There are many businesses that cater to pets, but Redwood Animal Hospital strives to be the only one animals need. Veterinarians Joelle Abrams and Timberly Johnson and their doting staff members—including Isaac the dog, who greets clients up front, and Alex the cat, who roams the clinic freely and helps distract patients during procedures—perform the preventative, surgical, and dental services that owners expect from an animal hospital, then they go a few steps further. The onsite boarding facility lends a private space to dogs and cats when their owners are away, and groomer Cheri shampoos, brushes, and trims fur to bestow clients with fresher-smelling pets. For owners with limited mobility or dogs who don't want to run into their ex-wives, the medical specialists even make house calls.
When a haggard, helpless stray pup wandered into the backyard of Mrs. Carter H. Downing house in 1940, he had no idea he was about to trigger the creation of one of San Francisco's most respected animal hospitals and shelters. After searching fruitlessly for a safe shelter for the dog, the determined Carter Downing took the frightened animal home with her, along with all of the other pets caged up in the local pound. After setting up her own impromptu pet adoption agency, Downing proved to be successful at connecting stray and homeless pets with loving families. More than 65 years later, Pets Unlimited carries on Downing's vision, maintaining a network of foster care, community education programs, and a 24-hour veterinary center. The work of the dedicated staff keeps dogs and cats off the streets and puts them right where they belong⎯in the loving arms of humans and Sesame Street characters.
To support their work, a portion of the proceeds from their top-notch veterinary center goes to support Pets Unlimited's charitable vet care, shelter programs, and adoption services. Doting pet parents can bring in their pets for routine checkups, dental cleanings, and boarding, all the while supporting the noble causes of connecting abandoned cats and dogs with nurturing homes.
Banfield Pet Hospital, open seven days a week, one of the largest general veterinary practices in the country with more than 750 U.S. hospitals, cares for cuddly companions. Just like humans, pets need to be checked and examined so that the veterinarian has the opportunity to help prevent and identify any potential health issues. Pet-owners can relax as the experienced and friendly Harpinder Singh, D.V.M., leaves no floppy ear unturned during a thorough animal examination, culminating in the feline-favorite upside-down drop test.
Husband and wife team and dog enthusiasts Dan and Catarina Callen founded Barka Lounge as a place for dogs to exercise, socialize, and get spruced up comfortably and safely. An indoor, climate-controlled facility, Barka Lounge greets pups with a completely cage-free environment, as well as spacious areas in which to play during daycare and longer stays. Staff remains on duty at all times, and extended weeknight and weekend hours cater to owners with busy schedules.
The timpani beat of hooves drifts across the 120 acres of rolling hills and green flatland at Windmill Ranch. Glimpses of the Livermore Valley sweep out beneath riders as they practice proper equitation technique. The ranch’s owner and head trainer, Irene Lorimer, hails from a family of passionate horse enthusiasts and has herself been riding since age 4. Her illustrious career has included numerous titles as a youngster and training with an international bronze medalist. Today, she oversees all instruction in the disciplines of hunter-jumper and equitation, ensuring that students pick up proper techniques, whether they want to show on the competitive circuit or simply make convincing neighing noises every time they call a daytime radio show.
Rick DuBois left a career in the cutthroat corporate world in favor of his current and more humane profession as the owner and resident "pack leader" at You Luckie Dog! The lifelong pooch aficionado brings more than 20 years of dog expertise—including a stint as a chow-chow breeder and trainer—to his canine daycare, boarding, and grooming spa. "Pretty much whatever a traditional kennel does, we do the opposite," says Rick, who personally groups his tenants into amiable playgroups according to size, temperament, and fastest time swimming the 300-meter dog paddle. The canine resort rejuvenates man’s best stressed friend with physical exercise and socialization, with stays ranging from day-long excursions to overnight boarding. The popular daycare service allows early morning drop-off and pickup as late as 8 p.m., and Rick makes a point of never smacking his customers with dollar-per-minute fees for late pickups. "I know what it's like to have meetings run long while people drone on. I want people to know I'm not trying to nickel-and-dime them."