“… and little by little, they become its visible soul.”

Local businesses are vital to the places we live, and they’re also what makes the places that we live at, unique. I’ve been enjoying seeing Detroit flourish over these past few years, and I love stopping by and shopping at all the new stores that have popped up. Of course, being a pet lover, my favorite spots are the stores that have shop pets!

City Bark Detroit is a boutique pet supply and accessory store located downtown in Detroit’s Capitol Park (1222 Griswold St, Detroit, MI 48226). They offer multiple high-end cat and dog food brands, treats, and litter, a colorful array of leashes, collars, toys and specialty items like Bowser Beer Beefy Brown Ale, a nonalcoholic beer for dogs.

They also have Carter and Louie, two adorable store dogs, who you’re bound to see at one point or the other when you shop there. I had the chance to chat with Jamie Judd, the owner, and Pam, her manager, about their pups. You can read their answers, AND see the adorable faces of the pups, below.

This is the first of a mini-series that I’ll be doing which will feature local businesses that have shop pets. So the next time you’re in town, be sure to stop by these places, and say hello!

(P.S. Are you a local business owner with a storefront + store pet? Send me a message to be featured!)

Name of Pet: Carter

Age: 9

How they joined your family: When I was in college, I came across a litter of “oops” puppies that were being given away. I wasn’t allowed to have a dog in college, so I kept him a secret from my family for a few months until I had to go home for the summer. They weren’t happy, but once they met him, they couldn’t resist!

If they were a person, what kind of person would they be: We’ve spent so much time together that I think he would be exactly like me!

Job Responsibilities: He is the official mascot of the store (the dog in the logo). Current job duties include greeting customers and taking them on tours of the store, where they somehow always ending up at his favorite spot – the treat bar. (He prides himself on being a taste tester.)

Naughtiest Thing They’ve Ever Done: Carter has a very big guilty conscience. His brother is the naughty one, and sometimes, though he would never admit it – he is his partner in crime going through the garbage and barking at strangers.

Favorite thing about Detroit: This is Carter’s first run at living in the city. He loves the guaranteed (and multiple) daily walks where he sees at least two or three of his friends each time.

General Info About Your Store That You Would Like Pet Lovers/Readers know: City Bark is a pet supply and accessory store in downtown’s Capitol Park. We offer a pet food delivery service, as well as host in-store nail trims and adoptions on a bi-weekly basis.

Name of Pet: Louie

Age: 7 (8 on 6/28, yes I know his exact date )

How they joined your family
I actually had Louie’s parents. My aunt bred pugs and that is where I got his mom, Lyla. Within the year of getting Lyla, we got Reggie from another breeder. You can never have just one pug!! Under the guidance of my aunt, my husband and I decided we wanted them to have one litter. After multiple times trying, Mr. Reggie just couldn’t figure it out so we decided to fix him. A few weeks after, we found out Lyla was pregnant! Life got crazy and my husband’s job transferred us to Ohio. During the move, I headed to Ohio first with the dogs and mom to clean out the new house. Once settled, I went back to MI to help with the U-Haul, leaving my mom with the dogs. I joked Lyla would probably have the puppies when I was gone and sure enough she did. The first two came out perfect but then Louie entered the world limp and lifeless. My panicked mother loaded Lyla and the 3 puppies in the car and drove to the nearest vet. The vet was able to revive Louie and Lyla had two more puppies via C-section. In total Lyla had 3 boys (Louie, Lenny, and Leroy) and 2 girls (Regina and Roxie). Louie needed hourly care after, and of course, we bonded quickly so there was no way we were giving him away. Both Louie’s parents have passed, and he now has two sisters (Tilly a shepherd mix and Bertie a pit bull). I still miss Louie’s parents dearly, but it’s comforting to still have a piece of both of them in Louie. He’s my little sidekick and shadow. I can’t imagine life without him.

If they were a person, what kind of person would they be:
Louie was a maniac when he was little but now he’s super chill. He reminds me of an old man. If he’s not sleeping and cuddling, he’s policing the party (bossing around his sisters, yelling at the kids in his front lawn, and the puppies playing too hard at the store.) Plus he has tons of rolls and snores really loud!

Job Responsibilities:
Louie loves to greet everyone that walks in. He gets some loving then returns to his bed and naps/waits for the next customer. During the summer when we have the door open, he’ll sunbathe on the front door rug tempting customers to come in as they walk by. It’s a great marketing tool!

Naughtiest Thing They’ve Ever Done:
Even though Louie is the oldest at home, he’s still mama’s baby and acts like it when he doesn’t get his way. When this happens, I’ll find a tiny turd in the middle of the living room. As I return, he’ll sit right next to it and look at me with a nasty face!

Favorite thing about Detroit:
All the delivery people that regular the store, hands down. His favorite is Tom the UPS man.

And here’s some more fun photos of both Carter and Louie!