Our little city has just gotten a Pet Smart. In some ways I think it's great and in others, not so much. The not so much part is that I worry about the smaller pet retailers in town, but it's good because it gives dog owners a place to go to with their beasties. There really aren't a lot of dog friendly places in the city for some reason and with the winters being as long as they are up here, it's good to have a place to go that is inside.
Today was the grand opening and Lindsay, Baloo, Nala and I got up and bright and early to make sure we were part of the first 50 customers through the door. They were handing out gift cards to the first 50 which was nice of course, but it was also fun just to be there.
We lined up in a long line of people and dogs. There were people there without dogs too whom I am assuming were cat owners. One family stood near us and the two little kids kept talking about the kinds of reptiles they were going to buy. Their mom was a little hesitant about the snake idea, but hinted that they may get the turtle they wanted.
There were dogs of every shape, size and colour...and noise level. There was a Bernese Mountain Dog standing in front of us, a Standard Poodle, some wee thingy in a stroller, a Lab cross of some sort who kept yelling and many more. When we finally got inside we met an 11 week old miniature poodle and another puppy that was crossed with a Dachshund, Spaniel and something else. It was so small that its dog guardian was carrying him around in a Frizby. He was fast asleep. Stinking adorable.
We did get our gift card. It was for $5, but the guy behind us, who was shopping for his partner's cat, switched his for ours. He had gotten $10. I had teased him that we had two dogs and when we got inside he swapped the cards. I was only kidding I tried to explain, but he switched it anyway. The generosity of some people just blows my mind sometimes.
There were raffles set up for people to put ballots in to as well as a draw for a year of free grooming.
I had Nala wear her harness as I thought this would be a good training opportunity. In the line-up I had her hold a sit/stay which was very difficult, but with some gentle reminders she kept her cool and her butt on the ground.
In the store she was expected to maintain her professional attitude. It was hard at first because when we first walked in everyone and their dogs were gathered around the tables to fill out their ballots. However, despite people and dogs passing by she stayed focused and held her sit/stay for the most part.
We then wandered about looking at all of the goods. We started in the doggie clothing aisle because we both get a kick out of that stuff. Hermione owns a winter coat and Otis owns a hoodie that our friends gave him, but other than that our dogs don't have clothes. That said, I was a little tempted by the Batman and Superman no-slip doggie socks for small dogs. Nala did try a Hello Kitty hat on for size and although she looked adorable, I would never force that embarrassment on her on a daily basis.
We hit the Halloween costume aisle next. There was everything from monster costumes to pumpkins to butterfly princesses. Lindsay thought Baloo would make a handsome dragon. I'd have to agree.
We spent more time looking at the collar/leash/harness aisle, the entire aisle dedicated to Kong products and then to the natural chew aisle.
I really could have spent a fortune in there. I'm a bit ridiculous, but I contained myself to a bag of dog food which we needed, a bag of Bully sticks and a package of freeze dried duck treats for recalls.
I didn't buy the hot pink collar I had looked at for Nala or the Kong toys I contemplated. I resisted the cute hair accessories for Hermione and the pink and blingy collar that totally matches her diva attitude. The doggie life jacket did cross my mind for Otis and I nearly bought Roscoe a doggie backpack. I know all of the dogs would have appreciated the elk antlers I nearly added to the cart. No matter how I was tempted by the various Kong toys and the adorable Halloween Skinnies, I kept myself under control.
I think that Nala and I both did very well. I resisted the temptation of cute/fun/adorable doggie products and she resisted the temptation of people/dogs/toys/treats that were all in her face.
By the end of the almost two hours that we were there, Baloo was riding in the shopping cart with the dog food bag, the treats and Lindsay's purse. He was certainly done shopping.
Seriously though, I was really proud of Nala and impressed by her professional behaviour. I'm so lucky to have such a great working dog.