pet can be your confidante, your closest companion in good times and
bad. If a pat on the head just doesnít seem to cut it, there are
plenty of ways to pamper your pet with style.
Beauty and the Beast
When pets need an extra pop of posh, their owners take them to
places like Stylín Companions Pet Spa in Brookfield.
Doggy clients are free to roam in the salon, says owner Melissa
Rohda, so they can socialize and relax. When they need a break, they
can stretch out on "diva beds" covered in plush velvet and
breathe in the air scented with aromatherapy fragrances.
Every furry friend trots out of the place with its own look, based
on its personality, and each gets a Furminator treatment to deal with
shedding, and a lavender spritz. Pedicures are available in 30 colors,
Rohda says, and if the owner wants the petís tail or ears dyed a
pretty shade of pink, Stylín Companions will oblige.
A blueberry treatment brightens the faces of dogs with white fur,
Rohda says, but almost all dogs seem to enjoy the extra attention of
the facial massage that comes with it.
No matter what the owners may order, Rohda says the final decision
on spa services is up to the dog or cat. "We never force or push
animals to do anything they donít want to do," she says.
"Ninety-nine percent of the dogs that come in here, youíll see
them pulling their owners to get in."
Rohda is the proud owner of two Bernese mountain dogs, Chopper and
Cori Hansen, owner of Vanity Fur in Shorewood, offers blueberry
facial scrubsfor lucky dogs in the North Shore. The shopís spa
packages can include a bubble bathfoot scrub to exfoliate the paws.
"Itís kind of an aromatherapy idea," Hansen says.
"You can tell, (the scent) seems to calm them down."
Vanity Fur offers full-service grooming as well as self-service
grooming for all breeds, as well as cats. However, cats donít seem
to enjoy the attention as much as the average mutt.
"With cats, it usually means getting it done as quickly as
possible," Hansen says.
Hansenís mixed-breed dog, Dixie, watches the rubber chicken toys
fly out of the shop, a favorite of both doggies and kids alike.
provided by Hounds Around Town, Whitefish Bay.
If youíd rather wash the dog or cat yourself, Flying Fur in
Cedarburg can show you sure-fire techniques for making the bath
enjoyable for you and your pet.
Owner Cathy Reid notes that the shop features plastic tubs because
dogs can get nervous when their nails clatter on the stainless steel
variety. Ramps help big pooches navigate their way into the cleaning
station without trauma.
Flying Fur supplies shampoos and conditioners, combs and brushes,
towels and chamois, as well as high velocity dryers to blow out the
undercoat. Dogs who arenít too sure about that should be approached
slowly from the back, suggests groomer Monica Umbs, until they get
used to the idea.
"It takes a little bit of training and some patience,"
Is your pet ready for the runway? Slip her into the latest designer
frocks from Hounds Around Town Pet Boutique in Whitefish Bay.
If dresses arenít your dogís style, says owner Lisa Peterson,
take a look at the matching collar and leash sets all decked out in
fresh summer looks like hounds tooth checks, ruffled yellow linen and
blue and white seersucker.
Your baby will be ready to face her fans with a fresh shampoo from
Milwaukeeís own opulent canine line, Isle of Dogs. Peterson also
recommends Furbulous, a chemical-free shampoo for dogs with
environmentally conscious owners.
Match your dogís boudoir to your dťcor with a bed covered in a
custom fabric, or give her a private retreat with a doggy bed that
looks like a seaside cabana or a gingerbread house with a plump, pink
Petersonís Bernese mountain dog, Cooper, presides over the shop,
while her golden retriever, Sophie, holds down the fort at home.
You wonít find "No Dogs Allowed" signs at Community
Bark Dog Wash and Coffee Bar in Bayside, where, says owner Andrew
Appel, "People just come and hang out with their dogs and have a
Kick back with your buddy and sip Community Barkís special
Alterra coffee flavor, Best Friend Blend, named by two winners of an
Dogs can loll around the Barker Lounge with other canine companions
while their humans trade stories about who has the baddest bud.
So far, says Appel, no doggy romances have bloomed. Perhaps the
next Movie Night at Community Bark will spark some interest. Appel
screens canine classics like "Ace Ventura, Pet Detective" so
owners and their dogs can enjoy a night out at the movies together.
The whole point, says Appel, is to build a community of dog fans
who just like to be part of the pack. Be sure to meet Appelís
125-pound Newfoundland, Lily, Community Barkís official greeter.
To dogs, fine dining means just one thing: treats. Many are not
particular about what constitutes a treat, but discriminating pets
prefer freshly baked, preservative-free goodies at The Doggy Bag in
Owners Lori and Eric Eck have conjured up Ginger Squirrels, Apple
CinnaCats, brownies and pizza for dogs, and tuna, salmon and organic
catnip munchies for cats. Few dogs can resist the peanut butter
sandwich cookies and peanut butter hearts, Eric Eck says.
When itís party time, the Ecks will bake your dog a birthday cake
to take out, or to enjoy with a few buddies at the shop. Watch them
sink their chops into banana walnut, carob chip or a bone-shaped
brownie cake, decorated with your petís name and age.
The Doggy Bag has helped produce Mexican-themed galas with pi-atas,
princess parties and a karaoke event that was quite the howl.
Entertainment includes bobbing for sausages and contests like
"longest tail" and "biggest ears" so that all
guests go home with a winnerís certificate, a treat bag and bragging
While youíre at the shop, say hello to Duncan, a muttly mix of
water dog, sheepdog and poodle adopted by the Ecks from Fluffy Dog
When youíre out of town, treat your pet to a luxurious getaway at
Spa Paw & Tail Premier Pet Resort and Daycamp in New Berlin. Fair
warning, though: Spot may not want to come home.
Thatís because from the minute your dog or cat arrives, says
owner Nina Race, they are given the royal treatment. Cage-free suites
are furnished with whatever the pet parent brings along, such as a
favorite blanket or toys. Dogs sprawl out on cots,and cats explore
their two- or four-story kitty condos.
The itinerary for dogs includes all-day indoor and outdoor playtime
with customized playgroups based on size and age. At bedtime, guests
are gently tucked in for the night with turndown service.
The Seniors Lounge offers distinguished dogs lavish lodging with
infrared beds to soothe arthritis or hip dysplasia, says Race.
Race says all-inclusive packages are available, with upgrades like
private walks, gourmet treats, massages and facials.
Spencer, Raceís Chihuahua-Jack Russell terrier mix, is the
concierge at the resort.
Think of it as a water park for dogs. Family-owned Feedbag Pet
Supply in Mequon has just the thing for pups that love to make a
The storeís indoor pool, heated to 82 degrees, is available in
30-minute rental increments, says owner Mark Haslam. A Feedbag Pet
Supply staff member goes in the water with your pet, and owners are
encouraged to hang out on the adjoining deck to interact with their
dogs as they exercise in the water.
Haslam says the pool is the perfect prescription for dogs who need
to burn off some calories, and for older pet owners who are unable to
walk their pooches like they used to.
Feedbag Pet Supply rents the facility for doggy pool parties,
Haslam says, and all dogs take a post-swim shower.
The 14-by-26-foot pool is great for teaching puppies how to swim,
Haslam says. Dogs recovering from surgery use the pool for therapy,
and older dogs with arthritis benefit as well.
Donít be surprised to see Haslamís 16-year-old chocolate Lab,
Jasmine, swimming a lap, along with his black Labs, Rosie and Pepper.
Whether your best friend is a bouncy puppy or a hound with a touch
of gray around its muzzle, imagine a professional portrait of your
pooch gracing the mantle.
Bob Prohaska of All Ears Pet Photography in Waukesha, and Stephanie
Bartz of Wauwatosa, the Annie Leibovitz of dog photographers, both
capture the essence of an animalís personality in the tilt of its
tail or as it dives fearlessly into a pond.
Bartzís portraits are rendered primarily in black and white for a
posh, classic look. Prohaska leans toward color. Both shoot on
location to grab that moment when the dog is deliriously happy.
Be sure to groom your dog prior to the shoot and take him for a
brisk walk to work off excess energy. Youíll be rewarded with a
stunning portrait of your pet to admire forever. m