When Allison Raymunt’s corporate job restructured and her position was eliminated, she relied on the faithful support of her boston terrier, Abby. Her time away from the office allowed her to reflect on what was really important to her, which resulted in the formation of Al's Pals Pet Care. At Al’s Pals, she cares for pets with a variety of services that range from basic dog walks to pet taxiing and medication administration. Fully bonded and insured, Allison inquires about the pet’s dietary needs and habits even before her visits, which also include services such as playtime, feeding, and potty breaks.
Outfitted with spas and treadmills, Pooch Hotels are nearly the same as human accommodations, with one key difference: your dog might get a tummy-rub with their turndown service. These venues were all designed by dog-lovers whose main priority was canine comfort, regardless of the length of each guest's stay.
Dogs on daycare visits, for example, are sorted by size and temperament before entering one of multiple play areas. Monitored by human "Pack Leaders," they socialize amidst toys, treats, and wading pools at select locations, or run outside if the weather and facilities permit. Those who have booked a room for the night can relax in a private suite, outfitted with a glass door rather than bars. These range from standard to presidential and even palace suites?rooms outfitted with luxury bedding and flat-screen televisions tuned to dog-friendly programming. Customers might also schedule a spa appointment for their pooch, choosing from services such as baths, "pawdicures," and even facials.
The hotels pursue peace of mind for owners as actively as they pamper their dogs. Certain locations have installed web cameras in the play areas and suites, enabling people to check in on their pets and guilt them about the time they napped instead of writing a postcard. Staff remain on-hand at all times to welcome newcomers and care for already-snoozing pups.
Guests at Summit Farm are greeted by a bucolic country scene: horses trot along in open fields, birds dart in and out of thickly wooded ridges, and a farm cat basks lazily in a sunny flowerbed with a belly full of field mice. The privately owned equestrian facility buzzes with activity. As a full-service stable, the farm offers lessons, boarding, showing, and party services while still leaving enough time to fit leisurely trail rides into the daily schedule. Summit Farm's 21-stall barn offers both a hot and cold wash stall and a heated office and tack room. Their indoor ring features a fully enclosed heated viewing area with coffee and other beverages for spectators, and a 130'x230' outdoor ring is also available.
Dedicated trainers expose their horses to a variety of disciplines, enabling them to accommodate many different riding styles and students, and occasionally enter steeds in local hunter paces and AA circuit competitions. The instructors also lead summer riding camps that help beginners acclimate with grooming, tacking, and riding activities. Jeans or long riding pants are required for all riders, along with riding boots and hair ties for kids with shoulder-length beards.
With three individual chains in its family of stores?Pet Valu, Paulmac's Pet Food, and Bosley's?scattered across Canada and the northeastern United States, Pet Valu claims the title as the largest pet-supply retailer in North America. Inside its well-stocked outlets are more than 7,000 products for dogs, cats, fish, reptiles, birds, and other animals. These include specialty items that range from grain-free dog food and multilevel bird cages to hamster balls that resemble helicopters and neon-colored shells so your hermit crab can achieve success in the online-dating world. Some locations are furnished with grooming facilities where professionals pamper dogs with shampoos, nail trims, and other perks, along with self-serve stations let owners wash their own pets. Stores also partner with local shelters to host regular adoption events.
Hounds Town USA’s friendly staff coddles pups, ushering them to peaceful, private boarding rooms to rest up for days spent cavorting with peers in the expansive doggie play area. Rovers spend the day romping with their fellow canine campers, with playtime bookended by a hearty morning and afternoon feast of Nutro dog food presented in stainless-steel dishes or on the back of a interning cat. When the capering concludes, pups make their way to their private abodes to get a good night’s sleep atop orthopedic, chew-proof bedding. Owners can outfit dogs with a pack containing their own food, bedding, and toys if desired, allowing pups to revel in the sights and scents of home more effectively than scrapbooking their favorite bones.
Founded by American Mountain Guides Association–certified instructor Matt Shove, Ragged Mountain Guides teaches its climbing pupils the techniques and tools needed to scale the natural terrain of the Traprock region. Rock-climbing adventures illuminate how to handle rope and repel down mountain cliffs even when their escalators are broken. As seasonal temperatures drop, guides turn their attention to ice and alpine climbing, which challenges mountaineers to swing their axe and scale vertical ice. Students master increasingly advanced techniques until they can tackle cliffs on their own, and the most dedicated climbers can enroll in guide-certification programs. Matt Shove's expertise has also been tapped by organizations such as the U.S. Coast Guard, and he regularly repels into the offices of Climberism magazine to contribute articles.