Best Gift for Your Pet
BUDDAH BAG Perfect for small dogs or cats, the Buddha Bag, by Chicago designer Amanda Gentry, is a great gift for under $50. Creating the Buddha Bag for her cat Guinness to convalesce in after surgery, Gentry quickly realized she had a marketable product since all her pet-owning friends wanted one of their own. In production since April, Buddha Bags are already in high demand in 11 states. This luxurious and innovative faux-fur bed-in-a-bag comes with its own pet haiku, reminding pets to relax and regress to their Buddha nature. The Buddha Bag is 100% machine washable.
Buddha Bag is available at Barker & Meowsky, 3319 North Broadway Chicago, IL 60657.
Best Place to Take Your Pooch Shopping
DAMEN STREET IN BUCKTOWN a.k.a. the Soho of Chicago, is paws down the best place to take your pooch shopping. Stop in at P45 for funky fashions by local and established designers, Pagoda Red for unique Asian antiques, or Stitch for contemporary home accessories. This hip pet-friendly neighborhood will have you barking for more.
P45 – 1643 N Damen, Chicago, IL.www.shop45.com; Pagoda Red – 1714 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL. www.pagodared.com; Stitch – 1723 N DamenAve, Chicago, IL.
Best Pet Photographer
DAVID SUTTON Labeled “Doctor Doolittle of pet photographers” by the Chicago Tribune and the “best pet photographer in America” by Forbes FYI, it’s no surprise that people travel far and wide for a private portrait commission with internationally acclaimed photographer David Sutton. His black and white prints, which graced the walls of Hermes of Paris in Chicago and Takishimaya in New York, have been hailed as “a study in devotion” between pets and their owners. See for yourself at www.suttonstudios.com.
Sutton Studios, 3417 Church Street, Evanston, IL.
Best Pet-Friendly Hotel
LUXURY – HOUSE OF BLUES HOTEL A LOEWS HOTEL Arg- uably the most pet-friendly chain of hotels in the United States and Canada, Loews’ House of Blues Hotel embraces travelers and their pets by offering a refreshingly original pet program, eclectic décor and unparalleled hospitality. Upon arrival, guests are graciously greeted with a personal VIP (Very Important Pet) note from the manager describing the wide array of pet services available through the concierge such as dog walkers, puppy pagers, local veterinarians, groomers, and pet-friendly restaurants and attractions.
Funky and comfy, the rooms are stocked with pet place mats, food and water bowls, and complimentary toys and treats. Sniff out the veterinarian-approved room service menu, offering everything from Bow Wow Beef to Kitty’s Salmon Supreme. Five percent of the room rate is donated to the SPCA.
House of Blues Hotel, A Loews Hotel 333 N. Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL.
Best Place for Your Pooch to Meet a Playdate
MONTROSE DOGGY BEACH It’s official. After much noise by local activists, a portion of Montrose Beach along the Lakefront has been declared a DFA (dog friendly area, a.k.a off leash) by the Chicago Park District. Dogs frolic along the beach with wild abandon as owners sit in the sand, take in the beautiful view and mingle amongst themselves. During winter months, the canine clientele has the entire run of the beach, making for many love connections (canine or otherwise).
Montrose Beach, Montrose Blvd at Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL. www.chicagoparkdistrict.com