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Editor's Note

Lost & Found

Do you need to re-evaluate your online habits?

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I HAVE A LOVE-HATE relationship with my smartphone. During February’s severe winter weather in my home city of Houston, TX, it was a lifeline. I watched news reports online, refreshed the power outage tracker countless times, and connected with friends and neighbors to make sure everyone was safe and warm — and if they weren’t, including Ty and myself at certain points, coordinated use of guest rooms and couches at places with heat.

Now that we’re back home and using the AC again (Texas winters, y’all), I am re-evaluating my smartphone habits. The storm reminded me just how much social media distracts. I welcomed that distraction when no electricity brought production on this issue to a halt. Once I was trying to catch up, not so much.

Our lead story, Focus!, could not have come at a better time. Writer Chris Burslem excels at The Deep Think, the pondering of issues that affect our daily lives but that we don’t often take the time to truly examine.

Here he considers “the initial promise of the always-on, interconnected world,” but points out that “the reality has always been darker.”

His words impacted me greatly, as did the advice on how to find time lost online. He pulled from experts such as social psychologists, tech leaders, and members of the PETS+ Brain Squad and Facebook Community. I’m eager to put their tips into practice, and I hope you’ll consider doing the same.

Speaking of helpful info, this issue overflows with it. Dog Krazy’s Chris Guinn shows how he boosts sales with KPI-based report cards. And Hawaii Doggie Bakery‘s Niki Libarios, along with Firehouse Pet Shop & Grooming‘s Allen and Jennifer Larsen, share how they turned their businesses into two of the PETS+ America’s Coolest Stores. (Sneak peek: It involves Godzilla cakes and Mr. Carmen the cat, respectively.)

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Please keep reading, but perhaps first turn on your phone’s Do Not Disturb.

Five Great Tips From This Issue That You Can Do Today

  1. Create a splurge display for customers with a tax refund to spend. (Manager’s To-Do List, p. 12)
  2. Hire yourself as an imaginary business consultant. (Tip Sheet, p. 35)
  3. Record a video of yourself grooming a difficult dog to show the pet parent the additional work required. (Managing Expectations, p. 38)
  4. Teach millennials how to properly clean a litter box. (Brainstorm, p. 40)
  5. Take photos as proof of delivery. (Real Deal, p. 52)

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P.L.A.Y. Media Spotlight

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