by Owen Maercks on Sep 1, 2015
“I am often asked by civilians—by that, I mean those outside both the industry and the hobby—“What is the most dangerous animal in the store, or that you have worked with?” The correct answer is, of course, “I am looking at it.” Humans are, without parallel, the planet’s most dangerous species. They are prone to violence, absorbed by self-interest and completely unpredictable. And as the old adage says, children are the future, so it is…”

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by Owen Maercks on Aug 1, 2015
“We have a shoebox rack of baby snakes behind our counter; it is often the focus of interest for customers in a store that has many interest-inducing diversions. Kids in particular line up asking to see this or that inhabitant of what I like to refer to as the baby…”
by Owen Maercks on Jun 30, 2015
“Ours is the kind of business that attracts window shoppers and tire kickers in overwhelming numbers. Everybody seems to like to wander the aisles of a pet store, especially one that features an array of actual potential pets. Even the customers of full-line stores, in for their dog food or…”
by Owen Maercks on May 28, 2015
“Many years ago, when my partnership was in a period of flux, I made one of the smartest decisions of my retail career. I took over responsibility for the dry goods—we like to call it deadstock, as opposed to livestock. It had been the purview of an outgoing partner, and…”
by Owen Maercks on Apr 27, 2015
“When I was a boy growing up on the edge of the Everglades, my mom always let me feed my pets. Every evening, right about sunset, she would take a pie plate, spread some wet dog food out across its bottom, and then hand it to me. I would go…”