Good Life: The Mix: Some Dogs Go to Heaven
“Isn’t it great?” asks Mary Remer, standing in the nearly 18,000 square feet of Chester County space she’s transformed into a high-tech and über-luxe training, grooming, rehabilitation and boarding facility for catered-to canines.
You’d never guess that Remer — wearing no makeup, khaki shorts and Nikes — hails from the purebred Montgomery Scott family. (Katharine Hepburn portrayed her grandmother in The Philadelphia Story.) Delightfully unpretentious, Remer has 30 years of champion dog training under her unexpectedly non-designer belt, and for years has run her esteemed dog-training biz, What a Good Dog, from her family’s sprawling 360-acre Villanova estate, Ardrossan. She’s something of a local legend, a dog whisperer, the secret behind all those well-behaved pups lounging in Montco manses. (You didn’t think that puggle learned how to sit by himself, did you?) But it’s her latest venture — What a Good Dog’s new Chester County outpost, slated to open this month — that’s got her practically jumping with excitement today.
The complex is equal parts boarding and pampering. Think Four Seasons for dogs: There’s separate housing for social and non-social pups, a grooming salon, vast yards outfitted with canine jungle gyms, and the area’s first dock diving pool, where competing pooches can perfect their leaping skills. In the rehab and conditioning center (complete with two indoor pools), there’s massage and acupuncture — and an area where devoted owners can sleep over with their rehabbing pups. Feline-lovers, don’t fret: A cattery keeps man’s other best friend entertained with personal computer screens running footage of birds and aquariums.
“They’re very pure in their hearts, you know?” Remer says of her clientele. And what better way to reward them than with a stay at a place that’s probably nicer than anything you’re trotting off to? Just be warned: They might actually like it when you go away.