By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
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By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
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Angelenos love their dogs and know exactly how to pamper them. There is almost nothing that is strictly limited to humans among this city’s luxury purveyors anymore, from high-style grooming to gourmet meals. After treating your pooch to an oatmeal bath and professional massage, you might wonder why you haven’t indulged in the same pleasures for yourself. But with all the dog-induced splurging in L.A., owners can become overwhelmed, which is why our furry friends deserve their own page in Best of L.A.
Best Doggy Fashion: Woof Dog Boutique
Does Sparky really want to go for a walk and exercise? Or has he been dreaming of trying on a ballerina costume? Treat drama-queen dogs to a fashion adventure at Woof in Atwater Village, where their wildest costume dreams will be fulfilled. Whether it’s a pirate hat, pink wig or sailor outfit, Sparky will certainly be the belle of the ball at his next soiree. If costumes aren’t in season, Woof also carries more essential canine clothing items that fashionable dogs should not be forced to live without: studded jean jackets, imitation Ugg boots and pink “I have two daddies” T-shirts. Don’t forget to paint the dog’s nails and accessorize with doggy hair clips. Need to celebrate a special occasion with the dog? Purchase bridesmaid outfits, tuxes, a Christmas ensemble and, for those mornings at synagogue, a yarmulke for your pet. Woof even hosts obedience-school graduations with custom-fitted caps and gowns, and dog birthdays with pooch-friendly ice cream, “Happy Tail” beef-flavored beer and “Barkundy” wine. Dogs are encouraged to let go of weight self-consciousness; Woof creates clothes for all sizes, ranging from petite Chihuahuas to plus-size Great Danes.
“Having a boutique is an art form,” says owner Diane Serafino, who takes pride in delivering products to the “underprivileged” dogs of the Eastside. If a doggy Hawaiian shirt isn’t art, what is? (For more designer dogwear, try Fifi & Romeo in Beverly Hills.)
3172 Glendale Blvd., L.A., (323) 661-7722 or www.woofdogboutique.com.
Best Doggy Day Camp: Wagville
It’s hard being a working parent when you have to leave the dog alone all by herself for the day (before she’s old enough for kindergarten, of course). For those dog owners who don’t want to hire a nanny, Wagville offers a daycare and boarding package comparable to summer camp. Small and large dogs are separated into 14,000 square feet of cage-free play areas, complete with fans to keep them cool and kiddie pools if they want a quick swim. Wagville also has a lounge, where more sensitive dogs can cuddle in a human-sized bed and watch their favorite heroic-dog movies (think Snowdogs and Scooby-Doo). For an extra charge, pets can even sleep in the same room as a person. Staff take pets on field trips to Runyon Canyon and Huntington Beach; less outdoorsy dogs can treat themselves to something more luxurious, with options ranging from oatmeal baths, grooming and hot-oil skin treatments to massages that include soothing music and aromatherapy. Even with that much pampering, some more concerned owners may still worry about their pets, which is why Wagville has installed Webcams throughout the facility, allowing parents to watch their canine companions from home or work. A hidden gem among the warehouses of Glassell Park, Wagville offers more extensive hours than most daycare centers, staying open until 9 p.m. for those who have to work late. So leave the kids with the nanny and spend lavish sums of money on camp for the dog instead — maybe they’ll appreciate it more.
2400 N. San Fernando Rd., L.A., (323) 222-4442 or www.wagville.com.
Best Doggy Lunch Stop: Pussy & Pooch
Pussy & Pooch, a chic dog (and, yes, cat) boutique in downtown’s Arts District, is the ultimate place to indulge your dog’s appetite. The entrepreneurs behind this dog oasis created the “Pawbar,” which looks like an ordinary bar, except for the holes cut out in the floor, and the squares of AstroTurf that line the place. The result is a dog-friendly restaurant, where pets are served raw-meat burgers or low-fat chicken soup with rice, both drizzled with “Hound Sauce.” More health-conscious canines can select bowls of organic veggies, raw-meat nuggets or a stew that is a mixture of flavored wet food heated in a Crock-Pot. All meals are served in classy ceramic dishes with a sprig of parsley on the side. Of course, there are meaty bones for chewing. For dessert, pets are treated to “Yoghund,” organic banana and peanut butter frozen yogurt. And since no dog should dine alone, Pussy & Pooch has an outdoor patio where owners can order their own meals from nearby restaurants and eat at the tables with their pets. Pussy & Pooch caters a variety of food-themed dog events, including ice cream socials and Halloween parties. After your meal, go all-out at Pussy & Pooch’s bathhouse (the boutique sells supplies and provides washing stations) and treat your dog to a blueberry facial, a bath with wheatgrass shampoo and a spritz of his-and-hers “Sexy Beast” cologne. Seriously, dogs like to smell like rose and piña colada.