Anyone who knows me, knows my life usually revolves around my dog, Ranger. Nothing but the best will do for my sweet-natured, energetic Lab. He has more toys than some human children. And I'm willing to pay the price for a good, holistic dog food. In fact, it's a standing joke in my home that Ranger eats better than the humans in my family.
So, naturally, my interest always is piqued when I hear about new retail establishments offering pet supplies and services. This week I learned about one new place and another that has changed hands.
Premier Pet Grooming opened about two weeks ago at 5621 Hamilton Blvd. in Upper Macungie Township in the same building as Shepherd Hills Shoes and Perma Glaze, a bathroom and kitchen refinishing franchise. It's owned and operated by another dog lover, Lori Steck. (You have to really love dogs to spend your days grooming them.)
Lori and her husband, John, own and operate Perma Glaze as well, and that's where Lori was working until she decided to open her new business. She's also been training by working at another groomer.
"I've been thinking about it for a long time," Lori said. "I love animals and I wanted to do something happy with them as opposed to something that involved a crisis, which often is the case if you work at a veterinary office."
She offers all grooming services, from cuts and full baths to ear cleanings and nail trimmings. Appointments are required for baths, but she welcomes walk-ins for nail trims. And, she said, pet owners shouldn't even hesitate to call at the last minute if their dogs needs a bath.
"I'll do my best to squeeze them in," she said.
She uses no drying cages or tranquilizers, she added. And pickup and drop-off service is available.
To make an appointment for your pet, call 610-349-6648.
Spotted Dog Barkery, a dog-treat bakery at 338 Main St., Emmaus (in The Triangle), has a new owner. Cyndi Huff-Walters recently purchased the business from previous owners Nancy Keller and her daughter, Kim Quier, who opened the bakery in November 2007.
Spotted Dog sells dog treats baked on the premises with natural ingredients that are safe for dogs, such as peanut butter, carob and yogurt. Treats vary in size and have clever, dog-related names and shapes. You can even buy a bone-shaped birthday cake for your best buddy.
"I've been selling cakes like crazy," Huff-Walters said.
I've been treating my dog, Ranger, to a large, bone-shaped cookie with "Happy Birthday" written on it for every year since the Spotted Dog Barkery originally opened. I, personally, cannot tell you the treats and cakes are great. But there's no doubt Ranger loves them.
Folks in the dog world might recognize Huff-Walters from Cloud Nine Country Kennel at 146 Hunterforge Road, Macungie, which she took over about five years ago.
Huff-Walters said she was a regular customer at Spotted Dog Barkery and was so disappointed when she learned it was closing. She loved serving and selling its baked dog treats at her kennel and didn't want to go without them. So she decided to purchase Spotted Dog.
Now, she said, she's having a great time baking treats at both the bakery and the kennel.
"It's so stress-relieving. And it smells so good," she said.
After it was closed for much of January, Spotted Dog Barkery reopened under its new ownership on Feb. 5.
Treat prices range from $1 for six dog biscuits in fun shapes to $12 for a mastiff-shaped bone. Birthday cakes are $20. She plans to run specials, which she'll announce on the shop's Facebook page for Spotted Dog Barkery.
The bakery also sells toys and natural dog products, such as dental rinse and flea guard, dander and hot-spot sprays. Also available are supplies such as collars and leashes.