By Karin Krisher
While we’ve been giving a lot of attention to our own pups, lizards and cats, we feel like we haven’t featured one of our awesome customers in a long time. There are so many of you that are loyal to Pet Naturals in so many ways that it is always hard to choose a location to feature, but this week, we left it up to our fans. And one fan nominated a boutique whose name and mission intrigued us.
Without further ado, meet: The Dirty Doodle.
The Dirty Doodle opened in November, 2012 in Reading, Massachusetts. Despite its youth, it’s already garnered plenty of local attention and created a new community space for pet lovers. And that makes sense; its four owners know the meaning of community and of pet loving!
Owner Kaitlyn Fusco tells us that The Doodle is a “ dog boutique and self wash with a strong focus on dedication to holistic foods and treats, force free training methods, animal rescue causes and consumer education about the medical consequences of poor canine nutrition.”
It’s also a family-owned and run business, which Kate operates alongside her husband Giancarlo and her parents Karyn and Jack. A family friend, Henry, also joins in the fun as the boutique’s designer. Together, Henry and Karyn design bandanas, bow ties, collar flowers, fleece jackets, raincoats, “and on and on—the list is endless! Their careful and beautiful work is one of the things that make us truly unique. It includes vet-approved orthopedic beds that are not only affordable, but also completely customizable to your home décor!” said Kate in an e-mail.
Aside from personally designed items, The Dirty Doodle also features in-store and off-location pet photography sessions with professional photographer Jaime Slocum.
“The rest of us focus largely on ensuring that each and every product we stock is not only healthy, all natural and top of the line, but also something we feel comfortable giving to our own pets,” said Kate. “Another big priority is making sure that our self-wash system is the most user friendly and up-to-date set-up in the area in order to provide our customers (both human and canine) with the best experience possible.”
Another, even more personal priority is the health of the three pups that round out the Doodle family: Ollie, Bailey and Finnegan. Finnegan, Kate and Giancarlo’s Sheepadoodle, is actually the logo of the boutique and a “Doodle on Duty” in-store, along with Ollie, a Goldendoodle who makes his home with Jack and Karyn.
Finnegan “absolutely loves Scoot Bars,” said Kate. “I don’t know what we do if he didn’t. They are a staple in our home,” she said.
And they’re quickly becoming a staple for the store as well. Pet Naturals formulas abound at The Dirty Doodle. Kate stocks the shelves with Daily Best, Hip + Joint, Calming, Flea + Tick, and of course, the Scoot Bars. The best sellers are the Flea + Tick, even in the winter, because hikers frequent the nearby expansive, wooded area with their pups.
The health of those pups is the store’s ultimate mission. After speaking with Kate, it became clear that The Dirty Doodle’s commitment to pet health goes beyond selling product in-store. The boutique also has a close relationship with Sweet Paws Rescue, which rescues animals from the southern U.S. and finds them northern forever homes. In fact, The Dirty Doodle is hosting its first fundraiser for Sweet Paws on January 27, 2013. One hundred percent of every self-wash fee will be donated to Sweet Paws directly, said Kate.
“Rescue animals have a very important place in all of our hearts and we want to do what we can for them, as well as the community as a whole,” she said.
We feel the same way. That’s why we’re proud to feature The Dirty Doodle as our Store of The Month. It’s a boutique, but also a cause. It’s a store, but also a home. And most important, it’s full of people with a similar mission.
Said Kate, “Nothing makes me happier than knowing I’ve played even a tiny role in promoting the health of a beloved pet and ensuring he or she will live a long life with a wonderful family.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Have you gotten to visit The Dirty Doodle? Are you going to the fundraiser? Tell us about your experience on our Facebook page!