The Phoenix New Times crowned it the Best Place to Buy a Live Chicken in 2012. An unusual accolade, but one that The Stock Shop’s founders happily accepted nonetheless. When they opened The Stock Shop more than 30 years ago, it wouldn’t have been eligible for the award, since their inventory consisted solely of feed and tack—no live chickens. But as business grew, so did their offerings. Today, staffers still fill the shelves with natural, grain-free, and organic pet foods from brands including Nature’s Variety and EVO. But they also peddle baby chicks, potbellied pigs, and bunnies, gear from John Deere, and all the equipment needed to farm organically, especially in an urban setting. That’s in addition to goodies for pets—leashes, treats, chew toys—and even the occasional cowboy hat. Plus, there’s onsite dog grooming that specifically caters to anxious pooches.
Sonoran Desert Pet Resort's 1,500-square-foot, air-conditioned indoor dog park simulates the outdoors with the same artificial turf used for professional football fields so pooches can wrestle, dive for balls, or perform elaborate touchdown dances safely during daycare hours.
Overnight guests bed in private rooms, some equipped with televisions playing soothing music, movies, or the NYSE ticker. They enjoy two meals a day, playtime with dogs of similar size and temperament, and air-conditioned quarters. Feline patrons lounge in two-room suites; their litter boxes are in a separate area from sleeping quarters, which are both well ventilated.
Pet parents can also opt for extras for their pooches, such as more one-on-one time with the human staff or a nice bone to gnaw on. Certified groomers primp four-legged friends with FURminator treatments to reduce shedding and ramped bathtubs for less stressful baths. Pets and owners can even attend the pet resort's training sessions to teach basic obedience or correct behavioral problems such as anxiety or refusing to salivate when a bell rings.
Domestication: The Pick of the Litter, Litter After Litter
It?s important to take good care of your pet?after all, it?s the product of millennia of domestication. Read on to learn more about how once-wild animals found a place in our homes.
If you raised a siberian husky pup and a wolf cub side-by-side, giving each one the same food, training, and number of belly scratches, you would still wind up with one tame creature and one wild one. So why the difference? Though both creatures are technically the same species Canis lupus and share virtually the same DNA, only the husky's genes are programmed for domestication. The traits we associate with domestication?such as friendliness, calmness, and even floppy ears?have all been selected by humans and passed down from one generation of huskies to the next. In simpler terms: nature created the wolf; we bred the husky.
An example of the domestication process can be seen in a famous Russian experiment using arctic foxes. Beginning in 1958, scientists took an assortment of wild foxes and selected only the few that showed a specific trait?friendliness towards humans. They allowed those foxes to breed then selected only the friendliest of that litter, and so on and so on. After only a few generations, the foxes began to exhibit behaviors never found in their wild ancestors, such as whining and tail wagging. What's more, the domesticated foxes took on new appearances, sporting more juvenile features and spotted fur. Though the strange new foxes might have been considered a new species, they?like dogs to wolves?were just a domesticated version of the same wild foxes.
Although dogs have been domesticated for roughly 33,000 years and cats for 12,000, no one is quite sure how either species came to be domesticated. One of the most popular theories is that only the least aggressive animals were permitted to hang around early human settlements, and over time, humans began breeding the friendliest of the bunch. The advantages were clear: dogs aided in hunting, while cats kept food stores free of rodents and protected the villages from laser pointers.
It’s nice to have an option other than the home bathtub to scrub a smelly mutt, and Wag N Wash offers two choices: self-serve or full-service. The basic stainless steel stations get the job done just fine, as customers dress in the provided groomer's apron and man the hand held sprayers with temperature controlled water. The puppy parlor makes sure to include Wag N Wash brand pet shampoo, brushes, towels and professional grooming dryers. For a little more coin, a pooch can get itching and/or dandruff treatments, coat conditioners and even cologne. For one-stop shopping, the bright, squeaky clean store also sells toys, natural food and homemade treats made in a doggie deli.
Nestled on 2 park-like acres, Canine Country Club and Feline Inn charms pets and owners with comfy overnight boarding and boredom-slaying daycare. Pups cavort in indoor/outdoor runs, frolicking with a friendly cohort before snoozing in a personal den. Cats, too, meander inside and out, lounging in air-conditioned suites when not soliloquizing from an elevated perch. The dutiful staff patrols 24 hours a day, attending to special-needs pets and senior dogs as well. Other pets, including hamsters, birds, and unicorns, bask in special draft- and stress-free environments under supervision in their own cages.