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Animal Indulgence

What do you get for the pet that has everything? How about a massage, a portrait, a home pedicure, or a resort vacation? Here are 10 local finds guaranteed to please your pug, soothe your Siamese, tame your Toucan, and prove you love your llama.

Animal Indulgence
Photo by cyrille berger (illustrations)

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DON’T BE JEALOUS. Some folks just prefer pets to people, and it shows in their work. We found a group of talented professionals who cater to pets with such service and skill that their animal attentions may leave humans feeling a little envious. These entrepreneurial types have thought of everything, from what pets need to be happy and healthy, to how they feel, what they like and what they loathe, and even how to immortalize them. So throw Fido a bone and check out the very best that Minnesota has to offer its hairy, feathery, and scaly inhabitants.

1. Ruff Revelry

At the first party she hosted for her dog, Delaney Berrini felt a little stupid. “I had nametags for everyone,” she says. But when her friends showed up, wore the badges, played her dog-centric games, and had a blast, she thought, “People would pay for this.” Now Berrini plans custom parties for dogs and the Minnesotans who spoil them. There are cakes, cookies, cupcakes, goodie bags, and games—all for the four-footed. Though you may have fun, her parties are not for you; they’re for your pooch. So heel and obey! Available only in the metro area. www.poochpartyrsvp.com

2. Speak, Boy, Speak

Ever wonder where your stray pet really came from or why your collie is deathly afraid of thunderstorms? Does your parakeet love or hate that new toy? And why won’t your Abyssinian use the litter box? Well, why not just ask? Dawn Huebner, a St. Paul-based animal communicator, can “talk” with any animal, acting as interpreter between pets and owners. Huebner helps clients understand what pets are really thinking—even regarding serious concerns like aggression and potty training—and she coaches them when it’s time to decide whether to let a sick pet go. Skeptical? “Try it and then decide,” Huebner says. “Animals never lie.” www.animalpsyche.com

3. Go Gourmet

For those who feel strange about buying fresh, organic food for themselves, only to dump dubious-looking brown pellets into a dish for the furrier members of the family at dinnertime, Sojourner Farms makes pet food with ingredient lists that read like a salad from Whole Foods. With products like their Monzie’s Organic Muesli, you’re covered if you run out of Kashi. Find them at co-ops and fine groceries throughout the metro area—and Bemidji. www.sojos.com

Photo by Eric Moore

4. Bird Bliss

Woe is the unwitting person who bought that beautiful birdie in the window on a whim. By hosting parrot adoption events and educational seminars, the Soaring Spirit specialty bird store in Plymouth can help parrot owners reinvent their relationships with their screaming, biting birds. “[Parrots] have very high intellectual and social needs,” which is why Soaring Spirit offers a warehouse full of mind-stimulating toys, human-grade food, and a for-the-birds, Disneyland-style boarding facility, says owner Brenda Collins. After a few days of lounging in the bright rooms, interacting with the expertly trained staff, and watching satellite TV tuned to Nickelodeon, Polly may never want to go home. www.thesoaringspirit.com

5. Posh Pets

At Boneadventure, shoppers browse “outer-wear” rather than dog clothes. There are beds that range in style from contemporary to traditional, and foodstuffs so fancy they’d make Pavlov himself salivate. Owner Brian Fulmer says, “We seek out high-quality products, things that offer function and a good value, but are pleasant to look at as well.” The local chain traffics in the newest of the new, the haute couture of all things canine. And with Boneadventure shops in Minneapolis, Wayzata, and Edina, it’s easy to fetch something when you need it. “We’ve always located our stores in neighborhoods,” says Fulmer. “We have dogs that stop in every day to get a cookie.” Who could resist high fashion and baked goods? www.boneadventure.com

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