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.
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.
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.
Roaring Brook Kennels is an amenity-laden vacation home for worldly pups and travel-happy cats. Board a furry family member in one of its safe, climate-controlled animal abodes, which separate cats and dogs and provide sleepy pets with a supply of beds and blankets. The cattery is home to multiple kitty condos that are temperature controlled and soundproof, so as not to incur the wrath of the hissing, bristling condo-association president. The regular cost for boarding dogs is based on weight and costs $22–$27/night. Feline boarding costs $17–$23/night, depending on suite size.
Nestled among 151 private acres, Larkspur Farm’s 36-horse facility sets the spacious stage for education in the equine pursuits of hunting, jumping, and dressage under the tutelage of specialized trainers. All lessons take place year-round on the farm’s all-weather outdoor lesson ring or inside the 80’x120’ arena. Beginners establish riding skills by starting with one-on-one lessons that instill such fundamentals as mounting the horse, trotting, and applying enough gel to give your steed a mane mohawk. As riders advance, they matriculate to small group lessons of up to four riders that last one hour and cover more advanced techniques.
Larkspur Farm offers boarding facilities for privately owned horses, summer camp for boys and girls aged 7–14, and a sales and leasing program for horses and ponies.