Dogs tussle over a rope during daycare at The Perfect Pooch while staff members look on, reluctant to pull them from play so they can go home. After tying a bow or bandana around each pup—a keepsake given to every visitor—they pick up the toys and ready dinner for their overnight boarders.
In the pumpkin-colored salon, senior groomers with more than 15 years of experience gently stencil designs and weave feathers into coats. Although the decor is utilitarian (there's no pretense that dogs need satin to live as humans do), groomers include a free conditioning treatment with every wash.
Twenty years ago, Dr. Billy Scott graduated from the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine and established his own private practice. During his time there, he became increasingly interested in veterinary dentistry, so he undertook hundreds of hours of training with board-certified practitioners. Now he operates The Family Vet, where he performs both medical and dental services for cats and dogs. In the full-service wellness center, Dr. Scott administers a range of vaccinations, tests for allergies, and maintains health with annual examinations. Outpatient surgical services begin with pre-anesthetic blood testing to ensure animals can safely accept anesthesia and generally end with absorbable sutures that, like stain-proof pants, do not require removal. Dental services include preventative cleanings and radiology as well as root canals, oral surgery, and orthodontic treatments.
Because bathing a dog at home can result in scratched bathtubs, clogged drains, and wet sofa cushions, Puppy Suds has set up a shop designed to eliminate all the hassle. At the grooming facility, pet owners walk their dogs into the self-washing bays before giving them gentle scrub downs. Shampoo, towels, brushes, and dryers are provided, along with knee-high mirrors that allow pets to admire their new looks.
Ashley Simmons has teased the locks and sculpted the toenails of canines from across the breed spectrum, from playful little terriers to stately black labradors. The seasoned specialist operates out of a tidy grooming parlor where she treats her canine clients to deep-cleansing baths, manicures, and stylish haircuts. She also administers a variety of luxurious spa-style treatments, including massages, facial scrubs, and oatmeal baths. To combat itchy fleas, the expert technician sprays dogs with a soothing formula and applies a powerful shampoo before coaxing out any remaining pests with a magical wooden flute.
As the head trainer at Raintree Equestrian Center—and in previous roles—Shannyn Welsh has worked in riding disciplines including Western pleasure, hunter/jumper, and barrel racing with horse breeds ranging from all types of top-bred warmbloods to arabians, andalusians, and tennessee walkers. Equestrians from all over the country and from Europe trust Shannyn’s experience so much that they routinely send her their own horses to help with problem solving, preparation, and training. Students of all riding levels also seek out Shannyn’s expertise to improve their skills. While practicing within the 60-foot round pen or the 100’x200’ lighted arena, or experimenting with a Fosbury flop on the full-jump course, students learn to exhibit the hallmarks of good riding technique, including center balance, soft hands, and firm legs.