After a long veterinary career in the Rockford area, Dr. Raj Patel retired. But then an area animal clinic closed, leaving the community without the resources they needed to care for their pets. Enter Dr. Patel to the rescue. At the urging of many local pet owners, Dr. Patel opened Animal Clinic of Rockford, and he now serves the medical needs of local cats and dogs with help from his son Ravi Patel, the clinic's co-director alongside Mital Balar, Dr. Patel's nephew. Pet owners can bring their furry friends in for preventative care, diagnostics, or treatments and surgery—as well as stock up on pet food and medications—to ensure their pets live long, happy lives.
The team at Rhoades Fur Feather and Fin immortalizes prized catches with professional taxidermy services for a variety of animals. The specialists provide shoulder mounts for critters such as deer, elk, coyotes, foxes, and beavers, as well as life-size mounting upon request. Animal skulls from deer, bears, and elk shine after thorough beetle cleaning and whitening, and then proudly grin as they hang from wall mounts. Rhoades also prepares fish that range in size from 13 to 64 inches, and birds such as ducks, quails, and turkeys.
Most basic riding lessons include a how-to on tacking up the horse. Get a head start with Groupon's overview of horse tack.
Tack refers to everything a horse wears for a ride, from saddles to bridles to reins. Just as people dress differently for different jobs, horses wear different tack depending on whether they're employed riding on trails, working on a cattle ranch, strutting down a runway, or competing inside a show ring.
One of the most important pieces of tack is the saddle, buckled onto a band around the horse's middle called a girth. Western saddles, designed for long days of riding, distribute the rider?s weight evenly and comfortably across the horse?s back. At the front is a horn around which cowboys can wrap rope used to lead cattle. English saddles, on the other hand, are hornless, and are light to give horses more freedom to run and jump.
Then there are the parts of the tack designed to help the rider communicate with the horse. The bridle?leather headgear that slips around the horse?s ears and nose?is attached to a bit and reins. The bit is a metal or synthetic bar attached to the bridle and resting in the back of the horse?s mouth on its gums. The reins connect to the bit, letting the rider tug gently to indicate the need to slow down or make a turn. Although the reins used in English and Western riding may be the same, they're used differently. English riders hold on with both hands, whereas Western riders hold both in just one hand, leaving the other free to high-five passing sheriffs.
With its cozy decor and absence of ominous cages, The Dog Waggin’s welcoming facility gives busy pet owners peace of mind as their pups comfortably socialize and play. The 4,000-square-foot digs house a play room with pooch playground equipment—including slides and tunnels—a relaxing play room—characterized by fluffy pet beds—and a backyard, where dogs can caper about or stretch out and bronze their bods in time for swimsuit season. Pups are free to rest and play as they see fit with their fellow boarders, all under staff supervision during daytime outings and overnight stays. The canine caretakers also offer a number of other services, including walking, in-home sitting, and training from owner and certified dog trainer Lisa Harvey.