Presenting your 2015 Top Dogs!

It is with absolute glee that I present to you this year’s Top Dog Award Winners, and the annual BEST in the BIZ Directory, featuring the best pet businesses and professionals of 2015 by Readers' Choice – in 42 categories. Thanks to those of you who voted. To the winners — thank you for the great work you do!

Our community repeatedly ranks as one of the best cities to live with pets. That’s in great part thanks to our fantastic pet-devoted businesses, many of whom appear in these pages.

This year, if you’re looking for daycare . . . or outstanding pet-friendly vacation rentals/hotels . . . or the best medical care, from basic to advanced … or great merchants to whom you can turn for guidance, goods, and amazing expertise … look here. After you’ve read the magazine, just pull those pages off (please recycleϑ) and keep the Directory handy for the next best thing to a referral from a friend for everything you might possibly need for your pets this year.

From compiling the votes to working with the featured businesses, building the Directory each year is an adventure filled with revelation and excitement. We are blessed to have so many outstanding professionals committed to our best friends’ health and happiness, and to us, their people.

While working on any project, the Spot team is never doing just one thing.  Whatever’s on tap, you can be sure we’re also fielding calls about animals in need, helping move them from temporary situations to forever loving homes. This is the work of our hearts, as well as serving you and our local professionals – to connect you with each other, discover previously unknown resources, and more.

Spot will turn 10 in August, and in these years I’ve learned this important truth:  Together, we can.  We can change fortunes from horrific to happy-ever-after.  We can change laws to help end abuse and abusive practices long gone unchecked or unanswered for.  We can help shine the light on how basic things like food, physical activity and learning can change the life of a misbehaving or unhealthy pet and therefore the world for his or her family.  Little things mean a lot!  And together, doing little things, one by one over and over, so much gets done!

Thank you for allowing us to do what we do. We love serving the animals and you, and we look forward to seeing you soon at upcoming pet events! Happily that includes the NW Pet Fair, which Columbia Gorge Humane Society, in partnership with Spot, is taking forward as of this year.  A big shout-out to Amy Barton (nee Johnson) and Vanessa Wright, who in their early 20s took custody of the Pet Fair five years ago, taking it from a state of neglect to a thriving weekend that is the biggest annual event for many local pet businesses.  Come out and play April 18-19 at the Expo Center – we have so much to celebrate!

Yours in everything pet,