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OK, so no ducks reported yet as a store mascot, but in addition to dogs and cats, we’ve found a horse, a Yellow Crowned Amazon who’s a chicken with strangers and an Iguana who’s been on late-night TV.

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IN OUR NEXT LIVES, we want to come back as store pets! These lucky dogs, cats and other animals get to spend workdays with their people, making new friends and testing new products. They even get to sleep on the job! Meet some of our favorites and learn how they help out around the pet business.

 

Bronson

BONNIE’S BARKERY, CAVE CREEK, AZ

This French Bulldog  came into the store as a customer. Now he and his human, Cijai Bianchi, run the place — Bronson serves as brand ambassador while she works as manager and buyer.

His handsome mug (above, pictured at left) fills social media for Bonnie’s Barkery, and his personal Instagram, bronsonthebluefrenchie, touts his role to 9,000-plus followers.

Store owner Mike Murray has this to say about Bronson: “Due to his popularity, more and more Frenchie parents started shopping here, so we started a Frenchie Club. We now have over 100 active members. We’ve had several Frenchie Club events, the most recent party had over 40 Frenchies and their parents in attendance. Chaotic, yes … but lots of fun, and it was actually a great sales total due to the Frenchie discounts offered by our brand partners.”

 

Faith

URBAN SOPHISTICATS, LITTLETON, CO

That face! The Domestic Shorthair and Persian mix lives at Rachel Diller’s salon. Faith charms customers while they wait, curling up on their lap and even comforting those who no longer get their cats groomed.

“Several clients have lost their beloved kitties, and coming to visit her is part of their healing process.”

Faith also attends events and expos, and has appeared in several local and grooming publications. Among her other duties: teaching rescue Persian and fellow shop cat Lola how to wrap humans around her little paw.

 

Kale Chips & Gracie

HAPPY DOG BARKERY, DOWNERS GROVE, IL

Kale Chips the Beagle (above, pictured at right) gained international fame in 2015 for weighing an unhealthy 86 pounds. Store owner Beth Staley fostered him, helping him lose half the weight! Now a permanent member of the family and staff, he shares the spotlight with fellow rescue Gracie, who loves to photobomb her sibling when fans visit.

 

Tuff & Co.

NASHVILLE PET PRODUCTS, NASHVILLE, TN

Up to five rescue cats — including Tuff — live at each of this store’s six locations.

“They’re rock stars! Customers make a point of saying hi to their favorites as they shop,” marketing and outreach manager Keefer Dickerson says. “We also use photos of the them on our social media. It’s a great way to promote sale items and new merchandise.”

 

Josie

MUTTIGANS, EMERALD ISLE, NC

Instead of greeting or helping customers, the adorable Pug puts them to work!

“She loves her Kong ball more than anything else and can train humans in less than 30 seconds to get on their hands and knees and retrieve the ball from wherever she managed to get it stuck,” owner Wendy Megyese says.

 

Alfie

FUR BABY BOUTIQUE, MILFORD, DE

He may be semi-retired, but this rescue Miniature Pinscher inspired Sherry Shupe to open her store and still holds the title of Chief Toy & Treat Officer.

“Customers would carry Alfie around the store while shopping. When they got close to a toy or treat he loved, or a delicious-smelling food, he would wag his nubby tail and show the customers what to buy! They’d always open the treat bags to give him one for his hard work.”

 

Susan

LOYAL BISCUIT CO., WATERVILLE, ME

This Calico came in as an adoptable cat, but owner Heidi Neal invited her to stay. Does Susan enjoy interacting with customers?

“It depends!,” store manager Adam Balbo says. “One of her best friends is a little boy who comes to play with her feather flyer toy, and she chases him around. While she is aloof around dogs, she has been known to sit outside the bathing station to mock them while they’re getting washed.”

 

Castro

JUNGLE BOB’S REPTILE WORLD, SELDEN, NY

You may recognize Castro from his recent appearance on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.” The clip of him marking his territory on the host’s desk went viral!

When not on TV or in the community for educational programs, the 20-year-old Cuban Rock Iguana spends his days greeting customers or napping in sunny spots.

“He also comes when I call his name,” Robert “Jungle Bob” Smith says.

At night, Castro retires to an on-site custom enclosure built to replicate his natural habitat.

 

Coco

5B PAWS N CLAWS, HAILEY, ID

This store pet recently gave birth to a filly named Bella and has taken maternity leave. When CoCo returns, she will resume surprising and delighting customers during weekly visits.

“No one expects a horse in a downtown pet store! She is so big, but lovely, gentle and kind,” owner Kate Nixon says. “Kids can crawl all over her like a jungle gym, and she loves it.”

 

Strata

SPRING FORTH DOG ACADEMY PROVIDENCE, RI

This Shetland Sheepdog has a very important job: trainer’s assistant in Puppy Day School. Strata has helped socialize more than 250 puppies to date.

“He is gentle and patient with shy, fearful puppies while also having no reservations about putting a boisterous, inconsiderate puppy in their place,” owner Katherine Ostiguy says.

 

Dudley

ANIMAL HOUSE PET SUPPLIES, SAUK CITY, WI

This Yellow Crowned Amazon goes to work with owner Tara Hellenbrand almost daily. Dudley perches on his stand behind the counter, interacting with customers for short periods of time.

“He is a chicken with strangers! He will step up onto their arms with no problem, but is uneasy being off his stand and will pace, making noises.”

 

Ocho

THE WHOLE PET, FORT SMITH, AR

This Briard greets customers from behind the counter, but marketing director  Kris Minkle says, “He is best known for his breakroom shenanigans — he has had several indiscretions with sausage biscuits — and our customers love to follow his antics on Facebook.”

 

Fia

BATH & BISCUITS, GRANVILLE, OH

Fia the Pomeranian goes just about everywhere with grooming salon owner Danielle Wilson.

“People ooh and aah over her. She makes it easy to start a conversation about their dogs, which often leads into what to feed and where to go for grooming.”

 

Bandit

NATURE’S PET MARKET AND SUNNY PAWS GROOMING, SALEM, OR

This rescue Border Collie-Spaniel mix comes to work with his human, groomer Stephanie Whiteside. Because of her work, Bandit often finds himself sporting the latest styles.

“Stephanie loves to color his hair for fun, and his hairdo often matches the season or holiday,” store owner Terri Ellen says. “He’s had green, blue and turquoise hair!”

 

Luna & Simba

PURRRFECT BARK, COLUMBUS, NC

Luna likes to jump up and sit on the checkout counter. Senior Simba prefers to hang out on the floor. Both rescues interact with customers, human and canine alike.

 

Jetta

MUTT WAGGIN’ PET SUPPLIES, MEDFIELD, MA

A senior Boston Terrier, rescue Jetta greets customers as they come into the store, returning to her bed to nap until the next one arrives.

 

Buddy & Taylor

CATS N DOGS, PORT CHARLOTTE, FL

Taylor the Schnoodle and Buddy the Picardy Shepherd are BFFs. Both rescues, they work as greeters at the store. Taylor goes home with owner Nancy Okun, while Buddy lives with her right-hand woman, Judi Herston.

 

Mumsie

BOW WOW BEAUTY SHOPPE, SAN DIEGO, CA

This Standard Poodle has a busy schedule. When not working as chief treat taster and social media model, she competes in dog shows! You may also recognize Mumsie from our July-August cover, on which she appeared with owner Leel Michelle in celebration of their America’s Coolest Stores win.

 

Pamela Mitchell is the editor-in-chief of PETS+. She works from her home office in Houston, TX, with Spot the senior Boston Terrier as her assistant.

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