The Pet Lover's Guide
From dog yoga to “pet resorts,” local pooches, kittens and other furry friends can have it all.
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Want to pamper your pet in the healthiest way possible? For a special food treat, forget packaged goodies. Dr. Doug Knueven says baby carrots and other fresh veggies delight many dogs, boosting health while satisfying stomachs. Looking to celebrate the end of a long, dry winter?
Spoil your pet with a moisturizing oatmeal bath or a soothing aromatherapy wash with natural lavender soap. Then plan a play date at Animal Friends, where you can rent an outdoor play area by 30-minute increments. Make it a party by inviting a friend (up to 10 canines per party) or hit one of the indoor “canine socials” for just $5 per dog. (We hear the “small dog social” is a particularly hot ticket.)
All owners must show vaccination records, just to ensure that your pet will be playing with healthy pals.
Adorable pet clothes and accessories are available online and at big-box stores. But Pittsburgh’s dedicated pet parents have their favorite local spots for seeking cute costumes and more.
Petagogy has been a hit since it opened, offering natural pet food, pet beds, tons of toys and more. Need a cool collar? Check out Clara’s Collars (724/355-1372) and Woody’s Dog Wash & Pet Boutique, which offers a large selection of leashes, collars and harnesses for hard-to-fit pups. It's not all about canines: Spoil your kitten with some of Petagogy's U.S.-grown catnip, and toys from From the Field and West Paw Design.
Back in junior high, Susan Donley started selling her own pencil drawings of the Monkees (the musical group, that is), and some 40 years later, her focus centers on portraits of real animals: dogs, cats, bunnies, parrots and other birds, horses, goats and chickens.
“No reptiles yet,” she says, “but I’m hoping I might do one someday.” As a pet-portrait artist now for several years — she’s had day jobs that include art and museum education, instructional media and Web design — Donley sees this calling a “business built on love.” Her Pets Pictured business accepts commissions for renderings of animal companions in pencil, oil pastels and scratchboard.
Why are pet portraits especially important?
“We relate to our pets through their faces,” she says. “It’s a face-to-face kind of relationship,” owing to an animal’s inability to relate to us verbally. Donley works from photos at her Oakmont-based studio, which she shares with Rosie, her standard poodle.
Portrait “head studie” are usually life-size, and prices start at $385. She can also assist you in reproducing a finished portrait on note cards, apparel and other merchandise. — Mike May
■ Pets Pictured: 412/828-8679, petspictured.com
■ Another local pet-portrait artist is Ashley Reid (412/512-2699).
■ Local photographers who specialize in pets include Lisa West (412/720-6368, lisawestphotos.com), Carol Maurin (412/521-2384, carolmaurin.com) and Andrea London (412/687-8444, andrealondon.com).