According to Buffalo Grove Countryside, Candy Oppman trained her first dog when she was only 9 years old. Like many people, she grew up and started a family—only her family turned out to be a combination of kids and rescue dogs. After founding her own pet-sitting business, Candy went on to learn about training and animal behavior. These skills would prove useful for her next endeavor: Bark University, Inc.
Inside Bark University's 3,500-square-foot facility, trainers rear canines through a method called "pack leadership"; or as Candy puts it, "training them as a mother dog trains her puppies, in a language they understand." The full-service facility is also open to daycare, where supervised dogs can frolic along the 5,000-square-foot fenced backyard and in the rubber-matted playroom in groups separated by size, temperament, and playing style. They round out their services with grooming sessions and overnight stays—wherein a staffer remains on premises to keep pets safe and see if they start to talk.
Head trainer Jacki Larisch passes along an abiding passion for horsemanship to each student that she works with at Creekside Farm. Jacki inherited her love of horses from her parents, themselves International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) level competitors, and it continued through her four years as a member of The Ohio State University Hunt Seat Equestrian team. Today, Jacki shares her experience in proper English hunter and jumping technique in lessons that aim to create knowledgeable, well-rounded equestrians even if their previous experience only involves hours spent on coin-operated stallions outside grocery stores.
Poopie Palz sends fastidious cleaners to yards and dog runs to collect and remove dog waste year-round. Upon securing all waste within ecofriendly bags, they send a text message to homeowners letting them know it is once again safe to walk barefoot while watering hedges. In addition to picking up dog waste and removing it from properties, Poopie Palz offers dog-walking visits, which include water and food refills, as well as love and attention. They also visit cats, cleaning out litter boxes, refilling water and food, and calmly explaining the science behind laser pointers in flawless cat speak.