For all their ubiquity, chain restaurants seldom embody the same character and culture as their independently owned counterparts. That’s where Arizona Food Tours comes in. With their signature A Taste of Old Town Scottsdale tour, the company introduces visitors to the idiosyncrasies and food of the desert burg, from classic western grub to the local wine bars that pour cabernet and red zinfandel for diners and thirsty cacti.
The two-woman team of Michel Herstam and Heather Allen started HALO (Helping Animals Live On) Animal Rescue out of their homes in 1994 to provide temporary shelter for abandoned cats and dogs until they were adopted. Today, out of the basement and into its own adoption center, HALO’s mission is twofold: it aims to rescue animals at risk of being euthanized in shelters and works to create a better welfare system for the 100,000 cats and dogs that enter Maricopa County shelters every year. Each animal in the organization’s care receives a complete medical examination and treatments, and no animal is euthanized for being unable to find a home. Online bios highlight animals for potential adopters, focusing on how each animal will fit into an individual's home, family, and lifestyle in order to foster a lifelong match. In 2011, HALO placed more than 3,520 cats and dogs in loving homes.
Declared the veterinary healthcare team of the year in 2009 by the Arizona Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. Teri Wiblin and her staff at Faust Animal Hospital tend to dogs and cats with medical and surgical services, boarding, daycare, and an in-house pharmacy. Their medical expertise covers wound repair and orthopedic surgery as well as dental care and wellness exams. Boarding dogs enjoy private accommodations filled with toys and blankets from home, while cats inhabit kitty condos complete with perches for jumping and windows for witnessing everyday situations to talk about in their observational comedy routines.
Preppy Pet is like a five-star spa and resort for pets of all stripes. Dogs, cats, and birds luxuriate under a slew of services, including grooming for pups complete with manicures, conditioning treatments to keep coats sleek, and spa-style baths. When they're not relaxing at the hands of the pet aestheticians, dogs take to romping in the climate-controlled indoor playgrounds—dubbed the Yacht Club, Country Club, and Racquet Club—with similar-sized compadres. For longer stays, pets can hunker down in private suites with their own TVs and snacks, all the while breathing in fresh oxygen pumped in by the air purification systems.
Humans aren't left out of the bargain. For grooming services, Preppy Pets lets guests drop of dogs at the start of the work day and retrieve them after, giving owners a chance to knock out some errands or visit their second pet family. They can even check up on their dogs remotely with the Puppy Pet Cam.
Water ripples in a bright blue kiddie pool flanked by green patio chairs. The warm day is ripe for sun-filled frolicking, and the four-legged clientele at Arizona Pet Resort are only too eager to take part. They splash in the pool, lounge in chairs, and practice the age-old trick of “Was that the doorbell?” Afterward, pups settle in for a nap and frosty treat before being reunited with their owners. But doggy day camp is only one part of the full-service resort, which includes a veterinary hospital and boarding kennel.
Two on-staff veterinarians, Dr. Andrew Coonce and Dr. Ray Gniadek,, keep pets healthy with regular exams, vaccinations, and dental services. Additionally, the resort houses 50 canine suites and oversized cat condos, complete with shelving and a blanket, to keep pets safe and content.