Spoil your pooch to the fullest.
Sit, Stay, Preen
My dog Luna is small, white, and fluffy, and a man once stopped her on the street to tell her she had a â€śglamorous walk.â€ť A 10-pound terrier mix, sheâ€™s the kind of pup you might peg as froufrou until you get to know her. She doesnâ€™t go for diamond-studded collars or booties or caps or capes, so when I decided I wanted a professional photo of her, I knew we needed something more natural than a fussy portrait.
Li Ward, owner of Fat Orange Cat Studio in the Back Bay, shoots candids of pets in their natural habitats: at home or around their neighborhood. She has a gift for distilling those moments when your baby looks most like your baby, not like a model from a dog-show brochure. Luna is a happy, smart, playful cuddle-bunny, with a feather-duster tail and Milk Duds for eyes, and thatâ€™s what came through in Wardâ€™s photographs. On the morning of the shoot, Luna badly needed a haircut, and she had some schmutz on her whiskers, but weâ€™re not into perfection â€” and neither is Ward. She focuses on something a lot more important and timeless than good hair. She captures the animalâ€™s spirit.
Â Sitting fee $250; 617-834-9857, fatorangecatstudio.com.
One-of-a-Kind Ways to Spoil ‘Em Rotten
At-Home Pet Massage
While belly rubs are swell, they canâ€™t compare to the handiwork of Arnie Katz of Katz and Dogz. The veteran masseur devotes much of his time to teaching his techniques, but will still make those all-important house calls to achy Boston animals. Using aromatherapy mists and herbal balms, Katz spends 30 to 45 minutes improving circulation, easing joint pain, and generally reducing your pet to a puddle of happiness. Jealous? Donâ€™t be: He offers pet/owner massage packages, too. House calls start at $75, in-city; 617-650-2533, katzanddogz.com.
Book the complimentary â€śIn the Doghouseâ€ť package at sleek boutique hotel Nine Zero, and theyâ€™ll outfit your room with treats, toys, and a plush bed in the size and style of your choice. Add-ons include room-service nummies like chicken-broth lollipops. Our favorite touch? Free use of cashmere dog sweaters, nattily embroidered with the hotel logo, on chilly days. 90 Tremont St., Boston, 617-772-5800, ninezero.com.
At Berlin-based Yankee Dog Retreat, yes, there are HermĂ¨s toys and luxury mud baths, but owner Jennifer Cermak believes pampering is all about being hands-on â€” an idea epitomized by YDRâ€™s signature retreat package. Starting with a door-to-door shuttle, your pooch is the center of attention during a day of bucolic park or beach excursions, gourmet dining, light grooming, and spa treatments (which can be supplemented with a session of doggy yoga for an extra fee). Afterward, your pet is returned home relaxed and refreshed, and bearing a small treat for you, too. $100; weekend packages available; 617-710-8810, yankeedogretreat.com.
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2010/03/pets-2010-pampering/