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.
Goodyear Auto Care's mechanics, certified by the institute for Automotive Service Excellence, slip under car hoods and undercarriages to perform tasks from routine oil changes to intricate engine replacements. Tools let out pneumatic whines as they install new tires from brands such as Michelin and Goodyear, and the complete list of services includes brake adjustments and state inspections. They also pick up and drop off customers by appointment and provide loaner cars when needed. Tow trucks rumble out of the lot en route to get patrons unstuck from ditches or give third graders an idea for their thesis papers.
A charter member of the MLS, the San Jose Earthquakes played their first four seasons as the Clash before claiming the MLS Cup in 2001 and 2003. Though the team moved to Houston in '05, the franchise was reinstated in '08, bringing professional soccer back to the Bay Area. Buck Shaw Stadium serves as the team's current home, though a new stadium will shoot skyward in 2014, complete with luxury suites for fans and exhausted referees alike.
How do you create the largest food-distribution network in the country? Houston Food Bank has done that and more. First, it gathers enough fresh produce and shelf-stable items to create 64 million meals per year. Then, its team reaches out to local non-profit organizations and churches and ensures that food is delivered to more than 900,000 people across 18 counties. And the team cares about more than just filling stomachs?last year, fresh fruits and vegetables made up 35% of the food distributed. This way, Houston Food Bank can make sure people are getting the nutrients they need to maintain good health.
In addition to food distribution, Houston Food Bank sponsors a variety of programs to help individuals achieve self sufficiency. Serving for Success trains former offenders for living-wage jobs while they volunteer with the food bank, while the Social Services Outreach Program makes it easier to apply for SNAP benefits and raises awareness for available social services.
Doctors and nurses at Physicians Weight Loss Centers guide width-whittling in medically supervised weight-loss programs. The programs give clients a jump-start on healthful eating and fitness habits, putting an end to diets composed solely of deep-fried wedding cakes. Diet counselors help clients reinvent their eating habits with the assistance of multivitamins and mineral tablets, which aim to suppress cravings for sugar while boosting metabolism. Vitamin-B12 and Vitamin Cocktail injections seek to increase energy and possible benefits also include strengthened concentration and a more chipper mood.
Some of the more intensive programs include complete doctor's exams, biometrics analyses, lab work, and EKGs. These programs can focus on the reduction of either carbohydrate or fat consumption.
At each of its 31 area locations, the YMCA of Greater Houston pursues a mission to bring health, wellness, and personal growth to communities. Kids leap into activities ranging from swim lessons and youth sports to a teen Youth & Government program that stirs up confidence and leadership abilities in students, preparing them for mudslinging student-council campaigns.
Zumba, ballroom dance, and Les Mills group exercise classes shake up adult workout routines, as complimentary childcare frees up parents to pursue fitness goals. Meanwhile, adult sport leagues such as basketball and racquetball result in friendly competition and hyper-literate team names inspired by obscure philosophers.