Shop caters to four-legged friends

It’s every dog’s dream – to be the co-owner of a pet food and supply store.

Dream job:

It’s every dog’s dream – to be the co-owner of a pet food and supply store.

Just Dogs and Cats Pet Supplies owner Susan McEachran admits that her first couple of weeks in business weren’t easy for Jack, her eight-and-a-half-year old black terrier/poodle who runs the store with her.

“When we opened, he had a real hard time letting people buy his stuff,” says McEachran, whose pet supply store opened recently in the Parkland Mall. “He thought all of these treats and toys were for him. He did put the run on people trying to buy dog biscuits, but that was the first couple of days. He’s calmed down now.

“He understands he has to sell this stuff, that’s his job. And he’s on the taste-testing committee. That keeps him busy.”

McEachran, who moved from Vernon to Sicamous last fall, says opening a pet store has long been a dream of hers. Opening that pet store in Sicamous is the realization of another goal.

“I knew 25 years ago that I’d move back here eventually – I lived in Malakwa for a short term when I was a kid,” said McEachran. “And as far as the pet store, that’s been a dream of mine since I was a kid. I’ve been an active animal lover since I was a kid, and it’s like a little girl’s dream to have a small pet store. So this is my little candy store, only I can’t eat any of the candy. That’s what Jack’s for.”

McEachran also wanted the store in Sicamous because she grew tired of driving to Vernon and Salmon Arm pet stores.

While there are plenty of pet toys and supplies to be found in Just Dogs and Cats, what features most on the shelves is food. Dog and cat foods that are natural, organic, holistic, grain free, locally produced – and all of it, except maybe some of the cat foods, meeting Jack’s high standards.

Asked why she chose just to cater to dog and cat owners, McEachran said there’s a big need in Sicamous, where there are many dog and cat owners.

“Sicamous is small and I wasn’t sure of the need for a full-line pet store,” said McEachran. “This isn’t Salmon Arm. We do have a small population year-round. Sure it grows in the summer, but this is a year-round business for the locals – it’s based on what the locals need.”

Just Dogs and Cats is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“Animals need to eat seven days a week,” says McEachran.