September 28, 2011
Sometimes it can be nearly impossible to leave the loveable personalities and cute, furry faces of your favorite pet. Luckily, the Short North Art District’s business owners have the luxury of turning their pooches into beloved shop dogs. Many owners have chosen to let their tail-wagging friends accompany them to work. Customers often appreciate the welcoming environment these shop dogs provide and some even visit their regular Short North Arts District stores just to visit their favorite furry friends!
A favorite Short North business of both customers and dogs alike is Three Dog Bakery. This business is known as being one of the most dog friendly businesses in the district. Your canine’s mouth will be watering once the smells of the delicious puppy pastries fill their wet little noses! Two pups belonging to the shop owners, Susan and Doug Oilar, are lucky enough to be surrounded by these sweet treats on a daily basis. Giant portraits of four year old Sadie and Solomon can be found hanging in the store, and you can usually spot these Great Danes lounging on the couch right below them. After all, it is hard to miss them! Sadie and Solomon have an important position in Three Dog Bakery as the most valuable taste testers. Sadie’s personal favorite treat is Lickety Split, a doggy ice cream. What a perfect treat to enjoy again as the warm days dwindle away! Solomon on the other hand enjoys carob, a dog friendly alternative to chocolate. It becomes evident while shopping at Three Dog Bakery that the owners and staff care as much about the well-being of your pet as they do about Sadie and Solomon. Susan loves to have her two dogs accompany her while working. She understands that having a shop dog is not something every business can do. “Not every shop can allow it,” notes Susan, “so it’s nice for customers to be able to come in to the bakery and see the dogs.” Despite their large size, Sadie and Solomon are extremely gentle and truly enhance the customer’s experiences.
Posh Pets Boutique is known as a dog friendly environment which sells doggy treats, apparel and accessories. Being that the clientele already consists of pet people, shoppers are delighted to see the familiar face of Dog, Posh Pets’ regular shop dog. Dog is a 7-year-old Pomeranian Chihuahua mix. Although he is a bit shy when it comes to strangers, it does not stop him from helping out around the store. Dog loves to play dress up and is happy to model an outfit for customers so they can get a feel for how their purchase will look on their own pup. Dog is always patient and well behaved while getting dressed to show off an array of costumes, collars, and clothing. He mostly loves to wear Ohio State gear. Fortunately for Dog, Posh Pets has a lot of new arrivals, and just in time for football season! You can dress your dog in Posh Pet’s selection of Ohio State collars, jerseys and shirts so that you are both truly ready for gameday!
Shops catering to pets are not the only places with shop dogs. Various galleries and boutiques are also getting in on the action. pm gallery regularly receives new works of art and unique decorations from artists located all across the country. The wide range of newly arriving items is not the only reason for an increase in foot traffic to the gallery. Sisko, a rescue dog from Florida, is a two-year-old Dachshund and the newest member of pm gallery’s family. Whether they are Short North locals or completely new to the district, people love stopping in the gallery once they see Sisko’s sweet face in the window. His pleasant nature makes him a big help around the gallery. “He loves to greet people as soon as they walk in, but he is also very calm around the customers. People just love to stop in and see him, especially people from out of town,” comments co-owner, Michael Secrest. Sisko loves attention, which is something he receives a lot as pm gallery’s shop dog. Although he is quite subdued and gentle, his favorite activities include being chased and running around the store! “He isn’t afraid of people,” adds Secrest. “The only things that seem to scare him are loud trucks.” Fortunately for Sisko, the surroundings at pm gallery are a pleasant distraction from any noisy vehicles in the district.
Another gallery sporting some popular pooches is Ray’s Living Room. This gallery is owned by Kent and Tasi Rigsby, who also own Rigsby’s Kitchen and Tasi Café. Nestled just off High on the side street of Brickel, customers can find two little curly haired bundles of warmth in Ray’s Living Room. Lulu and Mickey, whose name is short for Mick Jagger, are black and white poodles that love mingling with guests admiring the art. They have a habit of making sure that every human feels loved and gets affection from the friendly pair. “Just when you think it is dogs that need attention, here are two pups that really care about the well-being of their human customers,” says owner, Kent Rigsby. This well-behaved twosome will act as your shadow as you peruse the uniquely wonderful art offerings adorning the space.
Just around the corner from Ray’s is Rose Bredl Flowers & Garden. The wonderful aroma of flowers and beautifully featured floral designs alone are enough to draw you in. Once you enter the store you are surrounded by a scent of sweet petals and the lovely scenery of nature. Not only will you be welcomed by the pleasant employees, you are sure to be greeted with a wagging tail from Rose Bredl’s two shop dogs. Savannah, age 10 and Logan, age 3 are both Black Lab/ German Shepherd rescue dogs. Mary, the owner of these playful pups, says that both are friendly and a great addition to the store. “I always know when the mailman is here,” Mary jokes. “They love to bark when he arrives!” Though they are the same breed, they have very different personalities. Savannah is very outgoing and can usually be found hanging out at the front of the store awaiting customers. She loves being in the spotlight, especially when it means receiving dog treats! Despite being a social dog, Savannah is laid back, while her friend Logan is extremely active. Although she is the shyer of the two pups, Logan loves to interact with customers and play with her favorite squeaky toy. It is hard not to be happy in Rose Bredl when surrounded by gorgeous flowers and these two lovable canines.
A few clothing and gift shops also have famous Short North shop dogs. Many locals and business owners were anxiously awaiting the expansion of Tigertree in the district. Customers can now be found roaming around the larger store, taking in the new décor and shopping for clothing, accessories and gifts. The customers were not the only ones excited about the big move. Tigertree’s shop pets, Rufus and June, are very pleased with the extra space! June, a Schnauzer/ Poodle mix, is the smaller of the pair while Rufus is a true (and adorable!) mutt. The four-year-old dogs love to lounge in their bed next to each other enjoying their favorite pastime – sleeping! June and Rufus’ favorite thing to do is watch the customers from the stairwell as they purchase anything from a new outfit to a camera. They are quiet observers, but they love people. Customers love to give these precious pups treats while shopping. Their calm personalities make them the perfect shop dogs.
TORSO is another Short North hot spot featuring the best in menswear. “The uniqueness of the store and the distinctive products you can’t get anywhere else are what draws people into Torso” according to shop owner Scott Rousku. It is not just the flashy window displays or innovative products drawing in the customers, however. Torso’s two Bichon Frise pups, named Gigi and Cody, also add to the store experience. Besides being commonly seen sitting in the store windows, these canines are even famous outside of the Short North. When National Geographic came to Columbus, they photographed Torso’s friendly pets. This pair is used to being in the limelight and one of their favorite things is getting dressed up for Gallery Hops.
Another shop happy to have dogs by their side during the workday is Cookware Sorcerer. This shop features everything you could ever need for your kitchen and dining room table along with a little something extra: a shop dog named Viktoria. The owner Nancy Haitz announced that after many long, happy years with her Dalmatian/Harlequin Great Dane mix, Sam, she has taken on a new friend in the black German Shepherd, Viktoria, who is more affectionately known as “Tori.” Tori is still a puppy at only eight months old but has already built a great rapport with customers. She even “waits on customers” at the counter by propping herself up on her back legs. Regular customers so enjoyed having Sam in the store that bringing in Tori was a natural transition after Sam’s passing. Tori is excited to greet new people to the shop and will be awaiting you in hopes that you will give her one of her favorite liver and cheese treats!
With fall setting in, the weather is perfect to come explore the Short North Arts District. Bring your favorite pup(s) with you and meander along the sidewalks, enjoying the crisp air and turning leaves. These shops and even more will welcome you and your pet companion into their businesses with open arms. So, come treat yourself to a shopping spree and let Fido pick out his favorite treat as well.