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Editor's Note

A Shift From Pets-Less to Pets+ in a Blink

In that blink of an eye when I opened the door to the cargo warehouse at O’Hare, life became a lot more complete again.




FULL DISCLOSURE HERE, I have been pets-less since day one of Pets+. Semantically, anyway, I guess you could call me a fraud. And practically, aside from professional reasons or for gift-buying, I simply had no reason to shop for the products or services offered by Pets+ readers. Until now.

Due to a sudden move from overseas back to the U.S., I endured the longest pets-less period I’d had since college, and I don’t recommend it for every reason anyone with pets can understand.

That pets-less status has thankfully changed in recent weeks, with the arrival of  my three Jack Russells from Bangkok, where they had been well cared for and waiting to join me while I established a new home in the U.S.

In that blink of an eye when I opened the door to the cargo warehouse at O’Hare, life became a lot more complete again. As I type this, all three are sprawled about under my feet, still jet-lagged. One’s dreaming.

Their imminent arrival made SuperZoo in July a more complete experience for me as well. As with starting a full household from scratch, I was at square one when it came to the dogs, in need of information on everything from collars and leashes to beds, bowls and the food to put in them. Forget my professional objectives at SuperZoo and at several independent and chain pet stores thereafter — I needed to know what to outfit my pups with!

In that same blink of reuniting with my pups, I went from editor of a magazine that serves pet businesses to a customer of those very businesses. And I found what many of your own customers find: that a newly arrived pet creates an urgency that requires relying on the advice and expertise of others. That advice and expertise you share with your customers daily.


It’s given me a new perspective on an industry that’s still new enough to me. Thank you for already making me a better dog dad.

Wishing you the best in business,

Ralf Kircher
Editor-in-Chief, Pets+

Five Great Tips From This Issue That You Can Do Today

  1. September’s time for twice-annual employee reviews. (The first should have been done in March.) (Manager’s To-Do)
  2. Sell a bag larger than 15 pounds? Deliver it to your customer’s car. (The Big Story)
  3. Reach out to local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops to see if you can help them complete their pet care merit badges/medals. (Tip Sheet)
  4. Add a favicon to your website. That’s that tiny icon next to the URL in a web broswer. (Tip Sheet)
  5. Shoot a photo for your store’s Christmas card. Make that card good enough, and you’ll find people collect them. (Columns)

Ralf Kircher is former Editor-in-Chief of PETS+. He has worked with SmartWork Media since 2006, and is the busy father of a son and three Jack Russells.

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