Monday, December 21, 2015

Dog Friendly Stores with In Store Pick Up - A Holiday Miracle for Last Minute Dog Loving Shoppers! (and a Holiday poem!)

Dogs Gone Shopping - A Christmas Poem by Bella Victoria

Where ya goin? Can I come too? 

Yes, Yes said she! We're headed to bed. Curl up on the quilt and lay down your soft head.

Were you leavin'? Can I come with you?

Yes, Yes said she! We're going to friends'. With Calico and Cricket the fun never ends!

What's up with your feet? Can my paws follow suit?

Yes, Yes said she! We're PetSmart bound! We ordered online now we head into town!

Who you seein'? Will my leash surely do?

Yes, Yes said she! To the Groomer and Vet! They can't wait to see you and give you a pet!

But what about shopping, it's Holiday bliss! The stores are all filled for both Mr. and Miss!

No, no silly girl. That's for Service Dogs working. Not Cattle Dogs leashed, and sniffing and jerking. 

But wait, what is this? There is good news afoot! Stores don't just approve Santa covered in soot...

They also rejoice at your four furry paws and your tail wagging round and your clackity claws!

This is great, this is cool! I'm a dog on the town! You just wait there, we are coming right down!

Tis a holiday story wrapped up in a bow! Last minute shopping with furry friend in tow.

You ordered online, and they shopped just for you. I won't tell a soul of what's green and what's blue.

We'll go down the aisles...we'll walk and we'll run! The children and staff will get licks just for fun!

So when you get your presents from under the tree. Don't mind the  paw prints from my wrapping spree.

I helped pick it out. I can help unwrap it too. Merry Christmas to she and to him and to you!

The Full Story - A Holiday Miracle for Last Minute Dog Lovers - by Trista Polo

Bella is an active Cattle Dog mix and needs 3 hours of activity per day - a mix of physical and mental work is best for her. She's a working dog breed and she really needs a job. The daylight is shorter, the weather is cooler and my schedule is fuller. All of that adds up to limited work/play time for Bella and me.

In the car, ready to shop!
I have been racking my brain with how to juggle my busy schedule and Bella's need for activity. How to get it all done - the running around that seems to fill the Holiday season - and still keep Bella's mental and physical well being in tact.

If only I could kill two birds with one stone! There are so many hours in a day, Christmas is fast approaching and there is still so much to do!

I'm happy to say that I found a great way to get everything done, spend plenty of time with Bella and leverage the little amount of time I have.

Here's my sure fire Holiday Miracle for Last Minute Dog Loving Shoppers in 3 easy steps:

1st - Occupy Puppy!
Make sure you have fully stocked food puzzles, frozen Kongs or other indoor activities that keep your dog busy.

Home Depot, Here We Come!
2nd - Shop Online!
Leverage ONLINE SHOPPING at your favorite stores that meet the following criteria: They have in store pick up AND they let you bring your dog into the store. (More on this later!)

3rd - Leash up and head out!
You and your BFF (Best Furry Friend) can have fun adventures at stores all around town wracking up curious stares, big smiles and happy children everywhere you go!

Below are the details that we learned through trial and error, so your first trip out is as worry and stress free as possible. =)

Occupy Puppy! - This may not be necessary for your pup, but if I'm home, Bella looks for more attention than your average dog. "A tired Cattle Dog is a good Cattle Dog" is an expression quite apropos. Unfortunately, since I don't work a typical office job where I can do my shopping online at work (I know YOU don't do that either!) I have to find time at home to do it. And if I'm home, I should be playing with Bella right? We use food puzzles as our main way to feed Bella. I'll be doing a review soon on many of the available puzzles out there. In the meantime, a Frozen Kong is always a good bet. You can watch my How To video for this option - it's been a a great option to keep Bella busy all year round.

Now that your pup is occupied, it's time to...

These lines are long!
Shop Online! - Imagine you are going into a store with your pup in tow for the first time. You have your car keys, purse, phone, leash, poop bags (definitely don't forget these! ;-)  ) and now you need to deal with shopping cart, buying things, standing in line at check out, having your things rung up, getting out your credit card...and you are still expected to have holiday spirit! By the way, they don't have those handy-dandy dog leash hooks at every cashier that are so conveniently located at the Vet counter. So at least when you are a shopping spree with dog newbie, get the bulk of your shopping done first. We love to shop at - We can still shop at our favorite dog-friendly stores PLUS AND we get up to 50% Cash Back every time we shop. And bonus - we feed our #shoppingannuity with each purchase. If you want to see if your favorite dog-friendly stores offer cash back - you can check that here: One more tip about shopping at - I recommend you download Shop Buddy, a free widget that will get you cash back, current coupon codes and the best price all around the internet even if you forget to There's a full list of stores that offer the Trifec-dog below (In Store Pick Up + Dog Friendly + Cash Back).

I'll Take This one!
Leash Up and Head Out! - You'll get the hang of this after a few trips, I promise! It's very odd the first time you go to a store like Macy's and walk in with your dog on a leash. I kept wondering when someone would yell at me. I was defensive waiting for a hard time from an employee. It never happened though! We got lots of smiles and even some friendly pets. =) It's definitely worth a little stress and uncertainty at first because once you and your BFF start shopping together you won't want to shop anywhere that says "Service Dogs Only." Here are some things to keep in mind when heading out with your pup. It's not just about pet stores! Yes, PetSmart and Pet Co welcome your furry family and friends. And you may have heard that Home Depot is also a great place to take your pup along. But did you know that Macy's, Lowes and Gap do too? wrote an article and some great dog-friendly stores made the list. See their full list here. Before you shop, take these tips to heart.
Barnes & Noble Poughkeepsie
Is No Place for Dogs =(

- Call first! Even though Barnes and Noble is on the NICE list in the Popsugar article, our local B&N is Service Dogs only.

- Consider a leash/harness combo for more control in the stores! There are a lot of people walking around the store and you want to maintain the best and most humane control possible. No long leashes and keep a tight reign on your pup when shopping.

- Go during off-peak hours! It's not just about fewer feet in the also have less parking lot traffic to navigate. It's safer and will ultimately be less stressful.

A $320 toy from MK -  I can has it?
- Seriously! Poop bags! You just never know. Pet stores are great about cleaning up after your pet. Don't expect a Macy's employee to run to your rescue. Be prepared to deal with whatever comes your way.

- Keep your purchases to a minimum or bring another set of hands along! Remember, if you bring your pup into the store, you will be bringing your pup out of the store with whatever else you purchase. So bring a friend along to carry the bags or keep your purchases to a minimum.

Home Depot is a great "Find It" spot!
- Training Treats optional! If your dog responds well to them, as Bella does, you can use them to distract your pup from the merchandise, frightened children and other things that may catch her attention. They are also a great way to grab some fun photo ops or even play a game of "Find It" in Home Depot!

- Be patient and have fun! This is a great option for spending time with your pup and getting some last minute holiday shopping done. Be prepared, be patient and have fun!

Bella is a high energy dog who is still learning to be on a leash and LOVES dogs and people. These tips are based on our own trial and error experiences and we quickly got the hang of it. No teeth marks on leather, no accidents and no embarrassing stories. We'll definitely be doing lots more shopping together!

These 12 Stores make the Trifec-Dog List!

They offer In Store Pick Up, Cash Back and are Dog Friendly! (Plus all of these stores have lots of great coupon savings you'll find when you click the store link)
Where have you shopped with your BFF? Any other tips you can share to make these outings awesome?

This post contains affiliate links. 🐶

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