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Pets: An Owner’s Manual

Our furry friends love us unconditionally. In thanks, we tote them around in Fendi bags, take them to day care, and warm them up in Burberry sweaters. Whether you love a Pyrenees or a Persian, we bring you the best vets, boarders, groomers, boutiques, day
By D Magazine |

Pet lovers are an interesting breed. We treat our furry, and
sometimes furless, friends as a best buddy or child—as well we should,
because they return our affection tenfold. According to a survey by the
American Animal Hospital Association, 63 percent of pet owners spend
more than two hours of quality time with Pumpkin and Precious every
day—that’s probably more time than some of us spend with our spouses.
We are more likely to pamper our pets than ourselves; 47 percent of us
report that our four-legged babies most often sleep in our beds. We
believe that animals come into our lives and teach us love and loyalty.

The Best Vets in Dallas
From acupuncturists to ophthalmologists, here are the top veterinarians in your neighborhood.
by Carly Price and Dawn McMullan

Monty Kehl and Craig Wilbanks have a house full of dogs. At least
that’s what it sounds like when they rush to the front door—barking,
toenails clicking—to greet a visitor. The dogs have their own
personalities and, as they age, their own medical problems.

two greyhounds, 9-year-old Elmer and 10-year-old Johnny, and an
11-year-old cocker spaniel named Daisy, Kehl and Wilbanks give a lot of
thought to veterinary care. Fortunately, the range of specialty and
alternative pet health care in Dallas-Fort Worth has increased in the
last 20 years.

“Not so long ago, for any sort of specialized
veterinary care, you had to drive three or four hours to one of the
university hospitals,” says Dr. Darryl McDonald, staff surgeon and
partner at the Dallas Veterinary Surgical Center, part of the
Veterinary Referral Center of North Texas. The center includes pet
neurologists, ophthalmologists, oncologists, dermatologists,
radiologists, and internal medicine specialists.

When it opened
in 2000, the Referral Center put Dallas ahead of the curve in specialty
veterinary care; now referral centers are popping up nationwide. With
this trend comes increased coordination between vets and specialists.

I have a dog who is hit by a car and has multiple injuries, it’s easy
for me to walk down the hall and have the radiologist look at the
X-rays or the internal medicine specialist look at the blood work,”
McDonald says.

When Daisy had a mass in her eye two years ago,
she was treated successfully by an ophthalmologist at the Referral
Center. Recently, Daisy got a pinched nerve and couldn’t walk for
weeks. When traditional medicine couldn’t help, Kehl and Wilbanks
turned to a pet massage therapist. As with humans, pet health care has
expanded to include complementary and alternative medicine, such as
acupuncture, chiropractic, herbs, massage, and other holistic

Dr. Shawn Messonnier of Plano’s Paws & Claws Animal Hospital, author of The Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats,
first tried alternative treatments because he couldn’t make a dent in
pet allergies. He used herbs and other natural approaches, and, when he
saw success, he didn’t stop with allergies. In January, after months of
trying conventional veterinary medicine, Ann Huey and Martin McCall
took their tortoise-shell tabby cat Deluxie to Messonnier. Deluxie was
diagnosed with polyarthritis (arthritis in multiple joints, a rare
condition in cats) and treated with steroids, but her condition
worsened. Messonnier put Deluxie on eight supplements, including
glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. Now she can play and climb trees.

addition to technology and alternative treatments, vets rely on the
basics of nutrition, preventive care, and exercise to improve the
duration and quality of life for pets. If all of this sounds a lot like
the lectures you’ve been hearing from your doctor for years, that’s
because animal medicine lags five to seven years behind human
medicine—but it’s catching up. Who knows? Maybe Kehl and Wilbanks will
someday share a medical insurance plan with their beloved dogs.


Dr. Robin Crisman
I-20 Animal Medical Center (24-hour emergency care)
5820 W. I-20, Arlington
972-263-2525 or 817-478-PAWS

Dr. Roy Gully
Gully & Associates Animal Hospital
6300 S. Cooper St., Arlington


Dr. Paul Carroll
Midway Hollow Pet Clinic
3780 W. Northwest Hwy.


Drs. John Calhoun and Kelly Black
North Carrollton Veterinary Hospital
1839 Frankford Rd., Carrollton

Dr. Trisha Ballard
Alternative Veterinary Hospital (chiropractic care, alternative medicine)
1060 W. Frankford Rd., Carrollton


Dr. Timothy England
Cedar Hill Veterinary Clinic (horses)
1026 N. Hwy. 67, Cedar Hill


Dr. Sharon Wild
The Colony Animal Clinic (acupuncture)
5906 Paige Rd., The Colony


Dr. William Stearman III
Coppell Veterinary Hospital
504 Denton Tapp Rd., Coppell


Drs. Jim Ahumada and Helene Bergeron
A&B Animal Clinic (wild bird rehabilitation, exotics)
9027 Garland Rd.

Dr. Wade Dunn
VCA Lakewood Animal Hospital
6363 Richmond Ave.

Dr. Karen Fling
East Lake Veterinary Hospital (rabbits, rodents, birds, acupuncture)
10101 E. Northwest Hwy.

Dr. Stephanie L. Chritton
Hillside Veterinary Clinic
6150 E. Mockingbird Ln.


Dr. Oliver Shaffer
Flower Mound Veterinary Hospital
1601 Arrowhead Dr., Flower Mound


Drs. Kevin Marcum and Debbie Schaffer
Animal Medical & Surgical Hospital of Frisco (small animal surgery)
6451 Preston Rd., Frisco

Dr. George Martin
Plantation Pet Health Center
12560 Lebanon Rd., Frisco


Dr. Glen Campbell
Buckingham Animal Hospital
1861 N. Garland Ave., Garland

Dr. Julie Stanek
Centerville Road Animal Clinic
145 E. Centerville Rd., Garland


Dr. Kemba Marshall, ABVP
Metroplex Veterinary Center (board certified to treat exotics)
700 W. Airport Fwy., Irving

Dr. Wesley Agler
Pioneer Animal Hospital (rabbits, rodents)
3009 W. Pioneer Dr., Irving


Dr. Malcolm Cameron
Preston Royal Animal Clinic
10720 Preston Rd.

Drs. Clint Chastain and Sue Chastain
Chastain Veterinary Medical Group/Preston Road Animal Hospital (reptiles)
6060 LBJ Fwy.

Dr. E. Kelly Nitsche
Veterinary Specialists of North Texas (internal medicine)
12101 Greenville Ave., Ste. 114

Drs. Hugh Hays and Loretta Pantenburg
Summertree Animal & Bird Clinic (birds, rabbits, exotics)
12300 Inwood Rd.

Dr. Larry Putnam
Meadow Central Animal Clinic
10455 N. Central Expwy.

Dr. Kathleen Sohner
Central Expressway Animal Hospital
11680 Forest Central Dr.


Dr. Jeff Ellis
Preston Park Animal Hospital (greyhounds, golden retrievers)
18770 Preston Rd.

Drs. Jennifer Garretson and Michael Norton
Frankford Crest Animal Hospital (exotics)
6911 Frankford Rd.

Veterinary Referral Center of North Texas
(surgery, ophthalmology, dermatology, radiology, internal medicine)
Referral from general care veterinarian required
444 Trinity Mills Rd.

PEEK-A-BOO: Dr. Joe Lindley treats exotics at his Northeast Dallas clinic.


<< Dr. Joe Lindley (exotics)
Lindley Veterinary Clinic
8518 Plano Rd.


Dr. Gwen Gierczak
Hampton Road Pet Hospital
2406 Emmett St.


Dr. Chip Cannon
City Veterinary Center (surgery)
2732 Oak Lawn Ave.


Dr. John Vandermeer
Highland Park Animal Clinic
5323 N. Central Expwy.

Dr. Andrew Martin
Lovers Lane Animal Medical Center
4660 W. Lovers Ln.

Dr. Lawrence Williams
Preston Center Animal Clinic
5934 W. Northwest Hwy.


Drs. Charles C. Blonien and Michael J. Shelton
Parker Animal & Bird Clinic (birds)
2129 W. Parker Rd., Ste. A, Plano

Dr. Shawn Messonnier
Paws & Claws Animal Hospital (holistic/integrated approach, including acupuncture, homeopathy)
2145 W. Park Blvd., Plano

Dr. Lee Reeves
Lancers Square Animal Clinic
3207 Independence Pkwy., Plano

Dr. Douglas K. Sanders
Chase Oaks Animal Clinic
141 W. Spring Creek Pkwy., Ste. 415, Plano


Drs. Candy Major and Herman Swann
Plano Arapaho Veterinary Clinic
1400 N. Plano Rd., Richardson

Drs. Gary Brantley and Ann Heymann
Richardson Veterinary Clinic
733 S. Floyd Rd., Richardson


Dr. Paul Bruton
Animal Healthcare Clinic (chiropractic, acupuncture)
1615 E. Southlake Blvd., Southlake

Dr. Greg Moore
Southlake Animal Hospital (birds of prey, reptiles)
200 W. Northwest Pkwy., Southlake

Dr. Stacie Marsh
City Vet Uptown Veterinary Hospital (24-hour emergency clinic)
3101 McKinney Ave.

Drs. Kristi Ellor, Bryan Tims, and Ronald Vaughn
Rutherford Veterinary Hospital
924 S. Haskell Ave.


Dr. Gene Giggleman (chiropractic care)
In Home Veterinary Care (Grapevine area)

Dr. Becky Jones
Pet Calls Mobile Veterinary Clinic (Denton County)

Dr. Steven Wilson
Dallas Cat Clinic
(Plano, North Dallas area)

*Vets who offer special services or have experience treating certain
species, in addition to cats and dogs, are noted in parentheses. Note:
only vets who are board certified in a specialty are technically

Photo: Danny Piassick


CAT WHISPERERS: No one knows felines liek the folks at Cat Connection. Here, Roux gets pretty.

Shampoo & Set
Keep your pets trimmed and coiffed with a haircut and more from one of these great groomers.
by Allison Hatfield


Bark & Purr. Minerva
Mundo-Mundo specializes in hard-to-handle dogs and cats, and other area
groomers often send impossible clients her way. A bath in the Jacuzzi
tub and a therapeutic massage will make any pooch feel like a pup
again. 11613 N. Central Expwy., Ste. 122. 214-361-7566; 803 E. Main
St., Allen. 972-727-1688.

Cat Connection. The wait for an
appointment is at least a month, but they know how to calm the most
fearful felines and are paws down the best kitty cleaners in town. No
dogs allowed. 14233 Inwood Rd. 972-386-6369. www.thecatconnection.com.

Dazzle Dog Grooming Spa.
As a breeder, JoAnn Jones has a national reputation for her Afghan
hounds. As a groomer, people know her for outstanding service. The spa
offers hot oil treatments and herbal shampoos, and if you want your
bichon dyed blue, she’ll do it. 10729 Audelia Rd., Ste. 105.

Love Your Pet. Talented groomers primp pets
to perfection, but an equal selling point is the laid-back attitude.
They doesn’t enforce an early check-in and frequently take last-minute
appointments and promise quick turnaround, even on Christmas Eve. 2704
Cross Timbers Rd., Flower Mound. 972-724-0092.

Pappy’s Pet Lodge Grooming Salon & Day Spa.
The menu includes whitening baths for light-colored pets, oatmeal baths
for pets with sensitive skin, and aromatherapy baths for New Age types.
Precious doesn’t stay cooped up in a cage while waiting to be groomed
or go home. 7859 McCallum Blvd., Ste. 106. 972-919-1900. www.pappyspetlodge.com.

Perky Poodle Groom & Board.
A favorite among the gay community, Perky Poodle has a reputation for
show cuts, dye jobs, and happy clients. The name may imply a breed
specialty, but these pros work on all kinds of dogs—cats, too. 2706 Oak
Lawn Ave. 214-526-3243.

Petite Pooch Chateau. Pups 39
pounds and under are pampered nose to tail at this upscale salon, where
standard cuts are nearly flawless. Pet owners not bent on perfection
save on discounted services by student groomers. 3420 Garden Brook Dr.,
Farmers Branch. 972-241-2500. All sizes are welcome at sister salon
Petite Pooch Plus. 2741 E. Belt Line Rd., Ste. 105, Carrollton.
972-417-7100. www.petitepooch.com.


Carolyn’s Dog and Cat Grooming.
Groomers use a special tool to remove a pet’s loose hair and thin the
undercoat, reducing shedding by 60 percent. Carolyn’s pretties up pets
in Lewisville, Flower Mound, Highland Village, and Coppell.
972-539-6153. www.carolynsgrooming.com.

Curtis’ Unique Mobile Professional Dog & Cat Grooming.
Cats can be tough, but Curtis Thompson knows just how to handle a
feisty feline. A gentle touch is all it takes, he says. On the road
since 2000, Thompson clips cats in any part of Dallas. He does dogs,
too. 972-731-9161.

Pet Love. With 40 purple vans and
8,000 clients, Pet Love calls itself the world’s largest mobile
grooming service. Cut-and-fluff services are straightforward; the focus
is on owner convenience and widespread coverage of Dallas-Fort Worth.
972-243-8331 or 817-318-8334. www.petlove.com.

Soggy Doggy Mobile Dog Grooming.
Josh Cochran and Billie Mooney have 24 years of experience between
them. They doll up dogs from Highland Park to The Colony. 214-943-3332.

Photo: Mark Bumgarner


Dog Training 101
Local authority Bruce Borgersen shares some insight on dealing with a misbehaving pooch.
by Laura Kostelny

You know this story. After extensive research one Saturday
afternoon, you decide on the most precious, perfect dog ever and adopt
him immediately. Doggie is smart and superior to all babies. Doggie’s
every action is adorable—even his tendency to tinkle in your shoe. You
and Doggie are destined to live happily ever after.

Two weeks
later, things have gone very wrong. Doggie has developed a taste for
antique furniture. He pulls so violently on walks that you suffer a
dislocated hip. And, perhaps most charming, when the cute guy at the
dog park finally approaches and engages you in conversation, Doggie
breaks the ice by bird-dogging every piece of poop in the immediate

It’s time to call in a professional. Bruce Borgersen has
been providing private, in-home pet training for 13 years. He works
with all breeds. We asked Borgersen about some of the mysteries (and
miseries) involved in getting your pup to act less like Cujo and more
like Old Yeller (pre-rabies).

D: How long does it take to work your magic?
I usually see people once a week for a month. I give owners lesson
plans and homework. Then I usually come back for a tune-up to see if
people are maintaining their lessons. And, listen, I can tell when
people aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do.

D: Pet owners can’t expect miracles, right? They have to expect to do a lot of work.
Sure. I have to give owners good principals of management so they can
help the dogs feel good about life. Pets need a combination of
structure, order, and work. A lot of pet dog problems are
stress-related, because they don’t have any work.

D: Are dogs really happy in their crates? We feel guilty.
A dog has to have places that are his own. Now, some people jam their
dog in a crate all day—that’s not fair. But then other people leave
their dogs in their yards 24 hours a day, and the yard-dog syndrome is
a nightmare. It’s all about management.

D: What do you do with a biter?
Once a dog has lost that inhibition to bite, trying to build back that
inhibition is very difficult. The biggest challenge is figuring out why
he is aggressive. If he is badly bred and just a stinker, there isn’t
much you can do. However, if the cause is specific—the dog doesn’t like
big hats—then you have something you can work with. The biggest
variable is the owner’s commitment to the training. I do work with
aggressive dogs, but only if I think there is hope. If everyone is
running for their lives, I won’t take on the client.

D: Are there some problems that training won’t fix?
Absolutely. Thirteen to 20 percent of all animal problems are medical,
such as thyroid imbalances, which can result in lethargy or
aggressiveness. An owner has to have a good relationship with his vet.

What about people who get a Lab and live in a 600-square-foot
apartment? Do you level with them about the impracticability of the
environment for the dog?
Borgersen: Yes. I tell people to
modify their world as much as possible to compensate for what the dog
really needs. Sometimes people just don’t know. For example, border
collies are a very popular breed. They are unguided missiles. Put one
over on Amherst, and it’s going to turn that world into toothpicks. You
need more land to keep that dog busy.

D: So, what’s with dogs eating poop?
Modern dog food is so full of nutrients, so poop contains a lot of
undigested nutrients. To the dog, it’s leftovers. The easiest way to
solve that problem is clean it up. Most dogs grow out of it.

Top Trainers

Bruce Borgersen (Central Dallas)
214-207-0700. www.dogschool.com.

Tiffany Davis (Frisco, McKinney, Plano, The Colony, Little Elm, Celina, and Prosper)

Lillian Sikorski (Valley Ranch, Southlake, Coppell, Flower Mound, and Irving)
972-444-9030. www.speakdog.com.


Leopard-print chaise lounge ($450/St. John, Shops at Willow Bend)

Canine Couture
These boutiques carry the latest and most outrageous pet accessories and treats.
by Courtney Dreslin and Stacey Yervasi

Boutique Pet Shop & Aquarium. Choose from studded
punk-rock collars or those encrusted with rhinestones—plus pet carriers
to match. Harley Davidson-brand accessories have their own corner. Most
impressive is the almost infinite selection of pet toys—Baxter will
never be bored again. 9035 Garland Rd. 214-321-1219.

Canine Commissary.
With almost 25 years in business, Canine Commissary is a reliable
standby for basic pet supplies, including super-premium foods, dog
runs, and kennels. But the real treats are the Harley Davidson-brand
accessories (available at the Greenville Avenue store only). 3614
Greenville Ave. 214-821-7700. Multiple locations.

Cat Connection.
These people are serious about felines. Here you’ll find Kittywalk, a
netted cat run of sorts, and Cat Sitter videos and DVDs with sounds and
sights of mice, birds, and fish. A cover for your computer keyboard and
mouse prevents Whiskers from sending e-mails while you’re away. With
the large selection of kitty-related items made for people, cat lovers
can treat themselves. 14233 Inwood Rd. 972-386-6369.

Dog Company.
Whether you’re a Boston terrier fanatic or a Lab lover, you’ll find an
abundance of cards, pillows, magnets, and miniatures to display your
loyalty. For the four-legged ones, the store carries an array of
adorable collars, hats, barrettes, tiaras, beds, carrying cases, and
more. Want a life-size wall clock of your pup? You can get that here,
too. 13331 Preston Rd. 972-233-3647. www.thedogcompany.com.

Dog Specialties.
Grassy flooring, picnic-bench shelves, fence enclosure, and the large
doghouse around the cash register set the mood of this dog-friendly
store. If you wish to immortalize Doodlebug, you can commission a
sculpture or portrait in oil or acrylic. Cat lovers, take heart—this
equal-opportunity store has goodies for kitties, too. West Village,
3699 McKinney Ave., Ste. 400. 972-668-7712. www.dogspecialties.com.

Haute Dogs & Fat Cats.
Find fancy frames, sterling charms, and sassy outfits for Fido and
Felix at this Preston Royal boutique. For sweet dreams, create a custom
bed from the selection of fabrics (or bring your own), or order a
one-of-a-kind sleigh or trundle with your pooch’s portrait etched in
the headboard. 114 Preston Royal Village. 214-369-8380.

Legacy Trading Co.
This eclectic home décor store is a favorite among owners, too. Sweet,
silver dog tags read “Babe Magnet” or “Commander & Chief.” Pick up
a Minty Fresh Breath Ball or darling pet bowls, beds, and beaded
collars designed by local artist Crystal Pyle. West Village,
3699 McKinney Ave., Ste. 104. 214-953-2222.

Puchi Coney Island bag ($390/Nixon’s Top Dog)

<< Nixon’s Top Dog Bakery & Boutique.
This is the top shop for hounds as style-conscious as their owners.
Designer duds from Hip Dog, Michael Simon, and Donald Pliner are just a
few of the chic goods. Top Dog also makes tasty treats, including
Petey’s pizza slices. Stonebriar Centre, 2601 Preston Rd., Ste. 2096,
Frisco. 972-668-3125. Multiple locations. www.jazzersnap.com.

Perky Poodle.
This Oak Lawn mainstay carries the kind of bling-bling that would make
J.Lo jealous. Rhinestone or customized pearl collars with handcrafted
charms are safe and chic. Is Sparky a little stinky? All you need is a
splash of canine cologne, such as Pucci and CK-9. 2706 Oak Lawn Ave.

Patent leather collars with flower detail ($80/Tails of the City)

Tails of the City >>
Is Barkley a blueblood? Then head to Tails of the City for Burberry
beds, Italian leather carrying cases, canine and kitty couture, elegant
adoption announcements, all-natural biscuits decorated in divine
detail, jeweled barrettes, bowls, and tiaras. Protect Pumpkin’s paws
from the hot summer sidewalk with Lilly boots just like those worn by
Paris Hilton’s pooch Tinkerbell. 6819 Snider Plaza. 214-750-7602.

Talulah Belle.
A corner of this upscale boutique for humans is reserved for pampered
pets whose life would be incomplete without a sequined collar and a
toile-covered toy. Get a car seat or umbrella for your pet on the go.
Buddy Wash shampoos, conditioners, and splashes leave kitty fresh and
pretty. 2017 Abrams Rd. 214-821-1927.

Zack & Zoë’s.
Colleyville Boulevard is Park Avenue for pets. This upscale boutique
offers products we love and haven’t seen elsewhere, including ceramic
tiles featuring specific breeds or custom designs; studded t-shirts by
Glamajama with affectionate catchphrases like “Mama’s Boy” or “Rock
Star”; and marvelous mosaic feeders. 4402 Colleyville Blvd.,
Colleyville. 817-849-1140. www.zachandzoes.com.

Photos: Abel Sanchez


Paw Prints
Immortalize your pets with works from talented local artists and photographers.
by Ashley Womble

Art Paw
With a Mac by her side, owner and artist-in-charge
Rebecca Collins can take a snapshot of Muffin and turn it into pop art,
imitating Andy Warhol’s four-quadrant style. Collins  uses a
giclee process (a type of digital printing) to give her creations the
power of a painting. Commissions start at $75. 214-321-1150. www.artpaw.com.

Blauvelt Photography
and tigers and teenagers, oh my! Blauvelt’s work tends to be serious
and traditional, but they are experts when it comes to experimenting
with wildlife. They recently photographed a full-grown tiger for high
school senior portraits. Studio sessions start at $75. 4050 W. I-20,
Arlington. 817-672-2222. www.blauveltphoto.com.

Boutique Pet Shop & Aquarium
Deloris Petty says her shop started the Dallas pet photography craze in
the ’70s. After your pet is properly groomed, the in-house photographer
snaps a photo in front of one of the boutique’s seasonal backdrops.
Photos start at $7.50; grooming starts at $15 for dogs and $40 for
cats. 9035 Garland Rd. 214-321-1219. By appointment.

Margaret Bryant Photography
uses both the darkroom and Photoshop to create prints on watercolor
paper, canvas, or standard black and white photo paper. Studio sessions
start at $150, and she advises that June is not too early to start
thinking about Christmas. 972-335-4974. www.bryantdogphotography.com.

Jimmy Ellis
and illustrator Ellis thinks pets should make people smile, so each of
his subjects gets a pearly grin. His work is for the pet lover with a
sense of humor, as he likes to paint pets out of their element (read:
drinking a martini). He once painted cartoons of a cat on the urn
containing its ashes. Commissioned illustrations start at $25; oil
paintings start at $125. 972-991-1086. www.jimmyellisart.com.

Holly Thaggard
likes to see the room in which her commissioned painting will hang
before she makes the first sketch. She usually works with oils on
masonite board, giving painted pooches a realistic finish. Commissions
start at $3,500, which includes consultation and a photo shoot. 2843
Thomas Ave. 214-552-5631. www.hollythaggard.com.

 Marty Walker
Walker is an ace at bringing out a pooch’s personality. Her paintings,


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