I had my first visit to a large chain pet store last weekend. Boy, was it an experience. Not only did the store offer cat and dog supplies, it had items from just about any pet you could imagine. From the moment I entered through the door, I knew I had entered another world. This wasn't a pet store for people who like their pets. This was a pet store for people who LOVE their pets.
At first glance, it looked they had set up a salad bar near the entrance. Wrong. It was a "treat bar" for dogs. All types of meat flavored treats in every kind of shape imaginable. I had a dog once. He didn't care what shape his meat-flavored treat came in and I doubt that he would have appreciated the fact that it couldn't be have been purchased at a treat bar.
For a pet store, I was surprised that they didn't sell puppies or kittens. Just birds, fish and rodents of every size and shape - much like the dog treat bar. I thought for a moment that it could have been a treat bar for cats, but decided against it.
Venturing on, I came across what appeared to be a bulk cat litter section. A very big sand box with a giant scoop. I wasn't sure if you were to bring in your own bucket or what. Finally, just around the corner I found the cat food I was looking for. I had no idea how many companies made cat food nor why one store would need to carry them all. I grabbed by twenty five pound bag and moved on.
The next row over was the dog food isle and next to that, dog supplies. I was amazed not only by the number of dog beds that they made available for purchase, but by the sheer variety of such beds. Fleece beds, berber beds, outdoor beds, indoor beds, pads, mats, heated dog beds, princess bed, memory foam...a memory foam bed starting at $159! My old dog used to sleep on my grandmothers old coat and he thought it was great. Guess he didn't know what he was missing.
Suddenly I began to wonder. Where were all the people? This was a very big store that allowed pets to bring their people with them. Instead of seeing little old ladies with small pooches stuffed in their purses, but all I found was one large dog on a leash. I guess I could have brought my cats here. I wondered how many people did that. I suspect not many.
As I walked toward the counter to pay for my cat food, I came across a photographer setting ups shop. I guess getting your picture taken with your dog or guinea pig was bigger than just Christmas now. Somehow I missed the memo.
Finally I made it to the front counter. The woman behind the counter looked more annoyed with me than anything else. She looked like the type that treasured her pet relationships over her friends. She wasn't friendly, but adequate and made sure to take my money just fine. The next time I need cat food, I think I will miss this venture altogether and stick with my local grocery store. Amazing. It was my first time AND last time I shopped there.