- In Pictures
- Special Editorial
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It’s overwhelming…and stressful. And not just for us humans.
What is a poor city dog to do?
He (or she) takes a breather by spending the day at the spa, hitting the run or kicking back at the city’s only canine nightclub with a couple of pals and a bottle of Sauvignon Bark.
Yep, the Downtown pup leads quite the doggie dog’s life.
The Fetch Club, which opened a year-and-a-half ago in 13,000-square-feet of space on two levels at 85 South St., is a bone-a-fide hit, with both four- and two-legged residents of the South Street Seaport and the Financial District. Pooch parents love it, because they know their furry loved one is well looked after and is having the time of his life.
The dogs love it because, well, there’s no place like it in the city.
The idea came to Fetch Club co-founder Janna Lee when she was looking for a place to leave her Husky while out of town.
“Choices were limited, and so was the space,” she said. “And I would come home from work tired and he’d want to play.
“City dogs get bored and feel neglected. That’s not fair,” Lee mused. “They need a place to stretch, play and relax.”
My 21-month old Australian Shepherd-Blue Healer mix gave two paws up this week after a busy day at the club. Tonto Two Toes arrived and was warmly greeted by Lee’s business partner Peter Balestrieri and Assistant Operations Manager Fatima Perrone, who led him through the tantalizing array of foods, treats and toys in the boutique to check him in.
The space is clean and fresh-smelling. You’d never know that more than 50 dogs were on the other side of the glass partition if you couldn’t see them jumping and wrestling in the different dog play areas.
The air is constantly cleaned by two industrial air purification systems with charcoal and HEPA filters. And you won’t find a mop anywhere: a central wet-dry vacuum system cleans and flushes the floors.
“I put in the same water filtration system I have in my house,” said Balestrieri proudly. “All water goes through an ionization system.”
First up was a little playtime in a run with his good pal pup, Daisy. Up and down the long, clean white run, the two raced, chasing balls and all kinds of rubber toys tossed by junior manager and trainer David Hernandez.
Following his vigorous workout, Tonto sniffed his “byes” to Daisy and headed off to the salon with groomer Jaclyn Gardner, who bathed, brushed and dried him, clipped his nails and trimmed his paws.
“We don’t skimp and only use the best quality natural shampoos that are sulfate free and smell good,” Gardner said as she cuddled and reassured the T Man.
Next, it was a quick, relaxing stop in the “doggie sauna,” a Japanese-designed dryer that gently blows cool, filtered air to deep dry his fur.
“Dogs who are afraid of the blow dryer enjoy this more,” Jaclyn added, tying a green camo-patterned scarf around his neck.
Looking to chill a bit more, Tonto strutted downstairs, past the gym-boasting doggy-sized treadmills and giant blue and red fitness stability balls — which the dogs use to strengthen leg muscles — to the relaxation room. There, he sat on the sheepskin-covered bamboo mat as the masseuse and dog-friendly sounds soothed his inner beast.
After a good rubdown and a few downward facing dogs, the animal was ready to party.
Off Tonto went to the exclusive, cavernous night club — dimly lit with a gilt bone chandelier no less, for a little action. The room could easily awaken the disco in any dog: One wall is brightly painted with graffiti, while another is a mosaic of golden dog bones. Sofas and chairs line the space, leaving the center open with plenty of room to get down. The hostess broke open Sauvignon Bark, their finest bottle of dog wine from Bark Vineyards, and a chicken and vegetable broth that was lick-a-licous. (Two other flavors are also sold in the boutique upstairs: Barkundy and Pinot Leasheo.)
Pampered and puckish, Tonto let out a howl. Sweet!
Fetch Club boards dogs by the hour, day and overnight — with a human sleeping companion no less! Grooming, spa and exercise packages are available. For more information, visit www.fetchclub.com or call 212-401-8199.