Led by veterinarian Rodney M. Robards and the seasoned staff of Southern Hills Veterinary Hospital attends to the health and vitality of pets with a litter of medical and dental services. Vets analyze pets' health with physical examinations and ward off future maladies with vital vaccines. The veterinary team also cures intensive ailments with traditional and laser surgeries, from biopsies and orthopedics to standard spays and neutering, whose presurgical screenings ensure pets emerge safe, healthy, and—like a barnyard's mule monarch—guaranteed not to produce any successors. Southern Hills also boards pets overnight, inviting pups to romp in an outdoor exercise yard or a climate-controlled indoor run during their stay, and granting cats their privacy in a separate feline-only area.
During her many years as a pet groomer, Tina Bebee witnessed grooming methods that filled her with dismay. In 1991, she decided to open her own grooming shop, naming it in a way that made its specialty clear. From a basic nail trim to a full bath with shedding treatment, each session is performed by caring mane tamers, and Gentle Pet Grooming's managers oversee and check the work of all groomers-in-training. When possible, dogs are paired with the same groomer at each visit to establish a loving bond and make the experience more pleasant for tender-headed mutts.
With a veterinarian, groomer, and even an animal-portrait artist on staff—and an onsite boarding facility—The Posh Pup serves as a one-stop shop for canine needs. Groomers use natural shampoos and Furminator brushes to clean and de-shed pups. Dr. Andrea Harl handles vaccinations, blood work, and prescriptions to keep pets healthy.
Thanks to parents who encouraged a love of animals, Leslie Rosales woke up every morning to a chorus of whinnying horses, yapping dogs, mewing cats, and squawking chickens. Trimming the long locks of her stepmother's brood of cocker spaniels, Leslie quickly picked up grooming and animal-whispering skills. Over the course of a lengthy career as a vet tech, she grew fed up with what she considered poor treatment of pets, so she started her own grooming shop with a bankroll of just $400.
Years later, Leslie sold that shop and attempted to retire, but her clients prodded her to return to her beloved profession. Now, she can gaze across Pawcasso's Academy of Animal Arts’ open floor plan, which also allows pet owners to see firsthand what happens during grooming sessions. First-time sessions take a bit longer, Leslie warns, because she monitors the dog's reaction to each new touch. She clips a nail or two at a time or allows the scissors to lop off a few curls of hair around one ear, before stepping back to reward the dog with praise and love. The process eases pooches into the session and test’s each animal’s mood, much the way one dips a toe into a chocolate fountain to make sure it's warm enough to jump into.
Leslie expertly eradicates plaque and tartar from doggies' biters with a method free from anesthesia, and she whips up baked goods to help dogs celebrate birthdays or achievements in housebreaking. She also makes fresh food for dogs allergic to the standard canine diet of commercial pet kibble and mailman tears. The salon's Poop Patrol travels to clients' homes to clear outdoor areas, delivering food if desired and leaving a gift of home-baked goodies for Fido.
Kevin McCorkle, KJM Equestrian's owner, keeps his 45,000-square-foot outdoor riding ring level, ready for students of any skill level. Of course, the dirt has been packed down by 42 years worth of the passage of horse and rider, so maintaining its surface and jumps might not be quite the challenge that it initially sounds. Over the decades, Kevin focused on introducing top-notch amenities like the outdoor riding rink to his school, including two 20-stall barns with 12-foot-wide center aisles, wash stalls with hot and cold water, and a 14,580-square-foot indoor riding rink. He even added floodlights to his outdoor corral, equipping his facility to fend off both weather and darkness so the lessons can continue.
He and his cadre of instructors take on any student of any skill level, ages 7 and older. Trainers each possess their own field of expertise, together having knowledge in the whole sport of horsemanship. More importantly, Kevin says, "Each instructor has over 20 years of experience in the equestrian field, including the show ring." The staff of veterans encourages the bond between animal and rider, and trains the duos to pursue the highest levels of competition or merely take turns carrying one another to and from work.