The expert instructors at Talisman Farm introduce students to european classical riding techniques such as dressage and show jumping following a curriculum designed by Will Faerber, a decorated show rider who studied extensively in Portugal with dressage master Nuno Oliveira. Faerber's training philosophy focuses on training horse and rider to act as one, showing absolute poise and balance whether they're hurdling a 5-foot fence or trotting through a booby-trapped house. Private lessons in the 5-acre equestrian center focus on the fundamentals of dressage riding and show jumping, beginning with appreciating each horse’s biomechanics so that students can ride them properly. The professional instructors are willing to work one-on-one with students of all skill levels to help them improve their riding skills. The outfit takes the same approach to jumping and vaulting lessons, which are held in the arena and geared toward preparing students for participation in horse shows.
Pets are more than just animals, they’re members of the family. Along with that belief comes a certain attitude that the pet lovers at Shaggy Chic love to indulge. Kelly Petersen, the founder of Shaggy Chic, takes great pride in pampering her pets, though it has sometimes brought her judgment and scrutiny.
But take a look around her salon, and it doesn’t appear that judgmental eyes have affected Kelly one bit. She and her staff lovingly primp pups and other pets with a signature line of paraben-free shampoos, conditioners, detanglers, and fur fresheners, all of which are made in the United States from natural ingredients. In the salon, they groom pets with services that include baths, fur blowouts, nail trims, and ear cleaning. They can also spruce up furry friends with additional services such as teeth brushing, blueberry facials, and pawdicures that include paw-pad massages and nail polish.
Dr. John Ensign's love of animals began at age eight with his best friend Fred, a dog that he bought with his brother for $10. Though a lot has changed since the days of Fred, John's passion for pets hasn't. After veterinary school, the John spent 10 years as Nevada’s representative in the U.S. Senate where he was considered one of the Humane Society’s biggest allies. More recently, he's opened Boca Park Animal Hospital, a 9,000-square-foot medical, grooming, and boarding facility that offers furry patients a loving staff of nurses and the latest technology in veterinary care. The building was renovated from the ground up to include noise-reduction insulation, luxury pet boarding suites, and a 1,600 square foot exercise area with a realistic mailman punching bag. Specialty laser therapy is also available to address wound healing, ear infections, liver disease, infections, and even behavior problems.
The smile on a once-forlorn animal's face when it's united with new owners can't be matched, as the staff of The Animal Foundation knows well. What was once a tiny spay and neuter clinic when it opened in 1978 has grown into an 8-acre campus that shelters and cares for animals without a home. After a careful vetting process, families seeking four-legged companionship can find it here, relieving Dad from his duties of crawling around the house all day. The clinic still offers low-cost spay and neutering services, as well as vaccinations to prevent rabies and other diseases. Click here to see a list of pets, updated every hour, with new dogs, cats, and critters available for adoption. Potential adopters can narrow down the search by gender, age, and size.
Heather Brooks plays with dogs for a living. The results of these puppy-fests can be seen in her portfolio of candid portraits that capture each pooch's unique personality. After honing her photographic craft on human families, Heather decided to launch Pupparazzi, carting her equipment to canines' natural habitats to snap up-close and personal puppy pics in black and white and full color. Heather knows all the tricks of the trade, like eschewing flash for natural light and shooting under a tree for the kind of soft light that brings out a pup's true eye color. Her telephoto lenses and fast shutter settings are able to capture the quick flick of a puppy's tail or the moment before a dog realizes that the Frisbee he's about to catch is actually a miniature UFO. Heather snaps her shutter for cats and other animals, too, and when the flashbulb frenzy comes to a close, pet owners can decorate their homes and bodies with fine-art prints and custom jewelry featuring their furry friend's face.
At A-V.I.P. Pet Resort, founder, avid dog trainer, and breeder Kurt Williams is never far from his canine boarders. That's because he and his family live on the premises. This enables him to supervise animals beyond business hours, and his four children enjoy giving the critters attention when the professional groomers and behaviorists are in hibernation.
During the day, Williams's crew administers prescription medicine at indicated hours and also follows specific diet requests during meal times. His pet guests reside in private suites with plush bedding and television screens. Twice daily, the trainers bring any social dogs into a large outdoor play arena to sniff, socialize, and discuss articles from the morning edition of the squeaky newspaper. Williams maintains a comfortable temperature at all times at the resort, with air conditioning during the summer and heated floors during winter months.