THE RAMBUNCTIOUS BIRTHDAY BOY JUMPS ONTO THE TABLE TO GOBBLE
UP A SECOND PIECE OF CAKE. NEARBY, his small friend investigates
her treat-filled party favor bag. In the other corner, a couple
of frisky guests argue over a toy, while parents chuckle and chide
their spirited brood to use their best party manners.
Birthday party cacophony reigns
at Scraps Dog Company in Reno. However, the parents are of the two-legged
human variety, while featured guests are of the four-legged canine
It really is hilarious
its amazing the amount of barking that goes on at these parties,
muses Laurie Wagner, co-owner of the specialty dog store. We
offer a pooch party pack, which includes plates and napkins, party
hats, birthday dog bandana, party favor bags, invitations, and a
bone-shaped birthday cake. I guess its kind of like Chuck
E. Cheese for dogs.
Offering specialty dog foods and a wide array of products for pampered
pets, Scraps is just one of the many boutique pet shops springing
up in the Truckee Meadows. A slew of services, including dog training,
doggie day care, and even dance classes for human/canine couples
also are thriving in The Biggest Little City.
Mirroring a national trend, pet-related
businesses are doing well in Reno, owners say. According to Forbes
magazine, pet spending in the United States was estimated at
$34 billion in 2004. The magazine reports the fastest-growing groups
of pet buyers are empty nesters and young professionals who are
In todays computerized
world, weve lost that element of human touch, explains
Wagner. Pets help bring that back. A lot of my customers are
empty nesters who miss that nurturing aspect they got with their
children. Basically, people enjoy the companionship that pets offer.
The following is a sampling of the many pet-related stores, services,
and activities in Reno and Sparks.
Besides great birthday parties, Scraps Dog Company (7689 S. Virginia
St., 853-3647) offers all-natural dog foods, a full bakery, a reference
library, canine apparel (including matching owner and dog cashmere
sweaters) and other important gear such as doggie life jackets.
The Pettin Place (1121 S.
Wells Ave., 323-3348) is the oldest independent pet shop in Reno
and sells fish, hamsters, hedgehogs, birds, and rats. The store
also features a pet bakery and many essential items for todays
Treat your dog to a cup of canine frozen yogurt at Bag
of Bones (2888 Vista Blvd., Sparks, 284-3647). Owner Chris Hillygus says the
yogurt is human-grade, lightly sweetened, and is great for dogs digestive
systems. Also find organic-based dog foods and a wide variety of pet pampering
The newest pet boutique in town, My Fair Pet, is located
in the Cost Plus/Borders shopping center on South Virginia Street. The owner
likes to describe her fanciful store as the FAO Schwarz of the dog world. Check
out the seven-carat diamond-studded dog collar, the wide range of dog furniture,
and a host of other novelty gift items.
Pet food delivery
Tired of dragging those 50-pound bags of dog food from pet store
to home? Have your bones, biscuits, and quality pet food delivered
to your door by Pet Pantry (354-1155, petgrocery.net)
or Pet Chef Express (petchefreno.com,
Pet trainer P.J. Wangsness Howell says a one-year commitment
to dog obedience training is a small investment in a dogs life.
Good training will ultimately keep them in the
home and out of trouble, she says.
Besides basic dog obedience classes, P.J. offers a Dancin
with Dogs class. The class involves synchronized movement between
owner and pet (dogs have all four paws on the floor) and is fun
for both owners and pets, Howell says. For more info, call P.J.
at 828-0748 or visit her Web site at www.dogtrainingbypj.com.
Consult your vet or favorite pet shop owner for recommendations
on other qualified dog trainers in the Reno/Sparks area.
Doggie day care
Is your 9-to-5 grind boring your pup to tears? Enroll Spot in
doggie day care. Try Pet Play House, 2401 Fourth St., 324-0202,
or The Canine Club Dog Day Care and Training, 1818 Frazer Ave.,
Sparks, 331-0667, thecanineclub.net.
For other recommended spots, consult local dog shop owners or your
Fido N Me Fitness classes through K9 Wellness
Center offers a unique opportunity to promote fitness in both humans and their
dogs. The six-week class includes stretching and strength and endurance drills
at a one-mile par course at Mira Loma Park. The next class starts in May. To
register, call 828-0748.
The K9 Wellness Center also offers physical therapy and exercise
opportunities for dogs in two indoor, heated pools. To schedule
a swim date, call physical therapist Beth Williams at 750-5087 or
Also, dog owners will relish the one-day Dog Daze Festival
at Idlewild Park on Sept. 17. On this day, dogs and their families participate
in a variety of activities and enjoy entertainment. The crowning activity is
that pups can swim in the Idlewild pools, which is the last day they are open
for the season. This is an annual, community event sponsored by the SPCA, Community
Cats, and the City of Reno. For updated information, call 324-7773.
Paws For Love
If you have a well-trained dog, volunteer him or her
to visit hospitals, senior citizen centers, schools, and libraries. Any breed
is OK, but dogs must first pass a good behavior test and then participate in
three supervised visits. Member Brook Smith says the rewards are enormous for
both dog and human. Look for related story in SHORT HITS on page 8. For more
info, visit paws-for-love.org or call 826-5199.
Visit a dog park
Take your beloved pet to release some steam; catch balls,
discs, and sticks; roll in the grass, swim in a muddy ditch; and socialize with
four-legged friends at area dog parks. See story on page 82.
Find a vet
New to the area or just a new pet owner who needs to
find a good vet? For veterinarian recommendations, talk with fellow pet owners,
pet shop owners, or call the Nevada Veterinary Medical Association at 324-5344.
Ann Lindemann writes for a variety of regional and
national magazines from her home on Lake Tahoes west shore.
Bag of Bones Dog and Cat Bakery/Store
2888 Vista Blvd., #104 Sparks
Dog Training by PJ
5303 Louie Lane, #19
1221 S. Wells Ave.
Longley West Plaza
7689 S. Virginia St.