Technical support engineer at Intel Security, musician
Adopted: May 2013, online adoption
This 4.5-pound pup and his 6-foot, 4-inch owner seem like a mismatch, but looks can be deceiving. “We love to snuggle and we both love bacon,” says Bearach Coughlin. Though Chihuahuas prefer the warmth of equatorial climes, Coughlin keeps his little buddy protected. “Our first winter together I picked up the tiniest paw protectors I could find, and they barely held on. And the handstands, paw wiggles, and general disgust that followed had me in tears.”
A typical day for Sal includes lots of love, whether that’s snuggling in bed late with his human parents or trotting alongside Coughlin to Caffetto Coffee Shop, where Sal gets attention, love from locals, and a big treat “that, at his size, lasts him for days.”
Oh, the hilarity: “The first time I heard his alert howl he was maybe two pounds. I laughed myself to sleep.”
senior program manager, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota
with friend Michael Dirnberger
6-year-old Brittany Spaniel mix
Adopted: February 2011 from the Animal Humane Society
Adopted as a Valentine’s Day present to herself, Jessika Hassan says her pooch Olive shares her love of adventure. “Whenever we cross a fork in the path, she always chooses the same unknown trail I would have chosen,” Hassan says.
The pair spends weekends on the trails or at the dog parks, fishing off the pontoon on Coon Lake, or hanging out around town, documenting their adventures on Instagram.
They also enjoy eating their way through their dog-friendly Cities, from ice cream at Pumphouse Creamery (they have ice cream for dogs) to nachos at The Lowbrow, shared on the dog-friendly patio.
Favorite walk: “It’s my hidden gem, so I’m reluctant to give away the secret. It’s a great walking/biking river trail below East River Parkway in East River Flats Park. In May, Olive and I counted 47 bald eagle sightings in 30 days.”
event coordinator, French Meadow Bakery, and graduate student
7-year-old pit bull-shepherd mix
Adopted: 2008 from Underdog Rescue
He may be 85 pounds, but Angel Brasell’s rescue dog, Gator, is anything but fierce. “He looks like a giant platypus, and he still has that puppy hop,” she says.
The Uptown dwellers walk between two and five miles together each day, often down Lyndale for coffee and treats at Urban Bean, or to Lake of the Isles, where he enjoys wading into the water and barking at ducks.
Brasell says Gator’s playful attitude has changed hers for the better. “He broke my clean, perfectionist, tightly wound attitude. He got me to relax,” she says. “He is really my Buddhist contentment example. Dogs want exactly what you give them and are happy with what they have.”
Still working on hats: “He hates hats—baseball caps, wide-brimmed hats. They make him very jumpy.”
Braeden Kosler, 13
13-year-old black Labrador Retriever
Adopted: 2008, by her foster family for Retrieve a Golden of Minnesota
When the Strand family fostered 6-year-old Raven, it was hard to find a new home for the middle-aged girl. But she loved her foster family, especially Braeden, who had recently been diagnosed with autism. “Raven had an innate sense that Braeden needed a connection, a companion, a guardian, and a friend,” says mom Joy, adding that Raven was relentless in her affection, even if Braeden didn’t reciprocate it. After eight months, he reached out to her and the two have been inseparable ever since. “That was the day we stopped looking for a new home for Raven, because she was part of our family,” Joy says. “She had become the most cherished and loved companion for Braeden.”
When Raven isn’t hanging out with her best buddy, she’s entertaining the family with her alligator tricks—laying on her back thrashing her head around and snapping her teeth together. She also enjoys laying next to her family and watching Braeden play video games.
Watch where you sit, though: “Raven has her spot on the couch, and if someone is in that spot, she will sit in front of you and stare at you until you move.”
cheesemonger, manager, and musician
3-year-old Yorkshire Terrier-Poodle mix
Adopted: February 2013 from the Animal Humane Society
Social media is great for making friends, even the furry kind. Cooley’s adoption link was posted to Facebook by one of Devaney’s friends and it caught his attention, and his heart: “Cooley looked like a Muppet in his picture.”
Devaney and Cooley share “goofy mops of hair that need to be tamed a few times a year,” as well as the same sense of style. They’re both into wearing flannel, Devaney’s got a closet full of it and Cooley has a flannel sweater for winter, which takes his image from casual to urban hipster with the flip of a hood. When Cooley isn’t making Devaney laugh at his funky sleeping positions or the things he says on Twitter (@coolenoughdude), he’s up for anything with his human, and “is a great co-pilot on rides.”
Lessons from Cooley: “I suppose that it’s to enjoy the simple pleasures. If I could be as happy about something as he is when I get home, I’d be living a pretty good life.”
Josie Schoonover, 4
daughter and big sister
Daisy, 13 (passed away in the last year), and Matilda, 8
Adopted: April 2008 from Bulldog Rescue Network, and October 2006 from a local breeder
English Bulldogs Matilda and Daisy always shared a penchant for playing nanny to human sisters Josie, 4, and Millie, 1.
“Matilda tries to rule the roost. She’s very tolerant of having toys and costumes put on her as well as being used as a giant pillow,” dad Brent says. Daisy’s legacy lives on in a different way: “Daisy was amazing with the kids and was actually very motherly to them right up until she passed. We look back at photos and realize how often she photo-bombed because she wouldn’t let them out of her sight,” Brent says.
The pups also had distinctly different ways into people’s hearts. “While Matilda is an energetic, in-your-face dog, Daisy was more laid back and could win a person over just sitting there. They just played off each other, so like Laurel and Hardy.”
Why we have them: “Unconditional love. The way Matilda goes nuts and shakes her butt and howls when Nicole gets home from work always makes our day.”
Everything for Your Pet
Adoptions, training, products, boarding, daycare, grooming, and veterinary care— plus great public spaces to hang with your best friend(s).
Animal Humane Society
Golden Valley, Buffalo, Coon Rapids, St. Paul, Woodbury, animalhumanesociety.org
This open-admission shelter houses animals big and small at its five locations, from dogs and cats to birds and bunnies. Its affiliate, Now Boarding, offers pet boarding, grooming, training, and daycare, too.
Midwest Animal Rescue & Services
Mpls., 763-503-4990, midwestanimalrescue.org
This nonprofit rescue group houses adoptable dogs and cats in foster homes, and also provides obedience training.
Pet Haven Inc. of MN
Mpls., 952-831-3825, pethavenmn.org
Founded in 1952, this nonprofit rescue places dogs and cats in volunteer foster homes until they are adopted.
Safe Hands Rescue
This nonprofit rescue works to save stray and abandoned animals, and animals living in high-kill shelters. Animals live with foster families until they find homes.
Secondhand Hounds Animal Rescue
Eden Prairie, 952-322-7643, secondhandhounds.org
The all-breed, nonprofit rescue focuses on dogs but also rescues cats, rabbits, and the occasional potbellied pig. Animals are fostered in volunteers’ homes until they are adopted.
Ruff Start Rescue
Princeton, 763-355-3981, ruffstartrescue.org
This nonprofit, foster-based rescue also speaks about responsible pet ownership at local schools, and partners with the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Willow River/Moose Lake to have approved inmates foster animals.
Boarding, Exercise, and Daycare
ADOGO Pet Hotel
Multiple locations including Minnetonka, 952-933-5200, adogopethotels.com
Designed after 4- and 5-star human hotels, ADOGO has overnight boarding and doggy daycare with light rock music for playtime, and classical music for naptime.
Animal Inn Pet Resort & Spa
Lake Elmo, 651-323-2104, animalinnpetresort.net
It sits on 13 acres with large, fun yards for playtime, plus onsite grooming services.
Auntie Ruth’s Furry Friends
Minnetonka, 952-936-9000, auntieruth.com
Educating owners and pets about good behavior and health, services include boarding, daycare, training, grooming, and pet photography.
Dog Day Getaway
Apple Valley, 952-431-9663, dogdaygetaway.com
The DDG offers daycare, boarding, play groups, dog yoga, self- and full-service bathing, and training.
Three St. Paul locations, 651-642-9663, dogdaysinc.com
Dog Days’ three locations offer daycare, boarding, training, and grooming.
Metro Dogs Daycare and Boarding
Mpls., 612-333-3612, metrodogsmn.com
This doggy daycare is convenient whether you work or live downtown, and real-time webcams make it easy for you to check in on your pooch.
Pampered Pooch Playground
St. Louis Park, 952-922-8183, pamperedpoochplayground.com
This doggy daycare and hotel also has grooming services, webcams, and a “dog of the month” posted to the blog.
Pets Are Inn
Multiple metro locations, petsareinn.com
No kennels. No cages. Pets are boarded in carefully screened private homes.
Professional walkers pick your dog up at home and walk them while you’re gone.
Ruff Love Dogs
Mpls., 612-331-4248, rufflovenortheast.com
This neighborhood-centric doggy daycare and boarding also strives to bring the dog owners together for dog-friendly art openings, live music, and other events.
Top Dog Country Club
New Germany, 952-353-2600, topdogcountryclub.com
Pet boarding akin to a doggie vacay—fresh-baked biscuits and bedtime stories.
Bark & Bathe
Robbinsdale, 763-203-3889, barkandbathe.com
Offers both full-service grooming and self-serve baths in a fun, modern space. Bathing stations have stairs for Fido’s convenience, too.
St. Paul, 651-964-4590; St. Louis Park, 952-657-5300, bubblypaws.com
Bathing stations have stairs so large breeds and senior dogs can walk right in, no lifting required. Doggie facial scrubs, too!
Hopkins, 952-926-2794, thehopkinsdoghouse.com
The two ladies who started the biz in St. Louis Park 36 years ago have formed a steady roster of standing appointments, and just reopened in shiny new Hopkins digs.
Heidi’s Elite Pet Grooming
Hopkins, 952-955-8300, heidiselite.com
Known for tailoring grooming to each dog’s needs, from breed-specific grooms to alleviating anxiety in its canine clientele. And it regularly donates grooming sessions to local dog rescues.
Ollu Dog Wash
Mpls., 612-331-1025, olludogwash.com
Offers both self-serve baths and full grooming, depending on how you like to do the ’do.
Lucky Dog Pet Lodge
Bloomington, 952-767-2040, luckydogpetlodge.com
Boarding, daycare, and grooming all under one roof, with 18,000 square feet of outdoor play space to boot.
St. Louis Park, 952-500-8668, petropawlis.com
It’s a family-owned and operated one-stop dog shop, from grooming and supplies to daycare and boarding.
Woodbury, 651-578-7674, poshpoochpetboutique.com
Pamper your pet with this one-stop shop that includes a boutique and salon services.
Richfield, 612-866-9663, woofcentraldogs.com
Drop your pooch off to play for the day and he’ll be all squeaky clean when you return. Grooming includes at least 15 minutes of brushing, too.
Affiliated Emergency Veterinary Service
Multiple locations including Eden Prairie, 952-942-8272, aevs.com
Blaine and Eden Prairie locations are open 24 hours a day—including holidays—for emergency care at all times.
Apache Animal Hospital
Mpls., 612-781-2734, apacheanimal.com
Emergency and urgent care six days a week, and onsite grooming.
Banfield Pet Hospital
Multiple locations including Mpls., 612-789-2337, banfield.com
Located alongside most PetSmart stores, Banfield offers full vet services and wellness plans, which cut care costs.
The only full-service vet mobile in the metro, Caravan Vet makes house calls to provide care to pets without the stress of a vet visit.
Como Park Animal Hospital
St. Paul, 651-487-3255, comoparkanimalhospital.com
This St. Paul e-vet clinic also has after-hours doctors to treat pets.
Gehrman Animal Hospital
Minnetonka, 952-545-9161, gehrman-animal.com
Recognized by the American Animal Hospital Association for its excellence, it’s been around since 1940.
Mission Animal Hospital
Hopkins, 952-938-1237, missionah.org
A full list of services are provided, and payment is based on income. Financial aid and referral programs all help lower costs so animals get the care they need.
Rockford Road Animal Hospital
Plymouth, 763-559-7554, rrahospital.com
Full-service pet hospital with surgical, medical, and dental care, and health education for pet owners.
University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center
St. Paul, 612-626-8387, 612-625-6700, www.cvm.umn.edu/vmc/
A clinic serving emergency and non-emergency pet health, the small pet hospital is open 24/7.
Village Animal Hospital
Minnetonka, 952-474-4194, villageanimalhospital.org
Comprehensive vet care, with surgery and dentistry on site.
Multiple locations including Edina, 612-920-2201, boneadventure.com
A neighborhood-focused boutique with healthy pet food, quality toys, and treat samples.
Chuck and Don’s Pet Food & Supplies
Multiple locations including Mpls., 612-455-0561, chuckanddons.com
Take your best friend to the store to sniff the selection of pet food and natural treats, and check out the toys and accessories.
CocoBear Boutique & Pet Care
St. Paul, 651-222-6367, cocobearpetcare.com
Pet food, accessories, grooming supplies, gifts, and a grooming salon. Every first and third Thursday there’s an off-leash pup playdate.
The Dog Perk
Mpls., 952-406-8429, thedogperk.com
You need custom dog bandanas and you need ‘em fast. The Dog Perk to the rescue!
It’s a Pet’s Life
Plymouth, 763-476-7372; Edina, 952-831-1229, itsapetslife.com
Offering a variety of organic and natural foods, grooming products, and natural alternatives to flea and tick treatments. Free local delivery.
LuLu & Luigi
Multiple locations including Wayzata, 952-249-0330, luluandluigi.com
With award-winning grooming, this boutique is stocked with apparel, accessories, and an onsite dog bakery. The shop also organizes pup play groups every Thursday in St. Louis Park.
Eden Prairie, 952-994-5252, poobagger.com
It’s a product that makes a dirty job a lot less dirty.
Raws for Paws
Mpls., 612-465-0387, rawsforpaws.com
Specializing in human-grade food for dogs. Have it shipped right to your home.
Why do it yourself when you can pay someone to do it?
Woody’s Pet Food Deli
Multiple locations including Mpls., 612-208-0335, woodyspetdeli.com
A human-grade dog food deli with raw food options. You won’t find kibble here.
Off leash! Looking for a leash-free adventure? Visit sidewalkdog.com for a list of off-leash dog parks around the metro.
Caffetto Coffee Shop
Dogs can accompany their owners inside and score a free dog treat, or hang out on the patio.
Mpls., 612-208-0720, thelowbrowmpls.com
Pooches are welcomed to the patio with a water bowl and a treat.
Mpls., 612-825-2021, pumphouse-creamery.com
The ice cream shop has a flavor just for doggies.
Stanley’s Northeast Bar Room
Mpls., 612-788-2529, stanleysbarroom.com
Taking dog-friendly to a new level, Stanley’s dog food menu includes a discounted “yappy hour” pricing list, and yoga mats are provided so dogs can stretch out in comfort on the patio.
Two locations in Mpls., urbanbeancoffee.com
Sip your morning brew while you and your dog enjoy the sunshine on the dog-friendly patio.
St. Paul, 651-340-5793, urbangrowlerbrewing.com
It’s not summer without an outdoor beer, and your pup doesn’t have to miss out on the fun. Dogs are welcome to curl up beneath your feet on the patio.
The Canine Coach
Multiple locations including St. Louis Park, 612-202-4732, thek9coach.com
Offers onsite and in-home training for one pooch or a whole pack, from basic obedience to disc dog, scent work, and agility courses.
Cloud Nine Training School for Dogs
Hopkins, New Hope, 952-939-9174, cloudninetraining.com
Agility, obedience, and therapy dog classes, plus play groups, a dog gym, and even canine massage therapy.
Eden Prairie, 952-949-0099, dogworksinc.com
Pups can take several levels of group puppy, obedience, agility, and therapy dog classes in a spacious training center.
Fetch Dog Training and Behavior
Mpls., 612-387-5271, fetchmpls.com
A full spectrum of training, including rehabilitation for dogs who are fearful, reactive, or aggressive. Busy? They’ll even train your pup while you’re out.
Twin Cities Obedience Training Club
Mpls., 612-379-1332, tcotc.com
Established in 1945 as the first dog-training club in Minnesota, pups learn the basics, and many graduate to courses in tracking, agility, or therapy.
Wag ‘N Woofs
Eden Prairie, 952-224-4491, wagnwoofs.com
There are several levels of group obedience classes, as well as an aptly named “Freak on a Leash” class for dogs who are reactive to other dogs while on a leash.