The Dude Ranch Pet Resort’s “next-generation facility” is the culmination of five years of research and consulting with pet-care professionals and dog owners. Situated on 47 acres of picturesque landscape—including fields, lakes, and forests—the resort eschews cinder blocks and chain-link fences for climate-controlled, stainless-steel villas that won’t attract mold or bacteria. At daycare, charges romp across 15,000 square feet of outdoor play yards that feature double trapdoors. Overnight guests bunk on platform beds in private suites or deluxe villas, surrounded by soothing background music and continuously filtered air. Cats, too, are welcome to rest in their own exclusive area replete with nail scratchers and catnip toys. While pets snooze, the staff remains on duty, walking the halls to ensure dogs are safe and not staying up too late telling ghost stories. The resort also offers grooming sessions and training classes that range from basic obedience to dog-show skills.
While away on vacation, pet owners imagine their four-legged charges wagging their tails contentedly when they are under the care of Paws and Claws Pet Services. The owner-operator draws from 30 years of animal experience when tailoring pet-sitting services to clients’ needs. Besides fulfilling basic pet needs such as food, water, exercise, and allowing them time to watch Face the Nation, sitters bathe pets, escort them to the vet or groomer, and clean up waste in the yard or litter box. They also turn lights on and off and collect mail to give the impression that someone is home. In line with their commitment to animal welfare, the staff donates 5% of the company's income to the Richmond Animal League for homeless dogs and cats.
After she studied the art of pet styling with International Professional Groomers, Inc., Kathi Johnson spent the next 20 years training, grooming, and showing canine champions on the national circuit. After amassing more ribbons than she could fit in one doghouse, she opened Blue Ribbon Pet Styling. There, Kathi continues to make pooches prim and proper, specializing in hairdos for Marquis Standard Poodles.
Upon entering Petite Pet Inn & Spa, guests can't help but think, "These dogs think they're people!" as the staff lavishes pups with full manicures and relaxing hydromassages. When owners drop off their furry friends, they can rest assured that they are enjoying a resort experience, whether they're staying for the day or overnight. Only dogs on the smaller side of the canine spectrum are allowed inside this posh yet homey environment, which the staffers scour with a chemical-free, hypoallergenic cleaning process imported from Milan, Italy. The lounge is packed with comfortable chairs and an antique piano, where dogs can watch staffers tickle the ivories and then jealously growl at the ivories. In the spa's spacious, fenced-in backyard, tail waggers can caper about during supervised play sessions, chewing toys and racing through an accordion-like tunnel.
After pooches play, groomers set to work cleansing coats before drying them with Snyder pet dryers, which evaporate water with a stress-reducing warm breeze. In addition to play time and pampering, canines can head to the spa for obedience training and socialization immersion, developing good manners for playing at the park or attending the next charity gala.
The Richmond SPCA unites cats and dogs with loving human companions through a variety of services, including adoption efforts that place more than 3,500 pets every year. The organization transfers pets from municipal agencies where they may otherwise be euthanized and gives them medical treatments, and they also take on pets from owners who can no longer care for them. Additionally, to lessen the strain on already overcrowded shelters and keep pets in loving homes, the organization provides a Pet Pantry with food assistance, a full-service affordable veterinary clinic, and behavior-training resources for owners struggling to maintain a healthy lifestyle for their pets. Other services include school and summer programs that teach youth how to properly care for a furry friend, as well as Paws for Health, which arranges pet visits for people in isolating environments such as hospitals and nursing homes, and Seniors for Seniors, which pairs people with older companion animals.
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