4-C Stables hands equine enthusiasts the reins to its team of even-tempered horses for trail rides, camps, and lessons within its expansive facility. Stable owner Stacey, a veterinary technician by training, heads up 4-C's 60-minute horsemanship lessons, which are tailored to each rider's experience and introduce varied aspects of horses and horse care. Students begin with the basics of safety and grooming before matriculating to more advanced equitation topics, such as dismounting and riding in slow motion for dramatic effect. With successful completion of all beginner-level requirements, students can graduate to intermediate studies, where they learn such skills as proper care of the tack, issuing verbal commands, and riding with the correct posture.
The veterinarians and veterinary techs at Texas Coalition for Animal Protection are local pets’ allies. With services that cover neutering, spaying, dental hygiene, and vaccinations, they promote fur-covered family members’ good health and wellbeing. And the professional team of caregivers makes it easy to get pets healthy by offering most preventive medical work all in one place.
Dr. Hany Azer brings a special perspective to his work caring for local pets. In addition to a lifelong love of animals, he graduated from veterinary school in Egypt and now focuses as much on preventive care as he does on helping sick pets of all ages. In fact, his comprehensive care center also includes dental procedures and emergency surgery. Kitten and puppy health packages provide all the exams and vaccinations needed in the first year and boarding gives them a place to stay when their families go on the annual vacation to the house next door.
At Barks and Bubbles, scruffy pooches are transformed into well-groomed pups with an array of specialty grooming services. Clients can use the facility’s amenities for a do-it-yourself wash, or requisition a skilled tech for more complicated services such as a dog haircut, nail clipping, or flea and tick prevention. The store also pampers canines with a large inventory of brand-name and hand-made dog apparel and accessories.
Papa G’s menu of pizza and Italian fare packs more hearty goodness onto each page than Abe Lincoln had money packed into his top hat. Preheat your mouth oven with mozzarella sticks ($3.99 for a half order) before letting it decoct the Big Papa pizza, which is stacked with pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms, ripe olives, onions, and green peppers ($19.99 for a large). For those who would rather choose their own pie toppers, Papa G’s has a list of more than 10 options, which includes zucchini, spinach, anchovies, and Canadian bacon—the bacon that only grows above the border. Classic Italian delights include lasagna ($10.49), eggplant parmesan ($8.99), and fettuccini alfredo ($9.99 with breaded chicken).
The zookeepers and storytellers at Tiny Tails to You! travel from town to town to organize pop-up petting zoos four days a week, and lease out hands-on learning experiences for festivals, summer camps, and private parties. What beasts turn up at these parties is up to the customer, who might arrange for anything from an avalanche of fluffy bunnies and baby birds to an encampment of chinchillas, hedgehogs, leopard geckos, and tortoises. The staff's love for animals extends beyond informative show-and-tells—head zookeeper Ed Bradfield offers pet-sitting services for dogs, cats, exotic pets, and house-trained rocks, and the zookeepers are nearly always offering baby bunnies for adoption.