The loving staff at the AAHA- and AVMA-certified Caring Hearts Animal Hospital recognizes that pets are treasured members of the family. At the head of the facility are Drs. Lorie White and Laura Morefield, who oversee a practice equipped with comprehensive medical and surgical facilities. With more than 22 years of veterinary experience each, Drs. White and Morefield treat pets with acupuncture, behavioral medicine, dentistry, and emergency care. To that end, their animal hospital contains a lab and pharmacy, as well as radiology, surgery, examination, grooming, and boarding areas. Trainers also lead puppy and behavior classes, ensuring pups can lead obedient lives and will never eat dessert with a salad fork.
At first glance, Fullwood Animal Hospital might look like a hospital for humans. Only diminutive treatment tables and a row of boarding cages hint that its pristine, professional spaces are actually for healing pets. The hospital boasts all equipment necessary to diagnose and treat animals: an X-ray, ECG machine, a surgical suite with anesthesia. There's even a lab on-site, so some basics parasite and urinalysis tests can undergo analysis quickly.
As his parents' only human child, Dr. James Pressley of Brookdale Animal Hospital says the family pets were like his four-legged siblings. It was this relationship with his furry friends that likely propelled him to become a veterinarian. He and his staff enjoy fostering the same relationship with his clients' animal companions, a dedication that can be felt as soon as they step into the light-flooded reception room of his clinic. From the hallways to the treatment room, this bright atmosphere permeates the space, putting both owners and pets at ease even as they undergo wellness exams, dental procedures, and x-rays.
The staff members at Granbar Kennels care for all dogs' and cats' needs, whether boarding, grooming, or daycare. Certified master groomers bathe and clip fur of pooches of all shapes and sizes, and trainers lead obedience classes. During daycare, dogs may explore the fenced-in play areas and snack on housemade dog biscuits.
Along the main promenade in Sam's Town, a row of lush lawns borders one another, cordoned off from the pavement by a white picket fence lined with potted mums. When a hand pushes open the front door of a gable-roof ranch house or cottage, it's attached not to the body of Donna Reed but to that of a yelping canine, one of the overnight guests staying in each of The Dog Knowledge's miniature homes. When pooches aren't watching G-rated films on flat-screen TVs or lounging beneath ceiling fans in their private or bunk-bed abodes, they can venture out to play in a 2-acre facility or relax in a homey lounge filled with couches, tables, and framed photos of Roosevelt's scottish terrier signing The New Deal into law. The Dog Knowledge also grooms dogs' unkempt coats and chips away at unruly behaviors with one-on-one behavioral training, boot camps, and a therapy dog-training program.
In 2005, Karen McCombs left the corporate world. It was a big decision, but she had a simple reason: "I just decided I wanted to play with dogs," she says. Today, two of her sons work at the original All Wags location in Charlotte, and she and another son have headed out to open All Wags Doggie Daycare and Boarding North in Harrisburg. They've painted the 9,000 square feet of indoor play space with colorful canine murals, but there's also plenty of room outdoors for a dog to play ball, leap into kiddie pools, or plant its owner's flag on the peaks of plastic playground equipment.
The staff takes the time to get to know each dog, from their names to what they like and what they're scared of—and Karen says the dogs are excited to come in and play. She makes sure the staff ratio stays at about 10 dogs to 1 staff member during doggy daycare so that pooches get plenty of attention and exercise. Except for a two-hour rest period, the dogs are out and about the entire time, rather than being cooped up alone at home or made to sit in a cage and nibble listlessly on homework. "It's just a fun, exhausting day for [the dogs]," she says. "They go home and they're very tired." Dogs who are staying the night play with daycare dogs during the day, then retire to 4'x8' kennels with heating and cooling. To make sure everyone's safe, all supervisors are certified in pet first aid by the American Red Cross and have been endorsed by multiple doggy-sniff committees.
For Karen, working with her canine customers has been rewarding, and she knows their human owners appreciate the time she and her staff take to get to know their dogs and individuals. "Everybody's just so happy and ready to see you. It's not like that in the corporate world anymore," she says.
Cooper got a rough start in life. At just three months old, the doberman-hound mix was found on the side of the road, a plastic bag over his head. Thankfully, Cooper's owners rescued him soon after, but his experiences left him with separation anxiety, aggression, and resistance to basic commands. Enter Glenn Shue, owner and lead trainer of Dogtastic Dog Training. Glenn's approach begins by first considering each canine's unique personality, which helps him tailor a training program that combines obedience training with proper socialization. Through one-on-one work with Cooper and his family, Glenn saw the pup through many of his behavioral problems, and he continues rehabilitating Cooper with occasional attention at daycare.
A graduate of Highland Canine Training’s school for dog trainers, Glenn and his team apply his teaching principles in each of their training programs. With an indoor training space at All Wags Doggie Daycare & Boarding, they organize group obedience classes and in-kennel training, as well as puppy training that focuses on building healthy social skills. Services further extend to private in-home training, where instructors teach dogs how to sit, stay, and mix martinis. Glenn's team also specializes in behavior modification for pets with aggression problems.