Pam Graham's devotion to horses spans more than 30 years, of which she spent more than a decade as a full-time groomer for some of the nation's premier trainers. Leveraging her experience in breeding and foaling, Pam keeps horses in good health and fine spirits by caring for them in the familiar confines of their home stables. In addition to caring for the horses of other owners, she's lovingly maintained her herd for more than 20 human years, which translates to about 4 horse years or one one-thousandth of a horsefly year.
For grooming—a skill that Pam teaches on the side at her own clinics—she wields curry, mitt, and rake brushes, each of which contains bristles of a varied thickness to thoroughly soften and shine coats. And when she horse sits, Pam leaves her beauty kit at home and makes one or two visits each day to replenish food and water, deliver supplements, and perform a visual once-over before reporting to owners via phone or email.
Aided by a staff of animal lovers who have spent countless hours at rescue organizations, Dr. Kerry Garrity keeps pets healthy by providing a range of veterinary services. Dr. Garrity and her team administer yearly vaccines, examine fractures with the help of digital radiographs, and tend to older pets with specialized geriatric services. They also nurture overweight dogs with Royal Canin Veterinary Diets and counsel new owners on pet-care strategies, such as letting one’s canine fetch the paper only after removing the funny pages. After appointments, clients can treat their dogs and cats to accessories from the pet boutique, such as knit-fish cat toys, fleece pet sleeping bags, bowls, and treats.
With this package, registered pooches can enroll in any $85 weekly class; classes take place once a week for six weeks. Pre-requisites apply for intermediate and advanced classes, and aggressive dogs and barking cats are not permitted. Young canines get schooled on proper dog-park etiquette, including basic commands, loose-leash strolling, and social interaction, at the Positively Puppies class. For dogs more than five months old, the Manners for Life class effaces improper actions (jumping on people), and the Wallflower class pumps up social skills for shy breeds. Intimately sized classes guarantee ample attention. View a complete list of featured courses here.
For more than 40 years, Animal Crackers has satisfied the style appetites of choosy children and discerning parents with an array of fine threads made for boys (newborn to size 7) and girls (newborn to size 10). Customers can drape their 1- to 2-year-old princess in beach-time fashion with a Vive La Fete swimsuit ($46) or get recital-ready with a pair of ballet slippers ($18.50). The “young man” designation proves to be more than just a stern warning when boys sport silk ties and button-down shirts and youngsters look handsomely festive in a hand-smocked Anavini birthday outfit ($66, for 12–24 months). Accessories such as Smathers and Branson needlepoint belts ($99.50) hold up pants better than a long licorice rope. Alphabet games ($18) and magic trick sets ($19.99–$29.99) make fine Labor Day presents for hard-at-play nieces.
One dog keeps his nose to the ground, seeking a lost child by scent. Another guides a sightless owner into an office building, helping his human friend locate the elevator. These dogs both learned their trades thanks to the team at Gimme Grace Dog Training. Kea Grace leads this pack, helping pooches reach their full potential with a blend of classical and operant training, extensive experience in training both professional and pet dogs, and the know-how gained from multiple professional certifications. During obedience classes, family pets learn basic commands—such as how to sit, heel, or answer the phone when asked—or tricks and agility stunts designed to wow passing humans. Some dogs also train for a profession, such as service dogs who assist owners with medical needs or police dogs who learn to track targets, to search and rescue lost loved ones, or to detect bombs and drugs. The facility also takes in overnight guests, incorporating training sessions into their stay if desired. The fruits of the week’s training sessions go on display every Tuesday night, as dogs show off their talents during Pay to Play sessions led by trainers ready to help pups master skills or to referee during impromptu games of Red Rover.
Happy Hounds' firm no-leash policy lets dogs bound around play spaces unfettered, taking full advantage of the fully insured company's 3,000-square-foot facility. Dogs get exercise outdoors and indoors, climbing over and through agility obstacles as attentive staff members look on. Much like elementary-school students or new employees, dogs are separated into playgroups according to temperament, play style, and knowledge of multiplication tables. These like-minded dogs also bunk down together in slumber-party-style sleeping areas, where they snooze on fleece bedding, drift off to classical music, or stay up late playing truth or dare, their safety ensured by around-the-clock staff.