Best of the East Bay 2016: Pets
An Oakland Instagrammer’s favorite dog-friendly hikes; a pet- pampering salon.
Pet Day Care, Overnight Pet Boarder: Club K9
Perennial Winner Castro Valley’s Club K9 is a landslide winner for the eighth time in the past decade for its pet day care and overnight boarding services. The 20-acre facility has ample space for dogs to run and play, and Club K9 gives new clients a free day of dog day care to make sure pups are comfortable. 10671 Crow Canyon Rd., Castro Valley, (855) 364-3293, clubk9.com.
Dog Walker: Danville Trails and Tails
The New Kid Tiffany Antoque tried the nine-to-five office job but knew her ideal career path was one where she could be surrounded by four-footed friends. So Antoque created a Danville-based dog-walking business that keeps her busy from 6 a.m. until sundown every weekday. She charges $18 for a half-hour neighborhood walk and $50 for an hour-long hike in the hills, with discounts for multidog families. (925) 408-1452, danvilletrailsandtails.com.
Groomer: All Fur Love Grooming Salon
This Danville salon opened in November 2014 and was rewarded with a Best of the East Bay award last July. Groomer Karli Lewis’ shop continues to earn raves for its shampoos and cuts. Teeth brushing, nail trimming, and ear cleaning are also on the menu, and you can splurge for painted toenails or a fur-glistening mud bath. 714 San Ramon Valley Blvd., Danville, (925) 719-7108, allfurlovegrooming.com.
Pet Photographer: Share the Joy Photography
Pet photographer Barbara Brady-Smith has made such an enterprise out of snapping puppy pics that she’s teaching others to do it as well. When she’s not photographing pets for clients, Brady-Smith teaches groups of up to 12 photographers the tricks of her trade at her Lafayette studio. The classes usually sell out weeks in advance. (925) 284-3280, sharethejoyphotography.com.
Pet Store: Nitro Dog
This charming, locally owned shop in Lafayette has been a go-to for dog owners for nearly two decades. The place has everything from dog food to fine art but feels like a boutique (as opposed to the warehouse vibe given off by the big-box stores). Our pups love Nitro Dog’s fresh-baked treats, a perfect snack after a walk around the reservoir. 61 Lafayette Cir., Lafayette, (925) 962-2275, nitrodog.com.
Hiking Resource: Hikes Dogs Love
Editor Pick My dogs love nothing more than an off-leash hike in an open-space park. Thanks to Oakland-based blogger Caroline Stanley and her website, Hikes Dogs Love, our options for excursions have greatly expanded. Stanley and her yellow Lab mix, Bailey, have spent six years documenting hikes all over the East Bay and Northern California. Stanley’s well-organized website has useful information such as leash regulations and parking costs. hikesdogslove.com.
Place to Call When It’s Time: Rainbow Bridge Vet Services
Editor Pick A pet owner’s most difficult decision—saying good-bye to a loyal friend—can be eased tremendously thanks to veterinarian Anthony Smith of Rainbow Bridge Vet Services. This kind veterinarian makes house calls all over the East Bay to euthanize pets when the time has come. I’ve had to call Smith three times (two dogs, one cat), and the relief my family felt being able to comfort our beloved pets in our living room made a real difference. (510) 381-3389, rainbowbridgevet.com.
Dog Park: Canine Corral at Hap Magee Ranch Park
Reader’s Quote “It’s a nice grassy space, big enough for the dogs to move around, but fenced in, so it’s safe,” says Danville’s Scott Bigelow. “It’s not unusual on Friday nights that someone will bring a couple bottles of wine, and everyone will let their dogs have a nice walk while the owners socialize.” Danville, danville.ca.gov.
Rescue Group: Community Concern for Cats
Big Number: 1500 Number of sterilizations Walnut Creek–based Community Concern for Cats provided in 2015. (925) 938-2287, communityconcernforcats.org.
Long Story Short: Caring for Furry Friends
Animal Shelter, Dog Training Classes: Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation
Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) celebrates its 25th anniversary this summer and is going stronger than ever. The folks running ARF never rest on their laurels: They’re always finding new ways to expand the shelter’s mission of “people rescuing animals, animals rescuing people.”
ARF recently acquired a mobile clinic—a 33-foot vehicle packed with state-of-the-art equipment—that allows veterinarians to travel to low-income neighborhoods in Contra Costa County to offer spay and neuter services to pets of residents who can’t make the trip to ARF’s Walnut Creek shelter. The nonprofit also plans to use the vehicle to visit local VA facilities so military veterans can receive veterinary services for their pets.
The shelter also offers a wide range of dog training classes, including a six-week basic manners class, weekly puppy socials, advanced agility courses, and AKC Canine Good Citizen certification. The classes have been so popular that ARF plans to add more sessions this summer. 2890 Mitchell Dr., Walnut Creek, (925) 256-1273, arflife.org.