Salon Paz borrows its name from the Spanish word for peace, which is exactly what the staff hopes to bring to the customers who enter into the relaxing, sage-green space. After admiring the salon's artwork––which is all created by the staff––clients settle in to plush, chocolate-colored styling chairs to put their strands in the hands of seasoned stylists or put their feet up to enjoy the soothing massage that accompanies each pedicure. They'll also enjoy peace-of-mind knowing the salon reaches for high-quality shampoos and conditioners from Paul Mitchell and complexion-clearing skincare products by Keyano. They also use all-vegan hair color by Pravana, which are free of sulfates, sulfites, and parabens, and are never tested on animals, no matter how much they beg.
Some customers choose from a colorful array of cookies, donuts, and other delectables on a tiered and crystal-encrusted dessert tray, while others relax and enjoy floor-to-ceiling murals of a picturesque countryside in the indoor dog park. None of them, however, happen to be human—such is the focus on luxury at Royal Pets Market & Resort, where boarding, grooming, training, and adoption services are overseen by an experienced staff. After pampering treatments such as aromatherapy baths or moisture-therapy wraps, dogs and cats can be outfitted from the wide selection of collars, foods, toys, and apparel in the expansive store.
Founder Carole Baskin never dreamt she'd one day oversee a 55-acre sanctuary inhabited by some of Earth's largest cats. In 1992, she and her late husband were at an exotic-animal auction seeking out llamas for their farm. A man had a 6-month-old bobcat that he could no longer care for, and the pair decided to give it a place to call home. They then traveled to a bobcat breeder for another playmate, but upon seeing the horrible conditions the animals were kept in, they bought all 56 kittens. They rehabilitated them back to health, and gave them permanent homes on their then-40-acre site. Soon, word of her knack for nurturing spread beyond the Tampa area, and callers began donating abandoned or orphaned cats. Her mission to save these animals also reached the ears and hearts of many celebrities, including contributors Harrison Ford and Bo Derek.
After 20 years of hard work and learning, Carole is still caring for abused and abandoned big cats at her rescue site, accommodating more than 100 medium and large creatures from bengal tigers and black leopards to lynx and lions. Her staff of volunteers helps care for the animals and leads groups in tours that educate visitors on the plight of these animals both in the wild and in captivity.
The professional staff at Central Bark Doggy Day Care draws on extensive training in animal behavior and doggy first aid to entertain, pamper, and groom canine companions. Skilled groomers primp and pamper the worn-out furscapes of canines with shed-reducing Furminator treatments and Barkley Works all-inclusive grooming baths (prices vary based on the dog; call the desired location for pricing). Thorough ear cleanings ($10) and teeth brushings ($10) keep pups in shipshape hygienic fashion and prepare pooches for cuddling or job interviews.