Pet shop providing community spirit and a taste of normality for locals.
Most people are aware that there is absolutely no truth to the rumour that a dog ever said 'oh no, not another walk', who would have guessed that a dog grooming parlour (apparently considered an essential business during lockdown) would ever become a thriving community hub? With or without dogs.
Jennifer Shepherd’s boutique on historic Eton High Street has been open for 50 days straight, and, as one of the few shops able to remain open, has become a morale boosting hub for her local community.
While her shop, A Dog’s Life, had always had a coffee machine, prior to lockdown it accounted for just 5 per cent of her sales. “Now it’s 100 per cent almost!” says the 32-year-old.
In spite of social distancing rules, a visit to A Dog's Life has become the centre of many people’s daily rituals. Everyone from dog walkers to the elderly come in for some coffee and sympathy. “Unsurprisingly people have more than usual on their minds!” says Shepherd, who originally hails from Tennessee. She adds: “I’ve made so many new friends in the past few weeks. Although I am a little tired.”
With lockdown easing she’s finding her customers are venturing from further afield, particularly cyclists from London stopping for a refreshment.
A Dog’s Life has been open for just a year and a half, but Shepherd’s efforts, and American charm, have ensured its place in the heart of her community. “It’s important even in these difficult times to have a taste of normality as a treat once a day.”