With just a click of the mouse or a tap of the smartphone, owners can check in via webcam as their dogs gambol about the 6,000-square-foot facility at Camp Bow Wow. What they'll see should please them. Certified camp counselors supervise both the indoor and outdoor play areas, where dogs play fetch in the yard and Marco Polo in the pool. After gobbling down treats, overnight guests slumber in private cabins as soothing music plays. To further pamper their canine friends, owners schedule grooming appointments for nail trims or baths.
The staff at Doggone-It Daycare wants customers' dogs to run wild—in a cage-free, climate-controlled environment, that is. Two indoor playgrounds host socialization sessions where pets play with one another, chew on toys, leap over obstacles, or concoct sure-fire plans to finally catch their own tail. Staff members walk each dog at least four times a day during daycare stays, and tuck them into comfortable beds during overnight visits.
Owner Crystal Bowen combines over 25 years of experience as a grooming guru and former veterinary technician to offer gentle grooming services for pooches and kittens at The Paw Spa. Personalized sessions cover haircuts, baths, and nail clippings, cleaning pets in a more canine-friendly setting than a bathtub or kitchen sink. Whine and Dine sessions treat pups to an all-natural Coolidge cookie and a gulp of mineral water, and therapeutic mud baths provide relief to irritated skin. The Spa also carries all-natural food and treats from Fromm Dog Foods and Coolidge Canine Cookies to reward dogs for obediently following commands or discreetly eliminating their hated neighbor's bed of petunias.
Kevin McCorkle, KJM Equestrian's owner, keeps his 45,000-square-foot outdoor riding ring level, ready for students of any skill level. Of course, the dirt has been packed down by 42 years worth of the passage of horse and rider, so maintaining its surface and jumps might not be quite the challenge that it initially sounds. Over the decades, Kevin focused on introducing top-notch amenities like the outdoor riding rink to his school, including two 20-stall barns with 12-foot-wide center aisles, wash stalls with hot and cold water, and a 14,580-square-foot indoor riding rink. He even added floodlights to his outdoor corral, equipping his facility to fend off both weather and darkness so the lessons can continue.
He and his cadre of instructors take on any student of any skill level, ages 7 and older. Trainers each possess their own field of expertise, together having knowledge in the whole sport of horsemanship. More importantly, Kevin says, "Each instructor has over 20 years of experience in the equestrian field, including the show ring." The staff of veterans encourages the bond between animal and rider, and trains the duos to pursue the highest levels of competition or merely take turns carrying one another to and from work.
With a veterinarian, groomer, and even an animal-portrait artist on staff—and an onsite boarding facility—The Posh Pup serves as a one-stop shop for canine needs. Groomers use natural shampoos and Furminator brushes to clean and de-shed pups. Dr. Andrea Harl handles vaccinations, blood work, and prescriptions to keep pets healthy.
Thanks to parents who encouraged a love of animals, Leslie Rosales woke up every morning to a chorus of whinnying horses, yapping dogs, mewing cats, and squawking chickens. Trimming the long locks of her stepmother's brood of cocker spaniels, Leslie quickly picked up grooming and animal-whispering skills. Over the course of a lengthy career as a vet tech, she grew fed up with what she considered poor treatment of pets, so she started her own grooming shop with a bankroll of just $400.
Years later, Leslie sold that shop and attempted to retire, but her clients prodded her to return to her beloved profession. Now, she can gaze across Pawcasso's Academy of Animal Arts’ open floor plan, which also allows pet owners to see firsthand what happens during grooming sessions. First-time sessions take a bit longer, Leslie warns, because she monitors the dog's reaction to each new touch. She clips a nail or two at a time or allows the scissors to lop off a few curls of hair around one ear, before stepping back to reward the dog with praise and love. The process eases pooches into the session and test’s each animal’s mood, much the way one dips a toe into a chocolate fountain to make sure it's warm enough to jump into.
Leslie expertly eradicates plaque and tartar from doggies' biters with a method free from anesthesia, and she whips up baked goods to help dogs celebrate birthdays or achievements in housebreaking. She also makes fresh food for dogs allergic to the standard canine diet of commercial pet kibble and mailman tears. The salon's Poop Patrol travels to clients' homes to clear outdoor areas, delivering food if desired and leaving a gift of home-baked goodies for Fido.