Orcas Island Trail Rides’ equine adventures lead beginning as well as veteran horsemen through mountainous terrain and old-growth forests in the depths of Orcas Island’s hinterlands. Donning long pants and sensible shoes, riders take in lush woods, verdant pastures, and rocky bluffs while atop one of nine amiable steeds. The South Arch Trail winds around craggy turf, thrilling riders with steep, narrow inclines and dive-bombing squirrels. A popular choice, the South Boundary Trail follows a similarly rugged path, though an extra hour is tacked on to drink in breathtaking views. The Island View trail carts riders to the peak of Mount Pickett, where panoramic bay scenes and photogenic mermen await. For safety, helmets are available on loan free of charge.
Spay and neuter surgeries change the lives of free-roaming cats. For females, it means a lower risk of infections and pregnancy complications; for males, less fighting and fewer health problems. When the Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project started in 1997, the mission was to spay and neuter as many free-roaming cats as possible, helping reduce overpopulation and the need for euthanasia deaths in community shelters.
Today, the organization has expanded its work to include all cats, including those with homes. When a cat arrives for surgery, it also receives a basic health exam, rabies vaccination, and, for free-roaming cats, an ear tip to identify it as spayed or neutered. Since its inception, the Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project has performed the surgery on more than 82,000 cats. The organization collaborates with other like-minded groups and individuals striving to care for animals in a safe, humane environment.
Dorothy Moore, owner of The Dining Dog, indulges canines with her full menu of meals and treats oriented to dogs' particular senses of taste. Tongues lap up doggy cocktails with names such as the Barkarita, and teeth happily crunch into entrees of fresh veggies, turkey loaf, steak, or chicken that have attracted the attention of local press and celebrities alike. Owners can further reward pets or buy their eternal silence with cupcakes in flavors that range from steak and cheese to peanut-butter bacon.
When dog lovers travel, DogVacay keeps their pups out of impersonal kennels and connects them with responsible canine hosts in their city. Instead of awaiting their owner's return in a kennel cage, dogs get the run of the house along with daily walks, challenging games of Scrabble, and playtime with well-socialized animals. Owners can browse thousands of profiles from professional pet-sitters, retired veterinarians, and fellow dog lovers based on location, home size, and family pets. Each host undergoes a five-step vetting process that includes an online application, reference checks, a phone interview, online training, and community reviews. Dog sitters also offer day care, walking, and training, and some claim professional credentials such as training expertise or pet CPR. To ensure peace of mind, DogVacay provides insurance and emergency vet services as well as photo updates of the dog’s stay.
With 18,000 square feet of boarding facilities and 10 park-like spaces for pups to romp in, the Academy of Canine Behavior is a true pet-care destination. Dogs bunk down with the staff of trainers and behaviorists for the signature five-week Board and Train program, during which they learn proper manners, such as how to share toys, greet guests, and do their own taxes. Both boarding and daycare guests frolic in indoor or outdoor dog runs during the day, and cats can daydream about enemy birds in their own exclusive area. Owners can also schedule sessions with the on-site groomer, who has experience with hard-to-handle animals, especially those who insist on doing their own makeup.