The Dude Ranch Pet Resort’s “next-generation facility” is the culmination of five years of research and consulting with pet-care professionals and dog owners. Situated on 47 acres of picturesque landscape—including fields, lakes, and forests—the resort eschews cinder blocks and chain-link fences for climate-controlled, stainless-steel villas that won’t attract mold or bacteria. At daycare, charges romp across 15,000 square feet of outdoor play yards that feature double trapdoors. Overnight guests bunk on platform beds in private suites or deluxe villas, surrounded by soothing background music and continuously filtered air. Cats, too, are welcome to rest in their own exclusive area replete with nail scratchers and catnip toys. While pets snooze, the staff remains on duty, walking the halls to ensure dogs are safe and not staying up too late telling ghost stories. The resort also offers grooming sessions and training classes that range from basic obedience to dog-show skills.
While away on vacation, pet owners imagine their four-legged charges wagging their tails contentedly when they are under the care of Paws and Claws Pet Services. The owner-operator draws from 30 years of animal experience when tailoring pet-sitting services to clients’ needs. Besides fulfilling basic pet needs such as food, water, exercise, and allowing them time to watch Face the Nation, sitters bathe pets, escort them to the vet or groomer, and clean up waste in the yard or litter box. They also turn lights on and off and collect mail to give the impression that someone is home. In line with their commitment to animal welfare, the staff donates 5% of the company's income to the Richmond Animal League for homeless dogs and cats.
No matter how young or green the equestrians, the instructors at Colchester Equines can shape them into seasoned riders. Their horseback-riding lessons kick off with a 90-minute intro for beginners, which teaches the basics of whatever style the student prefers: hunter/jumper, English, or Western. After they feel more comfortable, they can taken a guided trail ride at nearby Lake Anna State Park.
Horse racing has been apart of the Rust family for centuries. The family celebrates their lineage at White Horse Auto Wash with an equestrian theme that is present throughout their whole establishment, from the White Horse name—an homage to the legend of the Shenandoah River fishing rock—to the horse-racing terms used to describe each car-wash package. But despite the richness of the Rust family history, it is their modern approach to cleaning cars that garners the most attention.
Below concrete floors, thousands of gallons of recycled water churns through White Horse's reclamation system, sending it to the surface through low-flow nozzles to cleanse vehicles. To complement this eco-friendly system, White Horse's team give each car, truck, and SUV a glossy shine using biodegradable products, from a triple-foam polish to Rain-X and a carnauba-based wax applied with an orbital buffer.