Doggy Style

A new pet store supplies both pet and master with gift possibilities

Anyone who names her dog "King" must know her true place among animals. Shellie Sarff, a slim, thirtyish woman with a blonde pixie haircut, is the proud owner (and servant) of King, a 7-year-old tricolored sheltie, and the coproprietor of a unique new pet store called Fetch (1411 34th, 720-1961). Opened this past October, Fetch is located on the same picturesque Madrona block as the Hi-Spot and Madrona Automatic. Customers who stroll in after brunch are greeted by King, the friendly canine who inspired this paean to all things pooch.

But while the dog may be the main attraction here, this cozy shop offers plenty to distract the pet owner. From the buff-colored stucco walls (which Sarff and business partner Marie Emery finished themselves) to the hand-built shelves to the vintage tables and lamps, Fetch is heads and tails above your usual pet store. "I brought my home into the store," Sarff says of her personalized decorating scheme.

Veterans of the animal business, Sarff and Emery have been operating Best Friends, providing dog walking, grooming, and sitting, among other pet-oriented services, for the past 10 years. For Fetch, they've garnered the best lines in toys, food, clothing, and other sundry items. It's a great place to pick up a holiday treat for your own favorite feline or canine.

For starters, consider giving a luxurious bath with Fauna, an exclusive line of shampoos and conditioners that look very Body Shop, with ingredients such as tea tree, grapefruit, and lavender. The same California company makes hair products for humans, too, cleverly called Knotty Girl ($8-9). Then spruce up your dog with any of the gorgeous collars ($26) from a Virginia manufacturer—either the black strap studded with beaded gold daisies or the glittery model in Wizard-of-Oz ruby red would make a stylish accent for your partying pup. Another cool collar is the Moody Dog ($44), which allows you to get in touch with Fido's feelings: The collar changes colors according to your canine's mood.

Keep your pets happy with organic, sugar-free biscuits and bonbons (35 cents), which make inexpensive stocking stuffers. Fetch has 15 different varieties, which come in the shapes of flowers, leaves, hearts, even teddy bears, and in tempting flavors like maple, banana, vanilla, and coconut almond. With all-natural, heart-friendly ingredients like oat flour, unsulfured molasses, canola oil, and ginger root, the biscuits not only look good enough to eat yourself but are good for you. "If we had to live here, we could live off the food," Sarff says, adding that one of her customers even buys the biscuits for her son. Giving new meaning to the phrase "doggie bag," I brought several biscuits home to sample. Verdict: The dense vanilla bonbon is tough to chew, but the thin, maple-flavored leaf biscuit goes well with a skinny latte (slip it secretly to your doughnut-munching spouse).

Speaking of munching, those extra post-holiday pounds don't have to stick around all year. Whip Whiskers into shape in a game of fetch: Try any of the humorous stuffed dolls available from Vermont manufacturer Fat Cat Inc. (www.fatcatinc.com). Fetch has several of Fat Cat's Doggy Dress'n Drag dolls ($7), which are goofy-looking, wide-eyed dogs that come with their own wardrobe of boxer shorts or minidresses. "You dress him, your cat drags him," is the idea. Fat Cat also makes a line of dolls for dogs ($14), including Big Mean Kitty, which is purple with angry green eyes, and Postal Plaything, a cartoonish likeness of a mailman. Sarff mentions that some people buy these dolls for their children, since they are not only fun but also decorated with nontoxic paints.

Not that Fetch doesn't have some legitimate "people things," as Sarff likes to call them. Spoil yourself along with your pet with handmade candles; cards featuring vintage, sepia-toned photographs; animal-themed earrings; or the aforementioned Knotty Girl products. Clearly, however, many of the items at Fetch are designed for both you and your furry companion to enjoy together.

Finally, if holiday stress is getting to you, there's a line of soothing aromatherapy products to take away the edge. Pet Aromatics offers candles ($10), spritzers ($9), and bath gels ($9) in floral, coconut, honeysuckle, and forest scents. Light a candle, spritz, and relax—sometimes, the holidays may be about as fun as going to the vet, but, at least, your pet will be looking and smelling divine.

Soyon Im is a staff writer at Seattle Weekly and owns a very fragrant kitten named Coco.

Cat Walk

For the fashion-forward canine, Flytes of Fancy, a Lake City-based manufacturer, offers more than two dozen costumes for all sorts of festive occasions, including Christmas, Halloween, birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, and weddings. Owned by Maryn Wynne and Liz Fye, the 11-year-old company maintains high standards for its hand-sewn costumes. All are made of lightweight poly/cotton-blend fabrics, and headpieces come with both ear loops and adjustable tie-straps so they actually stay on your pet. (Elastic chin bands by themselves don't really work because they slip off too easily.) And since one size does not fit all animals, costumes range from extra small to extra large. (The smaller sizes should fit the most stylish of cats.) Flytes of Fancy is available at various pet stores, including All the Best Pet Care (8050 Lake City Wy NE, 524-0199), Bark Natural Pet Care (513 N 36th, 633-2275), and Three Dog Bakery (1408 First, 343-8892). For the full Flytes of Fancy catalog, call 306-9233 or write PO Box 25545, Seattle, WA 98125-1045.—S.I.

 
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