly, intimate beer-making classes. Up to 15 students savor sample brews and light snacks as hops-loving experts explain basic equipment and recipes and discuss the bottling and tasting of home-brewed beverages, demystify the brewing process. Instructors fill the lesson plan with their passion for brewing and encourage students to ask questions or stage modern-dance interpretations of “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.” The class covers enlightening topics open to students of all ages, but only participants 21 or older can drink alcohol.
The canine caretakers at Lucky Dog Daycare & Resort of South Tampa act as dog-sitting concierges during a pup's private or social boarding. During private stays, shy, aggressive, or hypoallergenic pets pair with a kennel counselor for individual playtime, four to six walks a day, and free use of the outdoor romping grounds. Pets can carouse with packs of friendly canines during a social stay, frolicking with like-sized pals in the grassy play area, relaxing in the expansive Astroturf sunning spots, or swan-diving into the heat-beating water park complete with pools and mist sprayers. The air-conditioned interior offers a weather-friendly alternative to the outdoors, with a team of dog enthusiasts constantly supervising the pet playtime. Owners can virtually check-in with best friends over the live feed that streams across the Internet from 16 cameras on constant alert. Lucky Dog’s boarding aficionados hire sheep barbershop quartets to softly bleat lullabies, ensuring all pups snooze comfortably, either in a single room for the private stay or in a softly snoring dog pile.
In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of “hard-to-find tools,” and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone’s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.
Pet apparel ranges from $15 to $40, and toys start at $6. Fetch. Fur. Love. also carries organic dog snacks ($6–$12), holistic and natural goods ($15–$70), and gourmet bites ($1.75–$3.50). Lather up Fido and save on pricey trips to the groomer with pampering products ($2–$15), or reclaim your side of the bed and invest in your pooch's own sleeping spot ($35–$250). Lavish a neglected mutt, spoil your god-puppy, or dote on the canines at your weekly PAWS meetings.
Whenever Brian Corby bathed his dog Presley, she shook and squirmed, flooding the bathroom and exhausting her owner. Taking her to the groomers was hardly better: careless clippers nicked her belly and chipped her nails too short, dashing her dreams of modeling in poker dog portraits. Fed up, Brian enlisted his long-time pal Greg to come up with an alternative, and the result was Green Dog Wash. They staff professional dog groomers whose exacting standards dictate that fur is cleansed with natural shampoos, teeth are brushed, and ears and eyes are cleaned. Owners can also bathe their furry companions themselves in a professional grooming center with tubs, shampoos, and towels, avoiding the hassles of cleaning up at home. When pets drop by one of Green Dog Wash's two locations, they often pull their owners over to the gift section, which stocks eco-friendly treats and toys. The goods, including Natural Balance dry dog food, West Paw Design beds, and K-99 natural treats, double as enticing bribes for dogs reluctant to shower off.