Heather Brooks plays with dogs for a living. The results of these puppy-fests can be seen in her portfolio of candid portraits that capture each pooch's unique personality. After honing her photographic craft on human families, Heather decided to launch Pupparazzi, carting her equipment to canines' natural habitats to snap up-close and personal puppy pics in black and white and full color. Heather knows all the tricks of the trade, like eschewing flash for natural light and shooting under a tree for the kind of soft light that brings out a pup's true eye color. Her telephoto lenses and fast shutter settings are able to capture the quick flick of a puppy's tail or the moment before a dog realizes that the Frisbee he's about to catch is actually a miniature UFO. Heather snaps her shutter for cats and other animals, too, and when the flashbulb frenzy comes to a close, pet owners can decorate their homes and bodies with fine-art prints and custom jewelry featuring their furry friend's face.
At A-V.I.P. Pet Resort, founder, avid dog trainer, and breeder Kurt Williams is never far from his canine boarders. That's because he and his family live on the premises. This enables him to supervise animals beyond business hours, and his four children enjoy giving the critters attention when the professional groomers and behaviorists are in hibernation.
During the day, Williams's crew administers prescription medicine at indicated hours and also follows specific diet requests during meal times. His pet guests reside in private suites with plush bedding and television screens. Twice daily, the trainers bring any social dogs into a large outdoor play arena to sniff, socialize, and discuss articles from the morning edition of the squeaky newspaper. Williams maintains a comfortable temperature at all times at the resort, with air conditioning during the summer and heated floors during winter months.
Doggie District Pet Resort treats canines not as pets, but as welcomed guests of its boarding and grooming facility that doubles as an oversized doghouse. A groomer with over 20 years of experience can snip and style canine hair in a calm, spa-like environment. During overnight stays, dogs relax on personal beds and enjoy the comforts of home with their favorite toys or pinup calendars of giant bones. Four-legged friends can roam safely in the 10,000-square-foot outdoor play area, where a closed-circuit camera system that monitors the lot at all times.
Poop Magician's uniformed technicians have scooped canine waste for more than 15 years. Each week, crews scoop grass clean of all waste before hauling their cargo away, taking pains to secure gates and preserve the dignity of lawn-flamingo arrangements. Dogs may be present in yards at the time of cleaning, though customers are welcome to be out attending biweekly wood-whittling classes as per usual.
What makes it great: 14 exhibits that showcase 15 species of sharks and hundreds of other marine species, viewing points such as a shipwreck with nearly 360-degree views, experiences such as a touch pool and underwater tunnel
Staff Size: 25?50 people
Average Duration of Services: 30 Minutes or Less
Parking: Parking lot
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
Pro Tip: Call in advance to schedule due to production filming schedule. Bring your camera and a stroller for kids.
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Meet Brett and Wayde from Tanked.
Tell us about your business in your own words.
At ATM there is never a dull moment. There is always something fishy going on.
When and how did you first develop a passion for your work?
Love of animals.
What is one fun, unusual fact about your business?
Wayde and Brett also love animals besides fish, so we have lots of cool animals that are friendly and like attention. We get lots of visitors and fans that come to visit us from all over the world. If you are lucky, you may even be able to get a picture with your favorite Tanked cast member. We sell T-shirts and you can get them personally autographed.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
[We give] VIP all-access tours of our facility and office with the chance to possibly meet cast members from our television show Tanked on Animal Planet. Please call and schedule ahead for best chance, as they travel a lot to film. We have all kinds of friendly animals that roam ATM: birds, Porky the pig, Tiger the cat, lots of fish, and reptiles. You will hear about how Brett and Wayde started ATM and how they landed a TV show.