Ryan Garner always felt a connection with horses, but he felt an equally strong disconnect with many of the equestrian world’s traditional, intimidation-filled training methods. Instead of ignoring his concerns, the lifelong horse enthusiast began studying natural horsemanship, a method that encourages equine obedience through gentle rider-horse communication. Now, at RG Horsemanship, Garner shares his mission of trust, leadership, and communication during horseback-riding lessons. Through patient instruction, he helps students connect with their equine counterparts via body language and facial expressions.
Marcia and Jim Wentzell have been serving the Cobb County animal community for more than 15 years, working with rescue groups, homeless dogs, and family pets. Jim graduated as a certified obedience trainer in 1998, and then went on to serve as the president of the Georgia Network of Professional Petsitters until 2002. In 2005, he and Marcia opened A Passion For Pets Daycare and Grooming, where they offer grooming, training, daycare, and cage-free sleepovers for dogs.
During daycare, dogs romp, run, and work out four-part howling harmonies on a full acre of open-play space. Four-legged guests that are spending the night also roam freely thanks to cage-free sleepovers with overnight human companionship. At the full-service salon, staffers primp dogs with full bath and spa treatments that include services such as gum massages and even blueberry facials. The onsite Doggy-Liscious Bake Shop provides yummy pet treats such as cupcakes or banana biscotti, and the store also sells natural and holistic pet foods. A Passion for Pets also specializes in agility training and in-home petsitting.
The staff of canine lovers behind Piper's Playhouse elevates the typical kennel experience, fostering an atmosphere that encourages dogs to socialize, play, and feel as comfortable as they would if they were still at home. Four-legged lodgers are divided into two groups—one for larger and more energetic dogs, and the other for smaller, senior, and bookworm dogs. Each group gets its own spacious room fortified with toys and cushy beds, and the staff rotates groups outside for bathroom breaks and fresh-air romps. In addition to group playtime, each dog gets a bit of one-on-one time with Piper's companion humans. Further services include grooming and overnight boarding, giving dogs a place to stay any night of the year. All canines are welcome, provided they are nonaggressive, spayed or neutered, and have all required vaccinations, which are listed on Piper's Playhouse's FAQ page.
The National Animal Control Association–certified staff at Planet Doggiewood utilize specialty pet-care products and state-of-the-art equipment such as waist-high tubs with gentle restraints, vet-grade disinfectants, and temperature-controlled water for grooming and bathing services. Those who wish to give their nonhuman best friend a quick bath outside the delicate confines of their Faberge-egg-stocked home can opt for the self-service pet wash (a $12 value), which leaves the cleanup to Planet Doggiewood's merry band of dog and cat whisperers. Precise handheld sprayers as well as aprons and sleeve protectors help owners stay dry, and tearless shampoos and conditioners moisten pet pelts without discomfort or awkwardly emotional moments. DIY villus revamping can be executed with professional grooming equipment such as a grooming table, pet-specific brushes and combs, and a high-velocity dryer.