Girl Friday: Your Private Concierge likes to play hard to get. You have to bid if you want the personal assistant's time—and you may get turned down. Potential clients can call, text, or fill out an online form to bid, which includes the task they need accomplished and their preferred price. The private concierge services span practically every chore and errand you can imagine: spending time with or preparing a meal for an elderly parent, grocery shopping, babysitting, overseeing home repairs, and even planning a party or creating a business PowerPoint. If the personal concierge deems a client's bid appropriate, she will accept the job; if she doesn't, she will negotiate with customers.
Carriage Hills Animal Hospital and Pet Resort has been caring for four-legged friends since the 1960s, when it was half the size it is today and only showed up in black and white in photographs. Now, this full-service pet-care facility boasts 24-hour emergency services, the area’s only underwater treadmill as part of its physical-therapy program, and four-star boarding accommodations. The spa-like grooming area is where pooches get pampered—their coats are shampooed and expertly cut, their nails trimmed, and their ears swabbed clean. And sedated grooming is available for particularly anxious dogs.
In 1981, B&B Pet Stop paired pet owners with furry friends and items to care for them from a 600-square-foot location. Since then, the store has expanded to 24 times its original size—B&B now fills every nook and cranny of a massive 14,400-square-foot store. But one thing hasn’t changed; it’s still run by Bill Trufant and his sisters Sally and Mary. The trio’s pet emporium stocks everything from Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals cat and dog food and Nylabone chew toys to cages and vitamins for birds.
The Trufants and their dedicated staff don’t just equip pet owners with supplies; they also supply the pets themselves, hosting so many critters that children take field trips to the shop the way they might visit a zoo. More than 2,600 gallons of salt water aquariums include a live coral system and a reef display, creating a home for saltwater swimmers, such as pygmy angelfish and crabs. Nearby, red-tail sharks, firemouth cichlids, and other creatures frolic in more than 6,000 gallons of fresh water. The shop also sells more than 800 reptiles and more than 12,000 small animals each year, as well as a fleet of birds. For particularly dedicated caregivers, a selection of rarer, more high-maintenance animals is available, including hedgehogs, which demand a homemade cake thrice a day.
B&B Pet Stop’s dedication to animals extends to community-outreach initiatives. For instance, you have the option to round up your purchase price, donating the change to monthly rotating charities, including Animal Rescue Foundation and the Mobile Arts Council. This idea has raised nearly $100,000 in just five years.
Models strut in sweaters and cold-weather gear across poured concrete floors, where small crowds gather to admire, coo, and refasten leashes on the four-legged centerfolds shopping at Goin’ to The Dogs. The pet mecca brims with holistic eats and treats from brands such as Natural Balance and Blue Buffalo, and a variety of collars from Up Country and Pawsitively Purrfect deck fuzz-covered necks in style. Toys by Planet Dog and other brands skitter across the floor to a self-wash station for cats and dogs, where raised stainless steel tubs grant owners easy access to underbellies with deluxe shampoos, soft towels, and a professional-grade dryer to pamper fur and cut down on wind resistance during tail-chasing marathons. Goin’ to The Dogs also delivers parcels within Huntsville city limits on Wednesdays.
When Dr. Chase Whitworth became Patton Chapel Animal Clinic's lead veterinarian in 2011, he brought with him a renewed effort to connect with the community. He does this by honoring the special role pets play in our lives, and addressing their unique concerns with annual exams, nutritional counseling, and surgery. Additionally, his trained staff nurtures pets with grooming and boarding services.