The local pet store is much more than another shop. The pet store welcomes we furry creatures inside, and the staff always gives us attention. There are treats at the register and more pee-mail then at a busy dog park.
Our favorite pet store closed this week. It is where we got our food, treats, and occasional toys. Pocket and I didn't spend much time in the store. We bark when we see another dog. Mommy doesn't want us to be the loud little dogs at the pet store, which everyone smiles at and despises.
I did spend a lot of time in another store when I first came to live with my family. I got private training lessons! My parents had not taken a dog to school in years. While they found the instructor to be very friendly, they did not think the course was intensive. A few weeks later, they discovered the trainer had no training experience. She was a groomer, thus explaining why I only was taught how to sit. Yes, my parents should have asked for their money back, but everyone was very nice. My parents rank that ahead of competency.
The store that closed had a real trainer. On Sunday mornings, she would teach four consecutive classes with close to a dozen pupils. When the dogs returned to the store after graduation, they were treated like returning prodigal children. Dozens of times a week, the staff heard people say it was the dogs' and their humans' favorite store.
The saddest aspect of the store's closing is that it was a successful business. There were acknowledgments on the wall in recognition of goals and quotas achieved. It was financially sound. But, the lease was up, and the building owner refused to renew it, hoping to move in an even more profitable business into space, a risky venture in a world with a vitriol economy. It was a hard blow to the associates who lost their jobs. They had done everything right, worked hard to create a thriving store depended upon by their guests, and one landlord ended it all by refusing to sign the leash.
The employees learned of the closing a week before Labor Day, which gave them less than a month to find new jobs. After the holiday sales, the team put up signs saying they would close September 29. Customers, upon learning of the closing, reacted like children discovering their parents impending divorce. "Where will we go? What will we do? Who will give us food?"
The store is in an urban area. Many of the shoppers took public transportation to get there. With no pet stores in the immediate vicinity, they are at a loss for where to.go, especially for toys, over the counter medications grooming, fish, and small animals.
A good pet store becomes vital to a pet parent. A knowledgable staff is relied on to answer questions as much as a vet is. Often the pet store is a parent's first stop when their pet gets sick. A trust is created between the staff and customers. When the parents use grooming and training, it becomes more so. I feel sorry for the dogs who don’t know where there next grooming is coming from and the parents who are trying to provide for them.
Daddy’s work brought him to the store twice a week. On Thursday, he walked around the near-empty store for the final time. The prices had been slashed first to 50 percent, and then 75 percent. The shelves were almost bare, the groomer closed, and a few bargain shoppers were sifting through what was left. The staff had been bustling when the prices dropped. Sadly, with every minute of hard work, they brought the end of their employment closer.
On Sunday, the doors shut for the final time. The store was an empty husk, but if you squinted, you could see the happy dogs and their parents, hear the busy hum of interested shoppers, and the laughter of people who would never speak outside the shop, but who were brought together by their love of dogs.
Foley told me that everything goes to the Bridge when it dies and that the store appeared Monday morning waiting for those who worked there, shopped there, laughed, and loved there, to come. There is no work at the Bridge, but there are places where families gather, to do what was work on the mortal side, and will be play on the immortal side.
Someday the store will be thriving again.