Twin canine greeters, Jake and Roper, roam the aisles of Woodard Mercantile, welcoming guests to Gerald and Leslye Woodard's expansive store. It's that kind of character that sets the family-owned shop apart. Each aisle offers row upon row of an eclectic variety of brand name supplies and gifts, including pet and horse supplies, lawn and garden goods, jewelry, and purses. Knowledgeable staff members stand at the ready to assist with selections or special-order goods that aren't in stock.
For more than 40 years, the experienced caretakers at Cherokee Animal Clinic have kept furry friends safe and spry with veterinary services, dental care, boarding, and grooming in a well-equipped wellness center. The team of three vets can choose from five exam rooms in which to vaccinate and microchip pooches, or take to the surgical suite approved by the American Animal Hospital Association to mend skeletal and cardiac flaws detected on x-rays. The pet lovers lavish extra doting on senior citizens of the animal kingdom, crafting plans to rework unhealthy diets with nutrition counseling. The facility sequesters cats and dogs in separate, temperature-controlled boarding quarters where they enjoy frequent attention from kennel staffers and vets. During grooming sessions, on-staff stylists primp coats, adhering to breed trends, owner preferences, and the animal's fantasy of being a squirrel.
Good Pup founder and owner Patty Homer, who touts 20 years' experience in dog training, gets tails wagging with personalized, private lessons for all breeds of canines. Pooches learn to master commands such as sit, down, come, heel, yodel, and stay, and owners learn techniques that ensure results can be re-created outside the vacuum of Good Pup's training facility. Each of the obedience-training sessions can be scheduled at the owner's convenience, providing dogs ample time between sessions to play tug of war, go for w-a-l-k-s, and upload home videos of their owners chasing squirrels in their sleep.
When overcast winter skies and spring storm clouds clear, the roads begin to glisten with freshly washed cars. With 12 locations across Missouri and Kansas, there’s a pretty good chance that many of those vehicles visited a Squeaky Clean Car Wash. Whether it’s a soft-cloth tunnel car wash or a touchless, in-bay spraydown, rides leave dirt-free in a matter of minutes. Every wash comes with complimentary access to a self-serve vacuum, and select locations allow patrons to take matters into their own hands at self-serve washing bays. At their Quick Lube locations, Squeaky Clean flushes out sludgy fluids and also invites pet owners to hose down canines and pet mammoths preserved in tar at self-serve dog washes.
The veterinarians and support staff at Falcon Valley Animal Hospital tend to a revolving cast of cats and dogs that comes through the doors. They love animals—all of them are pet owners except for Soot the cat, who is not responsible enough to own other cats.
Inside the hospital, patients will find an onsite pharmacy, boarding facilities, training classes, and, naturally, veterinary services. Veteran puppy trainer Dennis Bastian teaches rebellious pups to adhere to their best friends’ commands. Comprehensive exams for new puppies and kittens get pets up-to-date on vaccinations and include heartworm, flea, and tick prevention as well as free food samples. Pet microchipping—a procedure in which a microchip the size of a grain of rice is placed under a pet’s skin—is also available to help locate pets in the event that they get lost or want to cheat in a game of hide-and-seek.
A lifelong dog lover and doting owner of two labradoodles, Dan Thompson knew he didn’t want cages at his doggy daycare; he wanted his charges to play together before heading home happy and calm. So, instead of filling Dog Pawz playNstay with bars and locks, Thompson designed outdoor and indoor play areas where pooches exchange opinions on mailman fashions as they chow on natural food. Canines can spend the night, and owners of either boarding or visiting pets can visit the Dog Pawz playNstay website to log in and watch their pups on a live camera feed. The pet haven also grooms coats and trims toenails, outfits furry companions with leashes and toys, and can ferry them to and from home within a 3-mile radius, sparing pooches the need to figure out how much they should tip cab drivers.