An Underdog’s Up-Fed-Hill Battle?

Unleashed Photo

If you’ve been keeping your finger on the pulse of Federal Hill life, you may have heard that Petco’s smaller brand label, Unleashed, is moving in to the spot that Quizno’s used to occupy. The concept is a good one, in theory: bring in the knowledge and know-how of the larger brand and put it in a smaller package. But personally, I won’t be shopping there because much like how video killed the radio star (EtM: timely reference!), I suspect that the big name store will squash the small neighborhood spot. Many of us city living dog owners have been going to Dogma, Doggie Style, and Pet Valu for years, rather than venturing out to the county for supplies.

I personally was a huge fan of Doggie Style, a small shop on Light Street that closed its doors when the owner of the building decided to sell. It had everything from pet supplies to toys to grooming. My dog is a Pomeranian and has an ample supply of hair. Her upkeep is essential to keeping my pup looking great and, yes, to avoid the dreaded dingle berries. I’m happy to pay the price because I love her crazy face, but I’m averse to paying a high premium. Seriously, why should I pay upwards of $60 for grooming a dog that weighs 8 pounds? I know she has more hair than most dogs, but that’s more than $7 a pound! Fortunately, Doggie Style offered an affordable solution and a personal touch. I was devastated when I found out they would be closing their doors until the owner told me that our groomer, Jess, would be opening up her own spot.

$7 a pound
$7 a pound

So, I anxiously awaited the opening of Pawtimore. I bided my time trying to wash my dog in the sink (you read that right: the sink. If I tried the tub she’d sprint to the other end, it was a futile effort) and attempt to trim up the rear as best I could. My friends had fun with this period and loved telling me how pitiful she looked. I didn’t have to wait too long, fortunately. Pawtimore opened its door last month further up Light Street. Side bar: they really offer great services at an affordable price and I cannot sing their praises enough. My dog, Lena, is a skosh on the anxious side and they whisper the crap out of her.

So now in waltzes Petco’s Unleashed. Sure there will always be competition in business, but I feel as though they are encroaching on the neighborhood feel of Federal Hill. Part of the charm in Charm City, is having restaurants, boutiques, and small shops that you can walk to and you wouldn’t find in the county. And I highly doubt they will offer the personal touch that you would get at Pawtimore. I know some friends that are excited for the opening and, at the least, to have some more options, but as for me, no thanks. Pawtimore is irreplaceable to me, so I’ll be saving my business for them. I would be shattered if the big guy came in and beat up my underdog.

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