Danny Edwards, one of the owners of The Pet Spa, gives a hair cut to a dog at his office in West Hollywood, California. A thriving pet pampering industry offers Los Angeles’ most fortunate dogs life’s essentials: food, clothing, shelter and often a level of luxury some find insulting.(AFP/Hector Mata)
Here’s an article from Yahoo News and AFP.com about the dog’s life in LA. How about it LA Dogsters and other Dogsters as well. What do you think about it?
LOS ANGELES (AFP) – A thriving pet pampering industry offers Los Angeles’ most fortunate dogs life’s essentials: food, clothing, shelter and often a level of luxury some find insulting.
From nightclubs for canines and their human companions, to custom-designed dog couture fit for the runway, Los Angeles is a Shangri-La for man’s best friend.
A nightclub called Skybark, held on a downtown rooftop, invites dogs and their owners to mingle and mix, while enjoying cocktails and live music.
The organizer dreamed up the event to promote his invention, PETaPOTTY, a contraption lined with sod for apartment dwelling dogs to relieve themselves.
Crunch Fitness, a Los Angeles gym, offers “Doga” classes, yoga sessions for members who want to incorporate their pets into their workout routines.
One Los Angeles progressive-reform Jewish congregation, Temple Beth Shir Shalom, celebrates “bark mitzvahs,” a rite of passage of 13-year-old dogs, complete with a blessing, photographs, and a catered canine meal.
The number of US households with at least one dog has jumped by three million since 2002, and owners spent close to 35 billion dollars on their pets in 2004, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association.
Los Angeles, setter of so many trends, seems to be the center of this industry, which includes clothing and baked goods.
Three Dog Bakery specializes in catered dog events and has seen its share of doggie indulgence.
“Last year I was hired for a 30,000-dollar wedding for two Labradors named Alex and Hannah at the Beverly Hills Hotel,” owner Mark Bodnar told AFP.
He made a four-tiered cake for the nuptials.
“They called it bow-vows,” he said.
Bodnar passed out free “pupcakes” on Friday afternoon in the newest of his three Los Angeles dog bakeries.
He frosts the miniature peanut-flavored pastries with non-fat yogurt sweetened with honey. He also offers a wheat-free variety for his food-sensitive customers.
“It’s a great business because everyone that comes in here to spend on their dogs is in a good mood,” said Bodnar.
He once had a customer that snatched up 650 dollars worth of “Boxer Brownies” and “Drooly Dream Bars” in one trip.
Some dog owners insist on the latest in fashion for their pets, and the boutique Fifi and Romeo offers hand-made couture for canine royalty.
Here, miniature raincoats and sweaters start in the 200-dollar range. In-house designers also produce matching garments for owner and pet for approximately 1,000 dollars.
“We are a culture that loves our animals,” Los Angeles Dog Spa owner Danny Stewart told AFP.
“I used to get hate e-mail to my website from people overseas that think it a disgrace that people would spend this kind of money on a dog. People are starving out there, they’d say.”
Stewart’s boutique has occupied an unassuming storefront in West Hollywood for six years. Where many Los Angeles businesses proudly display photographs of star customers, the pink walls of the LA Dog Spa are filled with headshots of well coiffed canines.
The shop is open to the public, but potential clients must satisfy Stewart’s discerning standards to become a regular customer.
“We keep the door locked to keep out the riff-raff,” said co-owner and master groomer, Rick Edwards, as he clipped the coat of a terrier named Trixie.
“Our clients don’t choose us. We choose them.”
Spa clients must maintain a regular schedule of beautification or they will be blacklisted from service.
“It’s like a garden,” said Stewart. “If it gets too overgrown, I just can’t be bothered.”
“I guess here in Los Angeles, sometimes we treat dogs better than we treat people,” Stewart said.