Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday September 17th 2019


The Pet Issue—Shop Pets

By Francis Dean
Dozens of Pensacola pets do more than lounge at home with their owners—they have their own 9-5 grind.

These animals welcome guests into boutiques, salons, and antique stores, offering a soft furry head to pet and a reason to return again soon. Check out some of the pets who’ve become recognizable faces and mascots around town.

Dr. Neil at Between
Inside the women’s apparel and lingerie boutique, shoppers are greeted by a tiny, gray dachshund named Dr. Neil (Neil for short). We actually fell so in love with Neil during a recent visit that he inspired not only this story, but also this year’s Pet Issue cover shoot.  We talked to Between co-owner Lacey Berry about Neil’s official duties as shop pup.

When can we find Dr. Neil in the shop? Dr. Neil is in the shop a few times per week. He’s a family pet, so he spends his week playing with my nephews and niece, greeting customers at the store, and taking long naps.
What does he typically do while he’s there? Neil is our official greeter. He loves being social, so he waits patiently in his yellow chair to meet the customers. He’s also great with kids and plays with them and gives kisses while their parents shop.
Why do you think having a shop pet is a positive element to a store? Having a shop pet adds a great energy to the store. Our customers are greeted with a wagging tail and a happy face. It puts everyone in a good mood!
Are other pets allowed in the shop? Yes! Our rule of thumb is “If you trust them, we trust them.” We leave the decision up to the owners as to whether to bring them inside; they know their pets best. We also keep a water bowl outside for any passing dogs that may be thirsty—they might just have to put up with me running outside to pet them.
If so, have you seen any interesting pets come in? So far, we’ve only had dogs visit. I look forward to the day we have a potbellied pig or a ferret walk into the store.
Are there any other stores locally or nationally, that had a shop pet that really stuck with you? A few years ago a friend and I visited a bookstore in Nashville (Rhino Books) that had a shop cat. It was one of those quintessential bookstores with books piled everywhere, very charming. The cat just lounged on stacks of books all day. It completed the picture perfectly.

Between, 424 S. Palafox

Andre 3000 at Volume One
The leather sofa inside Volume One is hardly ever seen without a sleepy, blonde French bulldog atop it. Andre 3000 (Dre for short), has been a store staple since the salon occupied a space on East Wright Street several years ago. Owner Hurst Butts told us how something he tried one day on a whim (bringing Dre to the shop) turned into a routine.

When can we find Andre at the salon? Dre hangs out in the shop 4-5 days a week. He really chooses his days, by either staying in bed or greeting me at the door on the way out.
What does he typically do while he’s there? Well, Dre has quite the following. He has a hard time walking up Palafox without someone saying hello. His day at the shop consists of greeting clients on their way in, he’s usually good for a little lap time and, of course, the mid-afternoon nap. He is also known for his Wednesday night bark at the run club passing by.
Why do you think having a shop pet is a positive element to a store? Clients expect to see him when they come for their appointment and when he is not there they’re disappointed. He brings a sense of warmth to the salon, he’s always good for a laugh, due to snorting or some awkward pillow digging trying to get comfy on the couch. He has become very photogenic and sucks up all the attention.
Do other pets frequent the salon? Jason, one of our barbers, has a pug named Pooter (yes, Pooter) she frequents the salon as well as our client’s pets—like Chaucer, a beautiful Golden, and many others.

Volume One, 7 W. Main St.

Coco at Time and Time Again
Behind a long, glass cabinet filled with vintage jewelry and antique books, sits a wooden cage filled with soft hay and a Holland floppy eared bunny named Coco. Owner Lisa Dupree told us all about Coco’s two favorite things: chewing on her toys and greeting shoppers from her perch near the register.

When can we find Coco in the store? She lives in the shop, in her own special cage, and has a little open area where she can play, so she’s here all the time. We don’t give her a lot of treats because of her strict diet of grain, and fresh timothy hay. She does have one special little treat though—a carrot flavored toy and the occasional salt blocks.
What does her typical day look like? She plays with her toys, and customers spoil her—everyone is drawn to her and wants to pet her.
Why do you think having a shop pet is a positive element to a store? For the customers, she’s our mascot. As you walk through the shop, you’ll see bunnies here and there, figurines or paintings. There’s a little Coco in every room. Kids love her too. She’s very social, plays with toys in front of customers, and it definitely helps to keep the little ones entertained.

Time and Time Again, 4006 N 9th Ave.

Louis at Urban Objects

Palafox Street regulars have probably noticed the curly ball of fur often reclining in the window of Urban Objects. Louis, the toy poodle, has come to work with owner Sarah Gillette every day since the very first day she adopted him two and a half years ago.

When can we find Louis in the shop? Every day I’m in the shop. He’s been here since I got him at 5 months old.
What does he typically do while he’s there? He sleeps, but he also greets customers. He barks at the UPS and FedEx guys when he wants them to play. He also lays on the platform in the window sometimes and watches people. He’s had lots and lots of photos taken with customers. People just love him.
Why do you think having a shop pet is a positive element to a store? Most people love dogs, and Louis is very cute and lovable. I think having him there gives you something to talk about and makes people feel more comfortable.
Are other pets allowed in the shop? Yes, we have customers who bring their dogs frequently.

Urban Objects, 128 S. Palafox


Shop for Pets
Don’t be fooled by the lack of non-chain pet stores around town. Pensacola has plenty of places that cater to pets and their owners, even though it might not be the sole thing the shop is known for. Here are some of our favorite places to shop local for our pets (and ourselves).

Woerner Landscape Source & Pet Supply
1332 Creighton Road

The Pet Supply side of Woerner is pretty much a one-stop shop for everything you need to keep your dog well fed, groomed and healthy. They carry tons of organic and grain free food options and grooming products for just about everything you can think of—from tear stains to dry skin. They also host regular events and rotate monthly specials, so make sure you like them on Facebook to stay up to date.

The Spotted Dog inside Duh
501 9th Ave.

It might be a little smaller than their former Palafox location, but we love that The Spotted Dog has taken up residence inside Duh. In addition to the great pet items they’ve always carried like collars, harnesses, and toys, they have lots of great stuff for pet owners too—like coffee table books and wall art.

My Favorite Things
2813 E. Cervantes St.

This eclectic local shop carries something for just about everybody—including pets. In addition to functional basics like leashes and bowls, they also have tons of fun stuff—like toys by one of our all-time favorite pet brands Harry Barker.

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