by Owen Maercks on Oct 1, 2013
“      When a first-timer comes into your store, what is the most likely request they will make in terms of a snake, lizard, turtle or a frog? I am guessing the most common answers to those questions are garter snake, green anole, red-eared slider and bullfrog—those are all pretty terrible choices. Most garter snakes are flighty, tend to musk when handled, and are prone to water blisters. Green anoles have generally short lifespans…”

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by Owen Maercks on Sep 1, 2013
“    I remember wandering into a competitor’s store about 25 years ago and being utterly floored to see him selling a series of pre-made, five-gallon marine setups, replete with a bit of living coral, a few invertebrates and even some fish. Nowadays, the technology might be such that this…”
by Owen Maercks on Aug 1, 2013
“One of my all-time favorite customers was a mother-daughter team. Mom loved snakes but loathed spiders. Daughter was a devotee of eight-leggers but shuddered visibly at the sight of serpents. The two would stand at opposite ends of the counter to purchase supplies and, with some frequency, new pets. Only…”
by Owen Maercks on Jul 1, 2013
“Some things are a double-edged sword. There is nothing worse than that 3 a.m. phone call from the security company, letting you know that the store’s alarm has been activated. My shop, with no traffic, is a 12-minute drive from the house. I have been known to make it from…”
by Owen Maercks on Jun 1, 2013
“      I must admit: there are few things in the world that give me knee-jerk fear—one of which is something I sell. That would be the centipede. The scorpion, on the other hand, which strikes fear in the hearts many, has never scared me. I never worked with…”