About 6 years ago on a trip to Bradford on Avon I discovered a great little pet boutique called Fetch. 'Now, this would be an ideal stockist' I thought so I chatted to the lady and left a card. Our next meeting was at a trade show last year where Ruth - the owner - told me how much she loved our products but sadly still didn’t have room for them. Then out of the blue in the Spring of this year an email dropped into my inbox - an excited Ruth had found bigger premises and wanted to place an order for our products that she had been eyeing up for years! I was just as excited because sometimes you just know that there are people out there that you really want to work with, and Ruth is one of them!
The new name of the relocated shop is The Doghouse & when Ruth invited me down to host a Sausage Dog Sunday I jumped at the chance - I could launch my new dachshund coat & really get a handle on the sizes of these long & short dogs! Something that has perplexed me for many years!!
I mentioned it to Kerry, my trusty friend, fellow dog lover & talented photographer & she wasn’t going to be left behind! Kerry & I arrived on the Saturday afternoon & we really thought we had walked into dog heaven - this was no ordinary dog shop! The Doghouse is in a really quirky semi circular building with a grooming parlour at the back, a section packed with really great quality food, the cafe area with some seating then more shop. I’ve never seen such a beautifully curated selection of products. The coffee was great & not just one type of gluten free cake but two!
A word of warning, it is impossible to enter this shop and not get your purse out! I did of course have to make purchases for George - a new bowl, a new tag, some new toys and some tasty treats - well he will need them for training right?
We weren’t sure how many to expect at the event the next day, but we started at 11 & didn’t stop until 5! It was a bonkers and fun day.
Ruth did dog muffins and little pots of mash, peas & venison sausage for the dogs & there were other sausage based goodies for their humans. Sally Muir was signing her latest book A Dog a Day & Kerry was on hand with her lens pointing at those happy to pose & those less confident, also capturing moments like the one below - the look on that dogs face says it all!
I have never met so many dachshunds in one place, young, old, tiny, long and big! Our new Devon Dachshund Coat went down a storm as did our classic wax coats & new fleeces. I never stop getting a buzz seeing my designs on dogs, so I was high on the excitement!
I measured George, Archie, Dora, Daisy, Geoff, Jonty and several others for coats and fleeces, some went away with the right size, some are having special sizes made, but after spending the day with this breed I realised what big personalities these dogs have. At one point people & dogs were queuing from both sides, I didn’t know where to look first! We even had a couple of gate crashers - the whippets who came were a delight and a little confused by the whole thing but I got to meet the lovely Masie who was measured up for a special sized coat.
The atmosphere was joyous & everyone had a great time & I think you can see from the photos just what I mean!
I have learnt a few things from the experience:
1 - Mini Dachshunds can be anything from teeny tiny 10" long to much bigger and longer - up to 15"!
2 - Standard Dachshunds fit my Maxi coat quite well, but basically they are a spaniel sized body on short legs!
3 - Around 50% of people use a harness and so I had better get on with a harness hole design for them - note to self - add it to the list!
4 - For some dogs my coats just don't fit, I have to have standard sizes and for some this just doesn't work, but for the majority they do, for them the owners relief was palatable, they had never been able to get a coat to fit before - I heard that a lot on the day.
I am very glad there are people like Ruth out there who’s love of dogs, great sense of style & entrepreneurialism have led her to achieve what she has in this fantastic enterprise, a shop like no other, that I am proud to say stocks our brand. It’s no surprise to me that she picked up three awards this week including Best Shop in Bradford on Avon. Well done The Doghouse it is so well deserved.
For all the latest shop news pop over and like The Doghouse facebook page https://www.facebook.com/doghouseBoA/
If you want to Kerry to work her magic on your hound you can find her at: http://www.whippetsnippets.co.uk/
Sally's joyful celebration of dogs in A Dog a Day is a great Christmas gift and can be found on that famous website that once only sold books! www.amazon.co.uk
If you have a dog boutique and would like to stock our products please do get in touch.