Sunday, May 16, 2010

More stuff arriving every day...where will we put it all?

Well, the floor is supposedly done and can be walked on...we'll see about that tomorrow. There is still a 15-day "curing" process, but as long as I don't drag anything heavy across it, they say, it will be fine. Trust me, this 5 1/2 month prego lady will be doing no such thing!

In the meantime, I decided it would be best to switch over from a sole proprietorship to an LLC (limited liability company...remember that for a future trivia question!). It will help to protect me and my business, on top of my actual business insurance. Of course, just as my bank was establishing a line of credit for me, changing to an LLC changes their paperwork. A learning experience for me, a hassle for them (sorry Lois!). I have a meeting with my insurance agent tomorrow, so I should have that paperwork in hand.

Can you imagine? Each thing hinges on the next. After the insurance, I get the key. After I get the key, I have to call the water folks and the electric folks and jump through their hoops. Then, I contact the cable company to come and set me up with internet and phone.

Oh, and did I mention I get to paint? I hope that happens early this week. The landlord has approved a color and as soon as the walls are painted, they will come and seal my work. Then...maybe...I can move my stuff in. WHEW! My dog food company, Tuffy's, which makes NutriSource, Pure Vita and Natural Planet Organics, has kindly offered to send me some heavy duty racks to hold their product, and I will GLADLY take them, but of course, my rep won't return my calls...I seriously hope he's on vacation and back tomorrow.

Hurry up and wait. Hurry up and wait. I'm not the most patient of people, but I am learning how to play the game. In the meantime, as we step over boxes of dog food and treats, I dream of the day I can hang the "open" sign on the door and get this party started! I will have to say, the household pets have been least affected by the chaos. Check out this picture of my husband's "other woman," Nala, who seems wholly unfazed by everything in the house. In fact, she will tear open any bag of dog food for fun. Call her our Quality Control Expert!

Monday, May 10, 2010

No news is good news?

So, I've been hoping to write almost every day about my new business...the highs, the lows, actually getting to move in...but, it seems that's the delay. My landlords graciously allowed me to pick the floor color of the new floor they will be installing for me, but it has not yet been installed. In fact, I am supposed to gain possession of the space May 15, but the floor takes 15 days to "cure" and they were supposed to begin today...(disgruntled sigh)...

In the meantime, our house and my SUV is full to the rim with pet supplies. I began a full inventory of all the items and as I boxed them up, I would move them into the living room. Coupled with another trip to pick up dog food in St. Louis, we officially look like a future episode of Hoarders.

I'm handling it pretty well. I'm anxious. I'm excited. I'm overwhelmed. I'm thrilled. I'm ready to get this party started. Seriously. The landlord says the floor should be dry within 48 hours and can be walked on, but I'm afraid to put heavy shelving on top of something that takes 15 days to set up. The landlord has also said I can paint the walls, so maybe I can at least get in there and paint and that will appease me in some way.

So, unless some major miracle emerges, my June 1 opening has been delayed by a week or even two. Such is the world of business. Such is life. I just know this is going to be the greatest experience of my life up to the point...I'm ready!

I've been trying to keep up with adding the new goodies I've gotten in on the website. You can see all the new stuff there. I'll also be updating a bit more on my BPP Facebook page so fans can get a better idea of the exact opening day.

Monday, April 12, 2010

It has begun!

I regret not posting anything any sooner, but lots of super-crazy stuff has been happening around this place! BIG NEWS! We just announced to the world that we are expecting a baby in September! Then came the realization that I won't be able to work my physical full-time job late into the pregnancy. So, the store seemed like a natural next step (I think!).

Then, I get word that my beloved 112-year old great grandmother passed away the day after the home show...she was the oldest documented person in Missouri and quite a woman...she will be sorely missed by many.

Time has truly gotten away from me. I can't believe Easter has come and gone. With that came the final decision to take the plunge and sign the lease. Of course, the day before I go to sign the lease, I find another place that's bigger and offers me more options on design...I'm torn. But, the decision gets made for me. The bigger place has MICE! And, the landlord won't even consider letting me have a store cat, so that takes me back to the original place...and the papers were signed last Thrusday! WOO HOO! Step one has been taken...there is no turning back now!

I'm excited, I'm scared, I'm overwhelmed, and I'm happy we get our house back...having pet supplies literally shoved in every nook and cranny of our house has taken its toll on us and on the cats that live with us. Don't get me wrong...they have loved having boxes stacked high...oh the places they can go...but we want our space back. With the pet supplies in a new store, we actually have room for a baby! BONUS!

So, now it begins. I have to get shelving and finish ordering supplies. I have to make decisions on what other brands of food to bring in and if I have enough of the things I need to make the store look good. We got tons of great response at the home show, so I'm counting on all those folks to be customers.

What's next? I get to wait. The landlords are installing a new floor...a finished concrete floor and I get to help choose the color. I'm hoping for a new coat of paint on the walls and away we go!

Keep an eye out for new posts...there will be lots for me to tell you all and lots of new stuff that I add to the store. I'd love opinions on what you like and what you think others would like. That's the fun of a blog. I will have a contest or two along the way as a thank you to all who help me out...I'm going to need all the help I can get!

In the meantime, check out a before pic of the new place. Then imagine it with filled with great, healthy stuff for your pets!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A day late, but someone is $15 richer!

So, did you think I had forgotten about the drawing? I hope not. Please understand that there are lots of things swirling around here at the Busch-Heisserer house. The cats literally own the place. So do many large bags of dog food. When those two entities collide, it can be chaos...just ask the grey calico pictured in other parts of this blog. She loves a good, untouched bag of dog food. She rips right into it! If it weren't for that sweet-thing Nala, I'd never have to discount a bag of food!

So, I got some great new followers because of my contest...THANK YOU! I hope I can continue to inform and entertain. For those of you looking to open your own business, I hope I don't scare you off from that undertaking. It's like having a kid or riding a's scary and exciting all at the same time.

On to the contest...I had to come up with a way to pick a winner fairly. How in the world did I do it? I let the cats do it! I took all my followers names and put them on pieces of paper, folded them up, and put them in the middle of the floor. Then, when one of our cats, Little Man (aka Duder)...pictured above, was feeling a bit like a round of play, I pointed the laser pointer on the pile of papers and let him have his fun. After a few minutes of play, the paper that made it the furthest out of the pile was deemed the winner. Very scientific, I know, but I had to figure out some way to choose and choose fairly.

I am so appreciative of all the new additions to my followers and continue to watch for more posts from me. I'm one step closer to opening my own physical store here in my town, so that will prove entertaining for some, frightening for me, but it's time. As one of my friends said, "Do you think about it all the time?" "Oh yes, " I said. Then she said, "DO IT!"

Okay, you've listened to me, but I know what you really want to know is who the winner is! Drum roll please......SANDYANDCOSMO! Yes, the Duder has chosen. I will be in contact with you for your address so I can send the gift certificate. For those of you, my faithful followers, all is not lost. You all can have free shipping off your next purchase! Yippee! I accept PayPal only right now...gotta get that credit card thing set up, so if you'd like to order, put something in the comments section about how you read this on the blog and I'll refund the shipping price back to you. If you prefer to call me to order, I can just send you a PP request minus the shipping cost.

COOL! And thanks!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I am still learning about dog food

I am still learning about dog food. Yes, I was a dog food virgin...I knew very little about dog nutrition and all that technical stuff. When the dog food recall of 2007 hit, I wasn't as shocked as I should have been, based on what I didn't know. What I did know is that even our food isn't as safe as it used to be. Too bad anyone (anything) had to die because of unsafe practices by OTHER PEOPLE!

I am still learning about dog food. There are so many products on the market today. How does the average consumer buy something good for his/her dog? The first thing to learn is that all dog foods are not the same. Just because it has a "pretty" name doesn't mean it's at all healthy for your dog. One of the most popular major chain-store dog foods with the beautiful packaging and healthy-sounding name is actually one of the worst foods on the market. I would never have known if I had not read a label.

I am still learning about dog food. Dogs are classified as herbivores...they eat meat and grasses. (Cats = carnivores...that's an easy one.) But, dogs' systems don't always like corn, wheat, or soy. They can have allergic reactions to these ingredients. Many companies put these ingredients in their dog foods as's a way to give the consumer more "bang for the buck." One of the biggest culprits is a well-respected "prescription" dog food. They put these fillers in their food and then a trusted pet professional (i.e. vet) sells the food. Then the dog has an allergic reaction and the dog has to go back to said professional for treatment. Thus, the vicious cycle begins. Don't get the wrong, those "trusted professionals" aren't in the scheme directly, but it helps that said company donates a lot of money to certain schools...

I am still learning about dog food. Can I tell you if kibble is better than canned, raw better than cooked? At this point, I can suggest what I know and go on. If a dog has an allergy, but it isn't known to what, we narrow focus and take out foods that may cause the allergy and see what happens. I care about what we put into our animals, just as I care what we put into our own bodies. I can only imagine what kind of damage we may be us and to our pets.

I'm preparing to get certified in pet nutrition. I hope it helps. I'm actually looking forward to it. I want to know so I can pass that information along to customers, friends, and family...yes, even an old-school family of dog showers who only knew that they needed a high-protein dog food. We've come a long way, baby.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

These cats need warm weather and sunshine!

Our two youngest cats, Nala and Little Man, are siblings and partners in crime. We took them in (or rather they came to us) when the neighbors brought the two kittens home for their kids and then promptly turned them outside to fend for themselves. Little Man made his appearance to us first. He just sauntered into our yard and said "hello." Pretty soon, he was in the house, hanging with the indoor cats, who, by now are used to new faces. He just made himself at home.

Little Man even taught us how to let him outside. Yes, he taught us. We've always had a string of jingle bells hanging from our door...guess it goes back to my years of living alone and having those bells there in case anyone would try to break in. Well, the first day Little Man (also affectionately known as Duder) strolled through the house, he walked up to the door and sat down. I watched him look up at the door knob, think for a minute, then stand on his hind legs and hit those bells with a front paw. It was all very deliberate. I thought it was a fluke, but I said, "Do you want to go out?" in this silly voice we often use to talk to animals and I opened the door. He stepped right out.

The next time he came in, my husband was witness to the same thing...I said to him, "Did you see that?" He did that yesterday too! We were still skeptical. In the meantime, I was working outside one day and I saw a dark body crouched in the neighbor's yard, watching my every move. I was pretty sure this was the sister I had heard about from the neighbor-kid, who had come by a couple times to talk to us and he told us his parents got cats for him and his sister...a boy for her and a girl for him. They called them Mouser and Emily.

I continued to work, but I kept my eye on "Emily." After a couple more days of Little Man coming around, she finally approached the house and pretty soon, she was taking up residence here as well. Immediately, I knew we had to take care of some important business before something got out of control. First, we had Duder neutered...always a good start. Soon after, Nala was spayed and officially they became out cats.

Now back to this jingling of the bells. Not only did Little Man teach us about the bells, he taught his sister as well. Both of them ring the bells...A LOT! It's been cold, snowy, nasty, and yucky, and all these youngins want to do is hunt mice.

It begins around 5 a.m...just after my husband leaves for work. My alarm is set for 6 a.m., but I'm always up before that, thanks to our cats. It can be pretty annoying, but I can't help but think about how Duder trained us well.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What a great book! What a great cause!

I was contacted recently by Joanne Wannan, author of a fabulous new book called "New Lives: Stories of rescued Dogs Helping, Healing and Giving Hope." The book is about 18 awesome and amazing dogs who were rescues from high-kill shelters, abusive situations, or the streets, and are now working in animal therapy and as service dogs.

Wannan is having a contest to inspire and encourage animal lovers everywhere. She has launched the contest on her blog The contest offers some huge incentives for people to create a short video explaining their pet adoption or rescue story. She has over $1,000 in prizes, including a $25 gift certificate from Busch Pet Products!

In addition to all the great things you can win, Wannan is also donating 15% of the profits of her book sales through the end of March 2010 to the shelter or organization the winner chooses!

Do something good and get something good! Always a GOOD thing!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hello new friends!

Hello to all my new friends! Thanks for joining in on this true experiment in my life...owning and running a pet business. I watched my parents do it for many years (and they still are)...they own a boarding kennel. A very nice boarding kennel that I would like to own someday. In the meantime, I'm "settling" for my online pet supply store. I say settling, but it's been a crazy ride and I don't want to get off! I love finding new products that I go Ga Ga over and when my customers do too, then I'm on the right track!

I am learning new things each and every day. I will say this to anyone who decides to jump into this world as I have...TRUST YOUR GUT! Don't second guess yourself. You know your goal and you know how to achieve it. It takes time and patience (of which I have zip, zilch, zippo), but just when I am down, something happens to bring me back up again! Such is the life of a small business owner.

I love what I do and I hope it shows in my site, my posts, and my life. I wouldn't have traded all the money in the world for my upbringing. Dogs (and all pets) bring such happiness and enrichment to our lives...why would you eve want to be without a pet? The photo above is my parents house dog, Wendy. She is the true last of their line of Busch Beagles that they bred, raised and showed for 40+ years. She's 14, losing her hearing, her rear is weak, and she's become bossy, but we all still love her! The top picture was taken last fall. The bottom photo was taken several years (and several couches) ago. I think she knew she was the boss then too...can you tell?

Again, welcome to The Dog Blog (cats welcome) blog...I hope you will enjoy your visit!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Let's try a FREEBIE and see what happens!

I've struggled with finding ways to promote my business and get more followers on this blog. I'm certainly not as consistent as I'd like to be, but with time comes experience, right?

I did just apply for a grant through Intuit's Love A Local Business program...cross your fingers! My fans and friends really stepped up to the plate for me. They said some nice things and I don't want to let them down!

If you haven't checked out the great items I have on my website, you simply must. I have so many unusual and cool things for pets. It amazes me on a daily basis the creativity and originality of designers who have decided they can do better. The quality is superb, the workmanship amazing...made in the USA at it's best!

So, to get you folks to see what all the fuss is about, I'm giving away a $15 gift certificate to get you started! Look around the site, see what you like. Email me with questions! That's all it's all about! I think you will see that I've found some fantastic items that you never knew existed! So much fun!

IT'S SO EASY TO ENTER! Become a follower of my blog before February 28, 2010...that's it! Winner will be chosen from followers list on March 1, 2010. Winner will be announced on this blog that evening. SO EASY!

HURRY! Don't miss out on getting your pooch or kitty some cool stuff from Busch Pet Products!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Happy and Prosperous New we come!

I have really neglected this blog...I can only blame myself and the rich, fruitful holiday season we had here at home. It was busy, crazy, lovely and fantastic and now on to conquer 2010! I can only see bigger and better things on the horizon. Not only are my husband and I looking to start a family and build a house, I can confidently say the Busch Pet Products business is growing and evolving...both in the petsitting and products areas.

First, we picked up a line of dry dog food. I was hesitant at first. I knew some, but not much, when it came to kibble. I did know certain brands of dog food were NOT good (I won't point fingers or name names), but finding a food to fit my area and demographic seemed like a monumental task.

Lucky for me, I've made some fabulous friends and contacts during my time on the road in St. Louis selling Miss Autumn's Barkery Organics dog food. Two of my favorite stores, Muddpuppies in O'Fallon and Pets in the City in Soulard, have been true mentors for me! They make me want my own physical store NOW! They helped me in deciphering what's out there and what my customers may like. I finally settled on the NutriSource company. They make NutriSource, Pure Vita, and Natural Planet Organics. I like their company (Minnesota, one plant, all ingredients made in USA) and their products (three levels, three price points, lots of flavors). Check them out here As I find more customers who are looking for the products in my area (apparently I am the ONLY one in southeast Missouri who carries the company's products), I am building a solid customer base.

I probably won't add much more dry food until I get a physical store. In the meantime, I am working to add more local customers who have chosen to feed NutriSource and Pure Vita, as well as Natural Planet Organics. I wouldn't be selling the products if I didn't like the company!