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Another interminable “Best of Baltimore”

I’ve never been real big on “best of” lists. They’re sort of the grown-up equivalent of the cliquish high school in-crowd (head cheerleader, quarterback, etc.) making our minds up for us — whether it’s about what the prom theme is going to be, who can sit at what lunch table, or what constitutes cool.

I’ve been even less big on them since I made last year’s “Best of Baltimore.” *

Nevertheless, Baltimore Magazine’s picks for 2008 ** are out and we feel it is our duty to pass their crack staff’s dog-related choices on to you, so you don’t have to fork over $3.95 for the August issue.

For best pet store, Baltimore Magazine chose Howl, formerly known as “Chow, Baby!” up until pressure from the Purina company prompted owner Robin McDonald to change the name this year. The magazine called Howl, at 3531 Chestnut Avenue, “a Whole Foods for pets.” It offers a wide variety of healthy dog food, and also houses an obedience school for dogs, B-more Charming.

The magazine bestowed best groomer honors on Kerrie Grudziecki, of the Reisterstown Boarding Kennel Pet Resort and Spa, 14454 Old Hanover Road in Reisterstown. The magazine said Grudziecki “is great at calming nervous first timers,” and offers a full line of grooming and spa treatments for your dog.

For the top dog in doggie lodging, the magazine picked PetSmart’s Pet Hotel, 9041 Snowden River Parkway in  Columbia.  “… With its airy atriums and suites, hypoallergenic lambskin beds, and caring staff, (it) has all the amenities you’d expect in a fancy hotel, including an on-site pet hospital, ’room service’ and in-suite movies.”

For all those dog businesses that, like me, fell from grace and didn’t make the list this year – The Pretentious Pooch, Dogma, and Charm City Dogs were honored as last year’s ”best” – chin up, keep the faith and we still love you.

* In the 2007 “Best of Baltimore” I was voted “Best reason to cancel your Sun subscription … Well, it’s more than one reason: 7,497 of them, actually (we counted). That’s how many words were in Sun reporter John Woestendiek’s interminable seven-part series about his dog’s lineage. Now, we like dogs, we like John Woestendiek, and we even like lineages. But 7,497 words?”

** The 2008 Best of Baltimore list ran 17,065 words. (But who’s counting?)


Comment from baltimoregal
Time August 22, 2008 at 9:43 am

Well they are absolutely right about Howl aka Chow, Baby- even if some of their other choices are dubious. I would never by my Stella’s food, treats, or chew toys anywhere else And the prices are EXCELLENT.

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