At Matthias Arabians, seasoned horse trainers Leon, Lon, and Kim Matthias teach visitors the art of steed steering in a scenic setting. In one-hour riding lessons, students of varying equine aptitude can take the reins of safe learning mounts, absorbing instructors' wisdom until their horses glide over terrain as smoothly as refurbished hovercrafts. Topics covered may range from horse-care fundamentals to proper discipline or mastering a stately trot, but all are presented with expertise and a sense of humor.
Helmed by a pair of Iowa State University graduates, Family Pet Veterinary Center keeps furry friends in good health at three locations across the Des Moines area. A third-generation veterinarian, Dr. Jen Emerson-Mathis joins forces with Dr. Ashley Williams to deliver medical, surgical, and diagnostic services to beloved animals. With their team, doctors Jen and Ashley go the extra mile by making sure clients understand every facet of their pet’s medical condition, and every step of the treatment process. Even more, the Family Pet facilities provide boarding packages, as well as on-site grooming for dogs, cats, and CEOs who need a break from making so many decisions.
Pretty Paws’s team of dog lovers keeps pooches looking their best by clipping nails, trimming and cleaning fur, and administering other grooming services. They lather pets up with shampoo, then blow-dry fur and gently stroke tangles away with thorough hand brushings. For excessive tangles, they execute special de-matting techniques, and for dogs experiencing itching, they issue eviction notices to all resident fleas with a deep-cleaning flea bath. During full-body trims, they snip hair from the face, feet, and tail, making sure dogs are presentable for their first day at military boot camp.
The handlers at Iowa Reptile Rescue handle reptiles and amphibians with attentive foster care. While their reptilian guests vary, the shelter may house tokay geckos, bearded dragons, and russian tortoises, as well as the occasional orphaned rose-hair tarantula or a velociraptor who's burnt out after years of typecasting. Once animals are deemed ready for reentry into loving homes, the staff adds the animal to their list of current adoptables. To help fund their operation, the Iowa Reptile Rescue team organizes events, such as benefit concerts, and recruits the support of local business sponsors.
Under the watchful eye of Canine Country Club's dog wranglers, dogs enjoy the comforts of home with personalized attention and the chance to play and socialize with similarly tempered mates. While spacious kennels provide a peaceful respite for napping or shy pups, the majority of the facility's 4,000 square feet of climate-controlled indoor space is open and spacious enough for endless games of Red Rover. Just outside, grass and shady trees emulate Fido's favorite park in the facility's 2,500-square-foot yard, lined with an 8-foot-high privacy fence and monitored by staffers trained in dog behavior and pack dynamics. After pooches have enjoyed long days spent chasing dust bunnies, Canine Country Club's groomer restores dogs' coats to their original luster by bathing, trimming, and fluffing them from head to toe. Furry friends in the market for skills from basic manners through advanced tricks hit the books under the trained eye of certified dog-behavior specialist Jessica Lohry, learning during evening classes, board 'n' train stays, or play 'n' train daycare.