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Readers’ Choice Awards 2007 – Chicago

November 8, 2007 by Tails Magazine in Chicago, November 2007 with 0 Comments

Best Place for Agility/Instruction

Winner:

Stacey Hawk
Hawk City K-9
(773) 348-2832

How long have you been in your profession?
11 years.
What drew you to it?
I’ve always been interested in dog training and the science of learning. I wanted something to do beyond basic obedience with my dogs and discovered agility training. Agility is a mental and physical game that we play with our dogs. It’s highly addictive; I was hooked as soon as I started!
What is your favorite part of the job?
I get to work with such a diverse group of interesting people and every type of dog imaginable. Agility training is all positive (or should be). Both dogs and their people enjoy learning and accomplishing new skills; it’s rewarding to know that I help people build or strengthen a bond with their dogs. I’m fascinated by how quickly dogs learn, and how intelligent they are!
How has the industry changed over the years?
Our dogs are so much more part of our families now—they go everywhere with us—and are expected to be socialized around all types of people, pets and places. Training makes for good manners. There are numerous dog trainers out there and I would like to think that the majority of them are now using scientifically proven positive, reward-based training methods. —Kristina Buen

Runner-up:

Best Friends Windy City K-9
1628 N Elston Ave, Chicago
(773) 384-5959 • BestFriendsPetCare.com

Other Favorites:

Animal Sense
The Barking Lot
K9 University
Tucker Pup’s

Best Vet Practice

Winner:

Family Pet Animal Hospital
1401 W Webster Ave, Chicago
(773) 935-2311 • FamilyPetAnimalHospital.com

Runner-up:

Blum Animal Hospital
3219 N Clark St, Chicago
(773) 327-4446 • BlumVet.com

Other Favorites:

Animal Ark Veterinary Clinic
Higgins Animal Clinic
Petvets Animal Hospital
Roscoe Village Animal Hospital

Best Vet

Winner:

Dr. Scott Rovner
Roscoe Village Animal Hospital
3131 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago
(773) 549-3131 • RoscoeVillageAnimalHospital.com

Runner-up:

Dr. Derrick Landini
Animal Ark Veterinary Clinic
3235 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago
(773) 442-6500 • AnimalArk.us

Other Favorites:

Dr. Kathi Berman
Dr. Yael Cidon
Dr. Mike Fednyiak
Dr. Jane Lohmar

Best Holistic Vet/Practice

Winner:

Dr. Julie Mayer
Integrative Pet Care
2520 W Armitage Ave, Chicago
(773) 269-2964 • IntegrativePetCare.com

Runner-up:

Dr. Barb Royal
Royal Treatment Veterinary Spa
4730 N Rockwell St, Chicago
(773) 267-9966 • RoyalTreatmentVetSpa.com

Other Favorites:
Dr. Karen Becker/Natural Pet Animal Hospital
Dr. Robert Ness/Ness Exotic Wellness Center
Dr. Share Siwek/Animal 911/Kindred Spirits

Best Cat Food

Winner:

Iams
(800) 675-3849 • Iams.com

Runners-up:

Innova Evo
(800) 532-7261 • NaturaPet.com

Hill’s Science Diet
(800) 445-5777 • HillsPet.com

Other Favorites:

Orijen
Purina
Solid Gold
Wellness/Old Mother Hubbard

Best Cat Treats

Winner:

Pounce
PounceCat.com

Runner-up:

Greenies
(866) GREENIES • Greenies.com

Other Favorites:

Friskies Treats
Pet Chef Express
Whiskas Temptations
Zuke’s

Best Cat Toy

Winner:

Mouse toy

Runner-up:

Catnip

Other Favorites:

Cat Dancer
Feather toy
Laser pointer
Pawbreakers

Best Pet Supply Store & Best Dog Bakery

Winner:

Andy and AdreAnne Tesene
Two Bostons
232 S Washington St, Naperville
(630) 357-7621 • Two-Bostons.com

How does it feel to be a Readers’ Choice Award winner?
We love our store and pour our hearts into it on a daily basis. Receiving the Readers’ Choice Awards is a nice confirmation that we are on the right track while at the same time is great motivation for improving our store experience even further to stay at the top of our game.

How long have you been in your profession?
We have had an online store for over 3 years, while our Naperville store has been open for almost as long. Before that we were a speech pathologist and a chemical engineer. Needless to say, our parents were a bit confused when we told them we were opening a pet boutique and gourmet bakery for dogs and cats.

What is your favorite part of the job?
Our customers. Whenever we can help someone solve a problem and improve the relationship and/or health of their companions, it is such a huge win-win for us and keeps us eager to serve the next person coming through our door.

Any crazy stories to share?
When we first opened, we were a little unprepared for the types of stories we would hear. I guess when you have pets in common, people feel free to tell you everything (and we mean everything) about their life!

Do you have any pets at home?
We have two Boston Terriers. Both are rescues and are living the good life, kind of like the kids of folks who own a candy shop! We found both pups on Petfinder.com and still check out the pups available for adoption from time to time. We strongly believe in the need to support rescue groups and recommend adoption to our customers.

How do think your industry has changed over the years?
Ten years ago, if we told you we were going to have a shop for pets that carried high quality merchandise and had a bakery, nearly everyone would have thought we were a bit nuts. Today, we have tons of customers with all types of dogs coming in the shop—a large measure of people viewing all pets as part of the family and needing a special place to shop. —KB

Runner-up (Pet Supply Store):

Petsmart
various locations
Petsmart.com

Other Favorites (Pet Supply Store):

The Barking Lot
Doggy Style Pet Shop
Petco
Pet Supplies Plus

Runner-up (Dog Bakery):

Felix & Fifi’s
219 West Main Street
Carpentersville, IL 60110
(847) 426-6909

Other Favorites (Dog Bakery):

Barrington Dog Bakery & Boutique
Dog-a-holics
Galloping Gourmutts
Happy Dog Barkery

Best Pet Photographer

Winner:

Ingrid Bonne
Best Friend Photography & Design
(773) 991-2400 • BestFriendPhotography.com

Runner-up:

Sheri Berliner
Petraits Pet Photography
(773) 777-2891 • Petraits.com

Other Favorites:

Renny Mills Photography
Kathleen Schaffer/Pup Art
David Sutton Studios
Tucker Pup’s

Best Overnight Boarding & Doggie Daycare

Winner:

Michael Heltzer
Stay Dog Hotel
4130 N Rockwell St, Chicago
(773) 509-0001 • StayDogHotel.com

How does it feel to be a Readers’ Choice Award winner?
It is beyond my expectations being a new business. The true credit goes to my staff. Their care, compassion, and diligence gives our customers the confidence to believe in Stay. The level of effort that is displayed on a daily basis is exceptional.

What drew you to this profession?
I own and operate the largest boatyard in Chicago and we were able to foster and adopt dogs on a regular basis. Last summer one of my young became deathly ill with heat stroke. Fortunately, we were able to save him thanks to Cairo Animal Hospital. Afterwards I was so shaken up by the whole experience I decided to open up a facility that guaranteed exceptional care at every level.

What is your favorite part of the job?
The opportunity to be around so many great dogs at any time!

Do you have any pets at home?
Yes, 10 dogs and a lot of creatures in cages and bowls. We rotate three dogs a night with my kids keeping a close eye on the schedule.

How do you think the industry is changing?
Simply put, customers are now getting what they need and want. —KB

Runner-up (Overnight Boarding):

Doggie Depot
605 Rogers St, Downers Grove
(630) 969-PLAY • DoggieDepotDaycare.com

Other Favorites (Overnight Boarding)
:

BARK Chicago
The Barking Lot
Free Spirit Doggy Daycare
Tucker Pup’s

Runner-up (Doggie Daycare):

Tucker Pup’s Dog Activity Center
219 N Carpenter St, Chicago
(312) 829-TPUP • TuckerPups.com

Other Favorites (Doggie Daycare):

BARK Chicago
The Barking Lot
Central Bark
Doggie Depot

Best Pet-Friendly Outdoor Café

Winner:

Quigley’s Irish Pub
43 E Jefferson St, Naperville
(630) 428-IRSH • QuigleysIrishPub.net

Runner-up:

Uncommon Ground
3800 N Clark St, Chicago
(773) 929-3680 • UncommonGround.com

Other Favorites:

Charlie’s Ale House
Pontiac Cafe & Bar
Dunlay’s on the Square
Silver Cloud Bar & Grill

Best Groomer

Winner:

Lisa’s Pet Spaw
221 W Main St, Carpentersville
(847) 836-6007

Runner-up:

Soggy Paws
1148 W Leland Ave, Chicago
(773) 334-7663 • SoggyPaws.com

Other Favorites:

The Barking Lot
Central Bark
DoGone Fun!
Tucker Pup’s

Best Pet -Friendly Bar

Winner:

Quigley’s Irish Pub
43 E Jefferson St, Naperville
(630) 428-IRSH • QuigleysIrishPub.net

Runner-up:

Joe’s Sports Bar
940 W Weed St, Chicago
(312) 337-3486

Other Favorites:

Cody’s Public House
Four Treys Tavern
Marquee Lounge
Small Bar

Best Dog Walking/Pet Sitting

Winner:

Cruisin’ Canines
(773) 327-4419 • CruisinCanines.com

Runner-up:

Chicago Dog Walkers
(773) 394-9961 • Chicago-DogWalkers.com

Other Favorites:

The Barking Lot
DoGone Fun!
Out-U-Go!
Urban Tailz

Best Dog Food

Winner:

Iams
(800) 675-3849 • Iams.com

Runner-ups:

Nutro
(800) 833-5330 • NutroProducts.com

Wellness/Old Mother Hubbard
(800) 225-0904 • OMHPet.com

Other Favorites:

Hill’s Science Diet
Nature’s Variety
Pet Chef Express
Solid Gold

Best Dog Treats

Winner:

Pet Chef Express
various locations
PetChefExpress.com

Runner-up:

Wellness/Old Mother Hubbard
(800) 225-0904 • OMHPet.com

Other Favorites:

Bil-Jac
Greenies
Solid Gold
Zuke’s

Best Dog Toy

Winner

Kong
(303) 216-2626 • KongCompany.com

Other Favorites:

Chuckit
Nylabone
Tennis Balls
Wubba

Best Dog Park

Winner:

MonDog Dog Beach
MonDog.org

Runner-up:

Wiggly Field at Grace Noethling Park
(773) 348-2832

Other Favorites:

Grant Bark Park
Prairie Wolf Dog-Exercise Area
Puptown
Wicker Park

Best Dog Leash/Collar

Winner:

Lupine
(800) 228-9653 • LupinePet.com

Runner-up:

Gentle Leader Headcollar
(888) 640-8840 • GentleLeader.com

Other Favorites:

Gentle Leader Easy Walk Harness
SENSE-ible Dog

Best Trainer/Training Class

Winner:

Wendy DeCarlo
1943 W Estes Ave, Chicago
Dog Obedience Group (D.O.G.)
(773) 973-2934 • DogObedienceGroup.com

Runner-up:

Laura Monaco Torelli
DoGone Fun!
1717 S State St, Chicago
(312) 765-9DOG • DoGoneFunChicago.com

Other Favorites:

Debbie Bickford/Tucker Pup’s
Jamie Damato/Animal Sense
Stacey Hawk/Hawk City K-9
Rendy Swartz/Anything is Pawsible


Tails Readers’ Choice Awards entries and winners were reviewed and approved by the accounting firm of Chamlin and Associates.

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