By Lee Rennick
People have been spoiling their pets as long as animals became domesticated. There are traces of pet devotion as far back as ancient Roman times. And we all know how much the Egyptians loved their cats. But it is royalty and luminaries who have provided their beloved dogs, cats, horses and other assorted animal companions with over the top luxuries.
Caligula, the crazy Roman Emperor, had a pet horse named Incitatus whom he had decked with jeweled necklaces, had live in a marble stable, and had his food laced with gold leaf.
In 1825, the Marquis of Layfette visited the White House and brought his pet alligator with him. He even chose the room where his pet was to sleep. A bathroom, of course, in a bathtub.
Trouble, the Maltese belonging to the late hotel heiress Leona Helmsley, inherited $12 million upon the death of her owner. Until Trouble’s recent demise, she enjoyed the ultimate in grooming at $8,000 a year, and had her own bodyguard.
Locally there are a number of companies who wish to continue the tradition of pet pampering. Here are a few who know how to care for beloved pets.
Safari Pet Resort
Safari Pet Resort, located behind a gate that puts one in mind of Jurassic Park, is tucked away among the trees off Lascassas Highway. They have recently added a layer of luxury for the discriminating dog. Their brand-new, all inclusive private Garden Suites offer views of a tropical waterfall and palm trees, with the relaxing sound of tropical birds, and at night the ceiling twinkles like a star-filled sky on a warm, lazy evening in paradise.
Dogs booked into a Garden Room will enjoy a private room with a padded fleece mattress, special gourmet holistic food, yummy treats, and individual “potty walks” throughout the day. They will also experience a full day of activities including swim time in the saltwater pool during the summer months, as well as an afternoon stroll, and a bedtime massage. Before being picked up by their owners, the pampered pooch enjoying this decadent package will receive a tropical spa bath.
For cats, Safari Pet Resort offers the Lion’s Den Cattery. It is a quiet room, separate from their dog-lodging areas, which offers a large viewing window of the outside, an eight-foot tall climbing tree for exploration, and all-day nature movies.
“During the months of June and July,” said Anna Raitt, Safari Pet Resort’s marketing director, “we will be offering a number of special events for Doggie Daycare Campers. On Friday, June 16, Doggie Daycare Campers will be making a special gift for their human Dad. On Monday, July 3, we will offer an Independence DAWG pool party. Overnight guests will enjoy a 4th of July Pool Party. And Nashville Pet Emergency Clinic will be offering a FREE Pet First Aid and CPR Class on July 29. Seating is limited, so anyone interested must register at safaripetresort.com.”
Molly's Pampered Paws
Shelley Goforth has six dogs that are like people to her. So she makes sure they are groomed once a month.
“They get groomed … [by] my mobile groomer, Molly’s Pampered Paws,” said Goforth, a local personal trainer, “because taking six dogs to a groomer is no fun.”
Molly comes to her house with a trailer attached to her truck and grooms the dogs inside the trailer. She grooms one dog at a time, doing three on one day, and two on another. Luckily, one of Sally’s dogs doesn’t need grooming. Molly usually spends three to six hours grooming the others.
“I have referred many people to her,” said Goforth, “and now I believe there is a waiting list, which is great for her but not so great for all of the people in need of an excellent, mobile groomer.”
Mobile groomers are a perfect way to give your dog extensive one-on-one attention that can’t be found at a store when there are others waiting.
Licker and Whine Pet Market
The owners of Licker and Whine have years of experience in the pet food industry, but when one of their beloved dogs went into a spiral after her brother died, and wouldn’t eat, they went looking for something to get Sacha interested in food again. She ended up eating food that had no by-products and no grain, but it had to be purchased outside of Rutherford County.
Licker and Whine was opened to provide pet owners with nutritional options not found in big-box stores. One of these is the Fromm brand from Wisconsin made by one family since 1904. Besides offering an assortment of healthy foods made in small batches by family-owned businesses from across the country, they also sell handmade treats, toys, and doggie bandanas made by a Murfreesboro resident.
And for cat owners, 2017 is not the year of the rooster, but the year of the cat. According to employee Brittany Hoss, manufacturers are seeing the importance of pampering a cat as much as a dog, and will be offering more toys and nutritious, byproduct-free foods for cats.
Tucked into the back corner of the store is a cat’s paradise, a complete assortment of catnip and catnip filled hemp mice created by From the Field.
Best of all, Licker and Whine keeps track of what you buy for your fuzzy babies, so if you come into the store and are looking for a specific item but can’t find it, they can look up exactly what you bought and tell you right where it is located.
Stones River Veterinary Hospital
One doesn’t usually think of pampering and veterinary services, but Stones River knows how to treat pets and pet owners with panache.
While supplying all of the standard practices of a veterinary hospital, Stones River Veterinary Hospital also offers animal chiropractic. According to their website, “This therapy can be used as alternative or adjunctive treatment to a variety of problems including: lameness, post-operative physical therapy, athletic performance, and some neurologic disorders.”
Another way that they pamper pets is to minimize the amount of pain and recover time through the use of the newest surgical procedures. They have an electrosurgical unit, much like those now being used on humans. The device acts as a scalpel, but is less invasive, reducing bleeding and scaring, leading to faster healing.
If there is a surgery they are unable to perform, they call in a mobile veterinary surgeon. The mobile surgeon will perform the advanced surgical procedures at Stones River Veterinary Hospital, so a client need not take their pet to an unfamiliar specialized hospital, which decreases pet anxiety.
Plus they are now offering home delivery of food for pets on special diets, and pharmacy items for those pets dealing with chronic illness that requires extended use of medications.
More Companies Offer Pet Pampering
These are but a few of the businesses in Murfreesboro that deliver elite services for the discriminating pet owner and their perfectly pampered pet.
As Tamara Ecclestone says, “My dogs are spoilt for sure. They are pampered pooches. But I love them so much! I guess all dogs need to be washed, but maybe blueberry facials aren’t essential.”