The scene is a familiar one: hotel guests lounge beside the outdoor pool as staff members filter around, offering refreshments or collecting clients for a spa treatment. However, at Pet Paradise, the pool is bone shaped and all the guests are dogs. This luxurious scene is one cat and dog owners can find at this boarding and daycare facility that has been owner Fred Goldsmith's pride and joy for a decade. The animal lover was inspired to start his own pet hotel when he simply couldn’t find a place he was comfortable leaving his bichon frise when he went on vacation.
Fred made Pet Paradise to his exact specifications, and the pet hotel's amenities reflect the loving care he lavishes on his own beloved pup. Dogs and cats can luxuriate in spa-quality grooming treatments or burn off some energy during group playtime. In the evening, pets can settle into plush bedding and feel safe knowing that the dedicated live-in staff resides just a bark away. Nocturnal kitties spend the night exploring their own private six-level cat condos while gentle spa music fills the air to keep them entertained. In case of any emergencies, Pet Paradise keeps veterinarians on-call, and in the event of a snack emergency, each staff member is a certified bacon cook.
It?s important to take good care of your pet?after all, it?s the product of millennia of domestication. Read on to learn more about how once-wild animals found a place in our homes.
If you raised a siberian husky pup and a wolf cub side-by-side, giving each one the same food, training, and number of belly scratches, you would still wind up with one tame creature and one wild one. So why the difference? Though both creatures are technically the same species Canis lupus and share virtually the same DNA, only the husky's genes are programmed for domestication. The traits we associate with domestication?such as friendliness, calmness, and even floppy ears?have all been selected by humans and passed down from one generation of huskies to the next. In simpler terms: nature created the wolf; we bred the husky.
An example of the domestication process can be seen in a famous Russian experiment using arctic foxes. Beginning in 1958, scientists took an assortment of wild foxes and selected only the few that showed a specific trait?friendliness towards humans. They allowed those foxes to breed then selected only the friendliest of that litter, and so on and so on. After only a few generations, the foxes began to exhibit behaviors never found in their wild ancestors, such as whining and tail wagging. What's more, the domesticated foxes took on new appearances, sporting more juvenile features and spotted fur. Though the strange new foxes might have been considered a new species, they?like dogs to wolves?were just a domesticated version of the same wild foxes.
Although dogs have been domesticated for roughly 33,000 years and cats for 12,000, no one is quite sure how either species came to be domesticated. One of the most popular theories is that only the least aggressive animals were permitted to hang around early human settlements, and over time, humans began breeding the friendliest of the bunch. The advantages were clear: dogs aided in hunting, while cats kept food stores free of rodents and protected the villages from laser pointers.
The Arizona Humane Society has provided shelter and rehabilitation to homeless and abandoned animals since 1957, watching over more than 46,000 dogs, cats, and smaller critters every year as they await new homes. After proving their eligibility for adoption and consulting with the shelter staff, new owners can choose a companion from any of the pets prowling the menagerie, from puppies and kittens up to 9 months old to adult dogs and cats. Rabbits and ferrets also scurry about, searching for farmers' carrots carelessly planted in an animal shelter. For current owners, the society provides low-cost spaying and neutering services as a public service, as well as education and outreach programs to promote compassion and ensure a safe home for all creatures.
Tails wag and floppy ears flutter as dogs chase toys in the 10,000-square-foot outdoor play area at Doggie District. Free from cages, these pups enjoy the open space all day while their owners work, vacation, or spend the day shopping for cats. In inclement weather, the play moves indoors into a climate-controlled area, which also boasts toys, wading pools, and play gyms. CPR- and first aid–trained staff members keep a watchful eye on their guests 24 hours a day with the aid of closed circuit cameras. Overnight guests bunk in private rooms spacious enough for them to share with their siblings or squirrel hostages. Doggie District also sponsors rescue animals, helping to match pups in need with a human home.
Dog trainer Yoni Kachlon knows that for some dogs and their owners, even watching marathons of Dog Whisperer together still can't resolve behavior or aggression issues. In 2012, Yoni traveled to Santa Clarita, California to take his dog-training education to the next level. There he learned advanced techniques from the world-famous Dog Whisperer himself, Cesar Millan.
At his business, Balancing Paws Dog Care, Yoni continues to pursue his passions for rescuing and caring for dogs, and training people to properly care for their animals. Balancing Paws also houses dogs that were rescued from local shelters, and rehabilitates them so they can be matched with a permanent home.
"Lots of TLC and cuddles" isn't usually included in a house call, but it's a must when one of the Mutt Moms pays a visit. That's because they're not caring for humans, but their pets. Lifelong animal lovers Karen and Kate keep an eye on cats, dogs, and other furry friends while owners are away. From refreshing their water bowl to playing games with them, the pet sitters handle animals' every need, and even perform some extra duties such as bringing in the mail or taking out the trash. In addition to pet sitting, the staff also picks up dog waste and will house sit.