Celebrating National Puppy Day


This year, my family and I are celebrating National Puppy Day the right way—with a nine-week-old Lab mix, named Bella, who we just adopted from a local animal rescue. We couldn’t be happier.

Last week, my wife, children and I went to Save a Pet in Port Jefferson, N.Y., finally ready to consider replacing our beloved Jack Russell Terrier, who passed away from cancer last Thanksgiving at the age of 13. While we knew that we were prepared to move on from a mourning phase to a welcoming one, and would be seeing lots of cute puppies in need of a home, we were not expecting to be love struck within minutes of walking through the door—and we certainly were not prepared to have her come home with us the very next day.

In fact, when we returned to the rescue center with our nine-year-old Toy Fox Terrier in tow for a meet and greet with Bella, we were bowled over when we were told that our application had been approved, and we could go home with our family complete that day. Of course, we were ecstatic, but we were also woefully unprepared. Undeterred by this, we took a trip to our local independent pet retailer, where the staff couldn’t be more helpful in getting us loaded up with all of the products necessary for life with a new puppy—and boy did we need help.

You would think that after owning several dogs from puppyhood over my lifetime, not to mention being the editor-in-chief of a pet retail magazine for more than a decade, I would intuitively know what we would need to accommodate a new pup. However, I continually found myself responding, “Oh, that’s right,” every time a store associate pointed out another necessity that simply wasn’t on my radar.

It was something of a humbling experience, and one that served to once again highlight in my mind the important role that independent pet stores play in keeping pets—and their owners—happy and healthy.

So, on this National Puppy Day, I want to thank all independent retailers out there for their hard work in promoting great care for pets (not to mention sanity for pet owners). Keep up the good work!

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