Work like a dog (or cat)

    Credit: Jezy J. Gray

    It’s no secret that we love our animals here in Boulder County. Whether hitting the trails with a trusty pup or pulling up a table next to a feline companion at the Purrfect Pause Cat Cafe, you’ll see evidence of their special place in our hearts all around. Our local retailers are no exception. You’ll find four-legged mascots wandering the aisles and sunning in the windows of a number of local shops, from cannabis dispensaries to vintage stores and points in between. That’s why Boulder Weekly spent time getting to know just a few that make their respective businesses so special. So when you’re out doing your last-minute holiday shopping this season, be sure and say hi to these furry employees. 

    Credit: Caitlin Rockett

    Freddie, Snarkington’s Gifts (324 Main St., Longmont)

    Don’t let her unassuming demeanor lull you into a false sense of ease — the tortoiseshell cat at Snarkington’s Gifts is a stone-cold killer. 

    “She’s named after Freddy Krueger,” explains Lisa Patchem, owner of the eclectic gift shop on Main Street Longmont. 

    When Freddie was a kitten, her original owner (fellow downtown business owner Julie Benoit of Maker General) was stumped on what to name her. After dining out one evening, Benoit came home to a bloody mess.  

    “[The cat] apparently caught a mouse or a rat, and dragged it up the staircase,” Patchem says. 

    And from then on, the cat was known as Freddie.

    She came to Snarkington’s in 2021 after Benoit’s daughter developed severe allergies. Patchem suggested they give Freddie a new life as a shop cat at Snarkington’s.

    “She’s been with us since August of ’21, and Julie [Benoit] and her family are here all the time, so they still get to visit Freddie,” Patchem says. “It’s a win-win for everybody.”

    In the back of the shop — past the handmade jewelry, the physician’s-style bag with cat faces on it, the candles, ornaments, T-shirts, mugs and other delightful tchotchkes — the 12- (or 13-) year-old cat has a heated pet bed perched atop a chair with signs directing patrons on how to interact with Freddie: Pet at your own risk, mostly on her back, never on the tummy. 

    Patchem opened Snarkington’s Gifts in November 2020 “to give Longmont some laughter and levity during a really hard time.” 

    Drop by and pet Freddie while you finish your holiday shopping — there’s even a sticker to let folks know you’ve had the honor.  

    Credit: Jezy J. Gray

    Hammy, Heady Bauer (2009 13th St., Boulder)

    There’s a reason handsome Hammy is known as “Pearl Street’s therapy dog.” With his friendly disposition, the one-year-old pup posted up at the eclectic Heady Bauer vintage shop puts a smile on the face of pretty much everyone who walks through the door. In fact, some people stop in just to see him. 

    “He’s just an excited lover. He’s really just a goofball,” says owner Pinner Chalabiani, who took him home as a puppy. “And he’s not shy at all. He loves to greet people. He’s just a big ball of joy.” 

    Hammy (or simply Ham) makes a natural addition to the pet-centric store selling gently used, one-of-a-kind threads in a fun-and-funky environment that’s uniquely Boulder. The store relocated earlier this year to its new downtown location, and this lovable lug has wasted no time making new friends with customers and their pets from his new perch just off Pearl Street.

    “Sometimes people walk in and there’s multiple dogs in here playing,” Chalabiani says. “And I’m just like, ‘Hey, if you’re not a dog person, maybe come back in an hour or so. Now is not your time.”

    In addition to all the socializing, Hammy loves to jam in the store’s dedicated music corner filled with instruments. If his owner hops on the bongos, the dance-ready dog wastes no time grabbing a tambourine with his mouth and shaking it furiously to the beat.

    It’s one of the reasons customers like Baba, a mononymous regular who frequently combs through the store’s unique collection, say they feel a special bond with the gentle canine companion.

    “It’s no fanship — that’s literal kindred,” the stylish customer says. “This dog chose my spirit upon arrival.” 

    Credit: Jezy J. Gray

    Daisy, Rocketman (4461 Broadway, Boulder)

    This gorgeous gal has called the vibrant North Boulder head shop Rocketman home for a couple years — but she’s only been running things inside since last summer. She came from an outdoor colony of stray cats that has been living behind the store for two decades. After getting picked on by some of the larger cats, Daisy soon found her way inside the doors (and hearts) of the Broadway business and its employees. 

    “She is very, very social. She loves people. She loves treats,” says employee Tatum Mead. “And she’ll pick up her toy and show you when it’s time to play.”

    Daisy’s favorite toy is homemade: a feathery bird attached to a working fishing rod. When she’s not batting it around, you’ll catch her sleeping on the counters or rubbing up against her favorite customers (which happen to be the same ones who slip her treats). 

    Be sure to pay Daisy a visit the next time you’re dodging construction cones on North Broadway and looking for your next piece. Rocketman is open seven days a week, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

    Credit: Jezy J. Gray

    Lily, Pettyjohn’s Liquor and Wine (613 S. Broadway, Boulder)

    Sweet Lily is nine years old in human years, so she’s well beyond the drinking age by her canine count. So don’t be alarmed if you see her hanging out inside Pettyjohn’s Liquor in South Boulder, where this well-behaved girl has been enjoying the finer things in life for the last few years. 

    “She’s super mellow, super observant and friendly,” says owner and
    Pettyjohn’s employee Patrick Bowe. Lily is his first dog, taken home just before her fourth birthday, so being able to bring her in for shifts at his workplace has been a great opportunity for the pair to enjoy a little togetherness on the job.  

    If you spot this gorgeous white German Shepherd hanging out in the bourbon or craft beer aisle, don’t be afraid to show her a little love. “She’s shy. But she just wants you to make the first move and go in and pet her and then she’s cool,” Bowe says. 

    And if you really want to get in good with Lily, don’t come empty-handed. Bowe says her favorite customers come bearing gifts. “People will bring freeze-dried liver in their pockets just for her,” Bowe says. “She’ll follow them around because she knows she’s gotten homemade treats from them before.”

    Given her laid-back and friendly vibe, it’s no wonder this booze-store beauty has stolen the hearts of so many customers at the South Boulder staple.

    “She’s really the mascot for the store,” Bowe says. “People know her name more than mine.” 

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