The sky is overcast, and an instructor stands off to the side of the riding area with a camera in hand. Chance, a leather-brown horse, stands poised, ready to jump over an x-rail. Moments later, Chance gallops toward the hurdle, throwing its front legs into the air and gracefully arcing over the lofty obstacle.
This is just another day at Aspire Equestrian, where passionate trainers lead private and group riding lessons for students of all ages and levels of expertise. With a community-like feel, the instructors at Aspire hope students riders gain a comfortable atmosphere to learn and enjoy their new skills. The equine enthusiasts also board horses and lease select animals to people who want to hit the trails on their own or secure better lawn seats at the next outdoor music festival.
Glynis Dewing and her fellow caretakers at Lucky Pawz Pet Services look after clients' best nonhuman friends with services that include walking, in-home visits, pet-sitting, taxiing, and helping pets finish their first novels. Their quality of care has kept Lucky Pawz in good standing with Pet Sitters International.
Fluff and Puff Dog Wash mirrors a human spa in that it strives to pamper, not merely clean, its clients. Groomers consult with owners before they brandish scissors, designing custom haircuts for each animal. Staff members also double as cleanup crews at self-service tubs. After owners bathe their dogs with specialized shampoos for puppies, parasite prevention, and dogs with dry skin, the cleaners sop up residual grime. When owners are too busy to clean their own pups, these crews intervene with pickup and drop-off services. During daycare visits, supervisors stand by as dogs cavort through an indoor playground, rescue children from local wells, or recline on couches in front of dog-oriented movies.
Combining personal training with play-care, The Grateful Dog caters to canines with an active and stimulating schedule plus a 1:6 handler-to-dog ratio. Over the course of each 12-hour play-care session, day-tripping doggies will enjoy two to three walks, including jaunts to breezy Fort Mason, as well as one-on-one time with a trainer and play time with a handler. The Grateful Dog also pampers pups with organic treats, filtered water, and mini massages before letting them loose to run in circles and bark at invisible aliens free of guilt or any sense of propriety.
With up to 1,100 square feet of outdoor space, private suites, and splash pools, Wag Hotels would be a swanky destination for any human. But as much as they might want to?and as much press as they might have read about the hotels?bipeds aren't welcome to spend the night at either of the hotel's locations. Instead, cats and dogs rule the roost at these luxury pet resorts.
All locations are open 24/7 and offer more than 10,000 square feet of indoor playrooms where pups romp around. Spacious boarding rooms with flat screen TVs await canines spending the night while two-level kitty condos keep cats entertained with built-in exotic fish tanks. And for top dogs, Wags offers Ultra suites outfitted with raised Queen beds and in-room aromatherapy dispensed by employees. Animals can even indulge in the hotel's spa, which offers such grooming services as oatmeal shampoos and pet tattoos.
To ensure each four-legged guest's visit is comfortable, Wag's team employs the Wag Care 360 approach. This approach includes sanitizing the facility regularly and allowing owners to check in on their pets via the hotel's web cams. Wag also provides dog training courses.
Dog boarding without kennels. It may seem like a curious proposition, but the family-run team behind Citipets, run their center based on the philosophy that dogs function best when they're part of a pack?overnights included. Further, the duo believes kennels cause anxiety and provide dogs no comfort from nightmares about cars chasing them. Instead, dogs bunk down in communal sleeping rooms where classical music eases them to sleep.
That's just one way Citipets provides special care for each furry visitor. At daycare, dogs are separated into groups by size and temperament during their full day of play. In the 5,000-square-foot outdoor area, they wrestle on artificial turf and play with one other and the dedicated staff. Indoors, they take over 9,000 square feet, with plenty of nooks for tired dogs to recharge with a nap or curl up with War and Peace.