Across the street from the Red Bluff Animal Hospital sits a large house surrounded by green lawns and fenced-in outdoor play areas. Inside, Red Bluff Pet Resort’s licensed trainers and behavior therapists see to their tail-wagging and nose-nuzzling guests’ every need with daycare, lodging, grooming, and training. Their dog suites feature large beds and Skype-enabled computer screens so that owners can digitally visit their pets. Alternatively, their multilevel kitty condos allow independent pets to enjoy a relaxing stay without being bothered by dogs or chairmen of neighborhood committees. Their training options range from puppy classes and obedience lessons to one-on-one lodge-and-learn packages for when owners are on vacation.
At Bay Area Equestrian Center, riders can advance from basic lessons all the way up to horse ownership and national-level competition on the Arabian show circuit. They do so under the guidance of Lynn Almond, who founded Friendswood Riding School in 1990 and turned it into BAEC in 1995. A member of the horse community her entire life, Lynn has used her wisdom to vault students to national championships in Western, Hunter, and Sidesaddle riding styles. Today, the center's visitors can learn from Lynn and her team during private and group lessons, which provide more detailed instruction than the riding directions scrawled across the belly of every domesticated horse.
Midtown Veterinary Hospital's Dr. Richard Clive, alongside his wife Janelle and staff of registered vet techs, helps animals live long healthy lives. Inside the hospital, pets can curl up in the sun, which filters through the reception area's large windows, or enjoy such comforts as a padded exam table. Their bipedal counterparts, meanwhile, appreciate cushy, white chairs set on dark hardwood floors, cookies to balance on their noses, and vibrant animal prints that decorate the office.
Owners keep their pets up to date with an array of services, including regular check-ups, vaccinations, and dental exams. They can also rest easy knowing that should pets ever need further treatments, such as digital radiology or surgical services, Midtown's facilities are well prepared with an onsite lab and a heated surgical table that staves off chills as pets get their coats dry-cleaned. The hospital also sports a pharmacy that supplies owners with medications to prevent such maladies as fleas, ticks, and heartworm with next-day prescription filling and an online, home-delivery pharmaceutical service. :m]]
The Pet's Play Palace offers both short- and long-term respite for cats and dogs in an air-conditioned, indoor facility. During daycare sessions, pets trounce through the backyard, which sports two canine-centric areas and one cat-specific space, overseen by pet-care professionals to ensure that the dogs are playing fair games of poker. Pets can shack up in the hotel for longer stays, wherein dogs are treated to bathroom breaks and up to six exercise sessions per day and felines stretch their wings with up to three hours of cage-free playtime per day. On-site groomers anoint fur coats with scrub downs and trims and also brush teeth and trim dogs' nails.
Dedicated to eliminating animal cruelty, abuse, and overpopulation, the Houston Humane Society cares for thousands of homeless animals each year. According to the ASPCA, the average cost of food, supplies, medical care, and training for one cat or dog ranges from $700 to $875 annually. As the Houston Humane Society receives no federal, state, or local funding, it relies completely on donations to provide continued care for its animals.
Laughter and lovable fur companions are undeniable life joys. Score a twofer with today's Groupon, offering a $20 ticket to Canines and Cats Comedy Hour on January 27 at 6:30 p.m. at the Houston Improv Comedy Club and Dinner Theatre (presale tickets are available for $25 until 1/24, after that the tickets are available for $40). The laughfest doubles as a fundraiser for Houston's homeless pets, benefiting HOPE, HPPL, and SNAP. There's a full bar and dinner served at the show for maximum laughter enjoyment. The club also has a two-drink minimum and a mandatory 18% gratuity on your meal.