Featherbrook Farm's head trainer and instructor Lisa Avaloz draws upon a lifetime of equine experience and an international network of colleagues. The farm fosters interspecies cooperation through lessons, camps, and birthday parties. Riding lessons instill in young riders the importance of grooming, form, and confidence, rewarding proper handling skills with positive reinforcement. Beginning students start on a lunge line to improve their positioning, strengthen their seat, and gain a feel for their horse. Safety remains of utmost importance throughout the lesson. All students must wear helmets while riding and avoid giving horses celebratory piggyback rides after completing a session.
Featherbrook Farm conducts weekly camps from June to August for 6–14 youngsters at a time. Campers ride twice each day and establish a solid foundation of horsemanship through grooming, first aid, and studying horse anatomy. In addition to education, fun and excitement abound as children play games and make crafts with new friends.
Ollu's long list of services has something to primp and pamper every pup. Owners can choose to bathe their own pup with all supplies and cleanup provided ($15 for dogs less than 10 lbs, $20 for dogs 11 to 90 lbs, and $25 for dogs more than 90 lbs). Boasting waist-high stainless-steel tubs and a variety of eco-friendly supplies, the grooming center aims to deliver an effortless washing environment for you to clean your pet. Or tail waggers can be passed off, by appointment, to Ollu's friendly cleansing pros for a full-service bath and brush that includes nail trimming, ear cleaning, and optional fashionable bandana accessorizing (dogs less than 10 lbs cost $30, dogs weighing more than 10 lbs start at $40). Full-service grooming with breed-specific haircuts and specialty add-ons such as a de-shedding treatment are also available.
Though it advertises itself as the largest no-kill shelter in the Twin Cities, Animal Ark’s homey facility seems more like a relaxing retreat for the more than 1,000 homeless cats, dogs, and rabbits that come through its doors each year. Cats bask in sunlight within feline apartments as dogs lounge atop soft raised beds in their own spacious kennels, sinking teeth into chew toys and treats. Of course, time at Animal Ark isn't all leisure. Canines awaiting their forever homes stretch their legs across a large outdoor play yard, aptly named the Ark Park, where ample trees and greenery mix with park benches where dogs can train their human friends to sit.
Potential owners can also get to know adoptable pets online. The website posts a first-person profile of each available animal that lists its breed, personality, and master’s degrees.
In a facility with 14,000 square feet of romping room, Dog Days' trained staff monitors fun, friendly play among pooches. In addition to grooming and training pups, the staff also oversees daycare quarters comprised of climate-controlled indoor areas and an outdoor playground ringed with secured fencing. Canines undergo testing for temperament and vocabulary before being divvied up into separate groups according to size. Once at play, they share Kong toys, tennis balls, and colorful playground equipment.
After recreation eats up waking hours, boarded pooches snuggle into comfy suites named for European and tropical getaway locales. Each room has a cozy bed that's cleaned regularly. Staffers also wipe down toys, play equipment, and bowls every night with cleaning solution to ensure a safe, healthy environment for their four-legged guests.