Ten thousand square feet is plenty of space for dogs to run, play, and relax. At Bark Park, dogs play both indoors and outdoors, romping onto play structures, catching balls between their teeth, and discussing alternate endings for Homeward Bound as they sunbathe on the grass. The staff supervises its canine charges 24 hours a day, even during overnight stays, and owners can take advantage of other services such as grooming and training sessions.
Fluff and Puff Dog Wash mirrors a human spa in that it strives to pamper, not merely clean, its clients. Groomers consult with owners before they brandish scissors, designing custom haircuts for each animal. Staff members also double as cleanup crews at self-service tubs. After owners bathe their dogs with specialized shampoos for puppies, parasite prevention, and dogs with dry skin, the cleaners sop up residual grime. When owners are too busy to clean their own pups, these crews intervene with pickup and drop-off services. During daycare visits, supervisors stand by as dogs cavort through an indoor playground, rescue children from local wells, or recline on couches in front of dog-oriented movies.
Rick DuBois left a career in the cutthroat corporate world in favor of his current and more humane profession as the owner and resident "pack leader" at You Luckie Dog! The lifelong pooch aficionado brings more than 20 years of dog expertise—including a stint as a chow-chow breeder and trainer—to his canine daycare, boarding, and grooming spa. "Pretty much whatever a traditional kennel does, we do the opposite," says Rick, who personally groups his tenants into amiable playgroups according to size, temperament, and fastest time swimming the 300-meter dog paddle. The canine resort rejuvenates man’s best stressed friend with physical exercise and socialization, with stays ranging from day-long excursions to overnight boarding. The popular daycare service allows early morning drop-off and pickup as late as 8 p.m., and Rick makes a point of never smacking his customers with dollar-per-minute fees for late pickups. "I know what it's like to have meetings run long while people drone on. I want people to know I'm not trying to nickel-and-dime them."
Adam and Marisa Beck love their pets almost as much as each other. First meeting as teachers, the couple decided early on that they'd follow their dreams and open a pet facility that educates pooches as they play and mingle under the watchful gaze of an experienced staff. In addition to grooming services, Barkley Square also boards cats and dogs overnight, protecting the health of each pup in their care by requiring tests for DH2PP, giardia, and bordetella. Every overnight stay comes with a full day of play, where dogs can learn the basics of social interaction, such as not pushing other dogs off the monkey bars.
Brittany of Dog Fit Unlimited professes a lifelong love of animals, which is what prompted her to begin her own dog-walking business. During each 60-minute walk, she and her canine charge explore neighborhood parks and hiking trails and take in the sights while the pooch meets other dogs and sniffs the grass for lost jewelry. She fortifies each pup with slurps of water and treats and takes photos so owners can check out their pooches' big smiles.