Happy New Year, pals! It's Theresa and Scott here, stealing Barley's blog for an update. We're obviously beyond excited to say hello to 2018 because of all we have in store (bahaha, we love puns).
Over the next few weeks, we'll share a series of posts that will give you deeper insights into what you can expect from our new shop. For now, below are highlights on where we are and also some insights on the feedback we received from the survey we sent last fall.
Our first signs! (One on Shannon Rd. and one on University Dr.)
When will we open?
We were far more delayed in getting a building permit than we had anticipated, so construction just started in the new year (HUGE thanks to Gateway Building Company for pushing everything forward, putting up with us, and getting the crews started on the 2nd!). We are crossing fingers and toes on all hands, feet, and paws that we will be ready to open in late February/early March.
Who won the survey raffle?
We sent a survey last fall asking potential customers for their feedback on our new shop. We did a random drawing of responders, and the winner of a $50 gift card to be used at the new shop is Lindsay J. of Durham!
How much space will you have?
For now, outdoor space is very limited. We only will have a few tables/chairs outside with the hopes that in a couple of years we might be able to expand to have more outdoor space. As far as indoor space, we'll have around 1,700 square feet. We'll do our very best to make sure there's enough room for you to maneuver with your dogs. We, however, won't have enough room for an off-leash space.
Our first guest! (We think it's a mouse?)
Will you help make my dog comfortable?
Yes, our goal is to try and make your dog's experience as enjoyable as possible. We will offer water bowls, treats, toys, and mats for them to lay on while you're enjoying your time there. We also will have ways for you to stay occupied, too (books, adult coloring books, cards, etc.).
Additionally, we will have a no petting without permission policy. There are some dogs that are just fine out and about as long as strangers don't touch them. We need you to help us create an environment where that is ok. Please have enough respect to first ask if you can pet someone's dog and not judge them if they say no. Speaking of rules...
What rules will you have for dogs/dog owners?
One of the first things we did was create a poster with "Lab Rules" to try and ensure a friendly/safe environment for all (someone actually suggested this in the survey, but we already had created it). It covers things like keeping your dog on leash and basically asking people to be, well, nice and respectful.
We had a couple of people suggest in the survey that we ban flexi-lead/retractable leashes. We completely understand why some aren't fans of those, and we will encourage people who use them to switch by offering a discount on other types of leashes if they trade in their retractable leash. However, we aren't going to go as far as banning them. Regardless of the reason, whether it's because of the leash or otherwise, if an owner cannot control their dog, a member of our pack will address the situation as soon as it comes to our attention.
Our biggest rule is to be kind and respectful. We obviously welcome all leashed dogs that are friendly and will expect owners to have full control over their dogs at all times. We won't bring our girl Barley to the space because she is reactive -- and we will ask that owners know their dogs enough to know whether it is appropriate to bring them to our space. However, barking, growling, and lunging can and will happen. Instead of reacting with your own anger toward the other owner, please have some empathy. Even the most well-behaved dog can be set off for one reason or another. That being said, if the other owner cannot gain control of his/her dog, please let a member of our pack know (if we haven't already seen it ourselves), and we'll take care of it.
Will you sell food (for humans and/or dogs)?
We will have pre-packaged snacks available for humans. However, we won't be selling dog food. Aside from bottled beer, we'll primarily have dog treats, accessories, and human gifts in the retail portion of our shop.
Those are the major updates for now. As we mentioned, over the next few weeks we'll share more details about the space so keep an eye out here and on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter. We look forward to seeing you all soon!