Founded in Oak Park, Illinois, in 1996 by pet owners who were sick of bothering neighbors to care for their furry charges when they were busy or away, Out-U-Go! keeps beloved animals happy when their owners are unavailable. Certified members of Pet Sitter International, Out-U-Go’s fully licensed and bonded pet professionals undergo a rigorous screening process, putting in time at the company's Dog Walk University to learn how to deal with willful pets, calmly handle emergencies, and internalize animals’ fear of vacuums. New customers start off with a free meet and greet, with sitters coming to the house to meet dogs, cats, and smaller critters, and discuss special needs and routines. Services range from daily walks to full-time housesitting and pet taxi rides to groomers, vets, and kennels.
Most pups greet their owners with thumping tails after workers from eco-friendly See Spot Run LLC visit. The staff believes that pets are usually most at ease in the comfort of their own homes. That’s why they make home visits instead of running a daycare facility. While pet owners are busy working, running errands, or vacationing, these bonded-and-insured employees spend time with their furry friends, playing fetch, taking walks, or helping them with their tax returns. Staff members will also stay overnight to comfort anxious pets while their owners are away.
If 4th Quarter Bar & Grill's big-screen TVs and walls teeming with sports memorabilia don’t prompt cheers from game-day fans, the expansive menu—awash in burgers, sandwiches, and hearty steaks—ought to rouse at least a few salutes. Jerseys from acclaimed players gaze down upon the kitchen's savory creations, which fill mornings with pancakes and egg dishes while whiling away the evening hours with chicken-fried steaks and eight flavors of wings. At the bar, drink slingers deliver frothy pours of more than 60 beers, forging braver hands for dart competitions and more heartfelt sing-alongs with the Internet jukebox. On Tuesdays, trivia buffs go head to head answering questions about current events, historic facts, and pop-culture knowledge, creating a more satisfying blend of comestibles and intellect than Galileo's invention of sliced bread.
Merlin's Full-Service Pet Care was named after owner Jessica Odell's bull terrier Merlin, whose ability to turn cats into turtles keeps visiting dogs in high spirits. Jessica and her tight-knit staff, including her mother and boyfriend, groom dogs of all sizes and provide pet-sitting and dog-boarding services. Jessica visits homes for pre-pet-sitting consultations, so animals have a chance to acclimate themselves to their substitute caretaker. At the onsite boarding facilities, dogs romp through double-fenced, tree-studded fields and enjoy climate-controlled individual boarding rooms, where they can eat their owners' homework without distraction.
When not busy earning accolades from the Naples Daily News and Fox 4’s Morning Blend, Pet Paradise 1's gregarious grocers keep furry compatriots in working order, stocking pet pantries with all-natural dining options. Learn about each pet's individual needs during nutrition consultations before refilling feed bags with mounds of munchables from chefs at Dr. Harvey’s and Earthborn, bolstering man's best friend with all-natural chow free from additives, chemicals, or the ghosts of chew toys past (5–6 lb. bags, $12–$27).
The Flint RiverQuarium pulses with animal life both aquatic and terrestrial and with an array of interactive exhibits. Sea-creature gawkers can view more than 120 watery friends at play inside the blue-hole spring, and fans of fowl can visit the Cypress Pond Aviary, which houses a multiplicity of native birds unaware of Alfred Hitchcock. After ogling submerged or airborne species, guests can check out the theater, in which a three-story-tall screen flickers with stunning nature films that show creatures in their natural habitats. The aquarium staff presents dive shows, alligator feedings, and penguin-led anger-management classes to provide visitors with a variety of inclusive educational demonstrations.