At home, the company of a dog can make all the difference. But taking your furry friend beyond the boundaries of your backyard can be rough. Pun intended. In Santa Clarita, there is a thriving culture of dog owners who find it refreshingly easy to find things to do with their pets outside of their homes. “Anywhere where there is outside seating, they’re pretty good about letting your dog in,” said Marco Marenghi, who was spending time with his chocolate labrador, Ziggy, at the Central Park dog park. Marco and his wife Joe rescued Ziggy from poor living conditions, demanding that the previous owner surrender him to them. Merenghi also pointed out that the dog park could use some maintenance. “It would be nice if there was grass in here. I know it’s difficult with dogs, but it doesn’t get watered so no grass grows so it’s very harsh on the dogs paws.” After a day of play, Ziggy, along with many other dogs in Santa Clarita, go to a local pet groomer that gives owners their own shower kit, complete with towel and dog treat, to bath their dogs. Owner of U-Wash Doggie, Andres Gamero, has seen all types of owners and dogs walk in looking to give their pets the best grooming. “From young people to older people, everyone loves coming in and washing their own dog or dropping their dog off,” he said. Gamero’s passion for animals inspired him to take over his father’s business. “There’s nothing better in life than waking up in the morning and know that you’re going to go and work with a bunch of animals.” said Gamero. With so many options for dogs, Danielle Austin and Edwin Padilla often drive from the San Fernando Valley, where they live, just so that their Italian Mastiff, Mack, can accompany them. The recently engaged couple waited for their table at Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, to order Mack some chicken and brown rice. The pet-friendly restaurant has a patio for dogs and their owners to dine together complete with a designated pooch menu. “We bring him out to socialize him so that we feel comfortable when people come to our house.” said Padilla. For some, owning a dog is having a friend to come home to. In Santa Clarita, it’s a lifestyle.