The owners of Barker Street Gourmet Dog Bakery and Boutique first found they loved helping canines while volunteering at a local animal shelter. That experience led them to create their own nonprofit dog rescue and later a bakery specifically serving their four-legged comrades. At Barker Street, they use only human-grade ingredients, such as real eggs and peanut butter, and eschew the use of preservatives and processed sugars. Veterinarians also approve of the natural recipes on their menu, which includes wheat-free, vegetarian, and vegan treats for dogs with specific needs.
Barker Street's storefront is often filled with the smells of chicken, bacon, banana, or carob wafting from the treats baked fresh there each day. The bakers also build custom dog cakes by sculpting round, square, and bone-shaped desserts into layers of banana-carob chip, apple cinnamon, or carrot ginger. They then coat their cakes in frostings such as cinnamon or peanut butter cream cheese, which can be tinted in nine bright colors. The bakers supply their desserts through pickup or shipping, and they also bring treats to appearances at local pet festivals and pet-related events.
Since 1980, family pets have flocked to Man's Best Friend, where they’re cared for all day and night. After passing a behavior evaluation, doggies can check in for daycare to run and frolic in exercise yards or sit perfectly still to feel the rotation of the Earth. During overnight stays borders sleep in private and climate-controlled kennels and can enjoy grooming sessions such as haircuts and nail trimmings. While pets enjoy their furry companions, their owners can attend training programs to learn how to teach pooches obedience or home-protection skills.
Though Willow Creek Ranch of Tomball is a tranquil pet resort and boarding facility, the calm atmosphere is occasionally shaken up by the sounds of enthusiastic instruction. Rail fences run throughout the private ranch, designating areas for both horses and dogs. Near the central onsite pond, hounds can often be seen leaping off the dock, paddling, and playfully yapping at the mailmen of their daydreams.
Just a bone’s throw from the pond, trainers assist guests with such equine and canine skill sets as grooming, tacking, and riding. Resident behaviorist Amber—who holds a certification from the National K9 School for Dog Trainers—helps students navigate all manner of caring endeavors. For instance, she can help owners as they prepare for the arrival of a new baby or elegantly explain to dogs how to retrieve news stories online.
Sherry Frankel loves horses. An equestrian since childhood, she has taken part in competitions and lessons at many notable American Saddlebred training farms. She passed on her passion to her daughters, Lindsay and Lauren Greenwald, and together they run SGF Winning Ways Farm. Its championship-winning staff teaches every aspect of horseback riding and care from the fundamentals of horseback riding to stallion stud services and jumper training. Additionally, training programs and classes rotate seasonally, with detailed camps in the summer and lessons on how to teach your horse to build snowmen with you in the fall. Members' horses can also be boarded in grass turnout paddocks and 60-foot pens.