Subject: A Big Virtual Hug To You, Our Customers

Thinking of all of you 

Hello Friends! What a strange time we’re in, eh? These past 10 days have been very difficult, both physically and emotionally at Green Dog (and I’m sure it’s been the same for grocery workers and certainly health care workers, and for everyone really). Panic shopping was a real thing, and we had to set limits on the number of bags of food and litter, etc to try and make sure all of you got a chance to get what you needed. Our big sales have always left us exhausted at the end of the day, but they’re just one day! It’s been like we’re having mega-sales every day for over week, and several of our employees have had to stay home, due to immune compromise situations of their own or their family members, as well as a mom with 4 boys out of school (I don’t envy her!). Our poor phone batteries couldn’t keep up, and the restocking orders rolling in equal 3 times the freight our employees are having to move - we always get 2 or 3 pallets of food at a time about 3 times a week, but 2 or 3 times that on some days was a huge amount of physical labor. Our employees are rockstars! Anyway, we were seeing well over 200 (often stressed out) people a day and it really didn’t feel safe for us and our employees to have such a crowded store. As many of you have seen already, we recently instituted a 2-people-in-the-store-at-a-time policy, made a bigger point of asking people to stand farther away from us while we’re talking together, put tape lines near the register so that we’re maintaining social distance, passing money back and forth with a clipboard (“my reachin’ platter”) so that people don’t have to lean in, disinfecting sales surfaces, carts, baskets, freezer handles etc at least every hour, and asking that visits remain pretty short if possible. Though a few people still outright laugh at us outright for having lines on the floor, etc, most customers have told us that they appreciate our efforts and it makes them feel safer shopping with us. We were really pleased to see other stores in town instituting similar measures in order to stay in business and to keep employees and customers safer. This has greatly improved morale in our store, and though we’re still seeing 150+ people a day, we feel much calmer and in better control of our own safety. Our little coalition of local pet supply stores have been sharing similar stories with us, and several have mentioned employees arriving to work in tears as stress and anxiety levels have been so high. Several have switched to fewer people allowed in stores, and reported a significant reduction in stress as well. We all finally saw a bit of a reduction in volume on Sunday, which made it feel fun again. Whew!

We want you to know that even if Portland has a shelter in place order, pet supplies are still considered essential services. You'll be able to get food and stuff (we hope you’ll continue to by some of the stuff as well as the food), and the worst case scenario would be us switching to orders over the phone/email and curbside pickup, but it may or may not come to that. We like how the current plan is working. We actually have been doing quite a bit of curbside pickup already and we encourage you to take advantage of this service. Yesterday we took a call from someone that was adopting a new puppy, and I shopped the store with her on the phone. Collar, food storage container, puppy food, goat's milk, training treats, etc, all rung up over the phone at the 15% new puppy discount and plopped right into the trunk of her car. Feel free to give a call, or email us with an order and we'll call you for payment. We know our phone's busy a lot, but we're trying hard to get to you. You can call when you get here and we’ll pop your order into your trunk.
If you are quarantining, we may be able to run an order over to your porch, though we don't have an official delivery service set up yet Call us, and we’ll do what we can. If you have nutritional/behavioral/chronic health issues, we are happy to call you to chat about it or email you suggestions. Though a few products are occasionally out of stock, suppliers are still sending just about all of our orders to us. So, don't worry. We've got you!!


Otis Sez, "Don’t flush disinfecting wipes!" They can really trash our sewer system, as can paper towels, as they just don’t break down like toilet paper. City workers will already be short staffed, so sewer problems could really be a major problem for all of us. This is happening now in California as foolish people are flushing things they’re using instead of toilet paper, like t-shirts. It’s already creating havoc, water quality issues and and great expense there to repair the damage. 

We're seeing so many seniors in the store, and we're not sure if they're hearing the message that they're more at risk than others. It makes us concerned for them. Perhaps you could reach out to those you know and see if they realize they are in greater danger than others (they might actually remember the polio epidemic and then understand that this situation is very like that). Perhaps you could offer to pick up their order for them (we can check their history and make sure to get the right brands) and pop it onto their front porch for them. Just a thought! #communityfirst 
We miss visiting with you, but we are glad when people are in and out of the store with their food orders and not doing a ton of browsing, as it’s important to limit our time near each other, and people might be waiting their turn outside. But, there are some fun things in the store that you might not know about and might want to grab on your way through. Very truthfully: though our food business is up, we don’t make very much on food, and we rely on the sales of other products to meet our expenses. Most importantly, we are committed to supporting the employees who are not able to work.
Check out a few new things and a few super awesome things:

Party Time! 

Is your dog’s "gotcha day" or his birthday coming up? Or maybe it would just be a fun diversion for the kids to pretend it’s the dog’s birthday and have a little party!! These adorable funny toys include a crown (complete with little loops you can feed some string through and actually tie it to your dog’s head for a photo op), a toy that looks like a mylar star-shaped balloon (on a rope), a noisemaker that does make a little noise and extends as if you’re blowing it, a present with a bone on a rope inside, and a hilarious stuffed birthday cake with candles, with slices that are attached together with velcro. Combine this with a frozen yogurt or doggy gelato for the dog and a takeout pizza from Ottos or Red Sauce for the kids, and a good time will be had by all!
Scout and Zoe's Carp Treats!

We’re always on the lookout for the greenest products, and any company that’s looking for a way to remove invasive species from our ecosystems and create a market for them as food is a hero to us. Right now giant Asian Carp are threatening our waterways (you may have see videos like this one of their outrageous jumping behavior when startled). Carp were accidentally introduced after escaping from a fish farm and have spread very quickly. Asian carp cause serious damage to the native fish populations in the lakes and rivers that they infest because they out-compete other fish for food and space. Carp are also thought to lower water quality, which can kill off sensitive organisms like native freshwater mussels. They are a serious threat to the health of the Great Lakes.
Scout and Zoe’s is stepping up to the plate with their new Asian Carp treats. We’re due to receive three varieties of treat very soon: 

Carp Jerky is created from the red meat of the invasive Asian Carp. They slowly dehydrate the pieces of carp into tasty jerky. 

Carp Viddles:
From the fresh waters of Kentucky, Carp Viddles are the dehydrated hearts and livers of the invasive Asian Carp. Nutritious with lots of Omega 3 fatty acids and iron from the organs, these are great treats.

Eye Candy!: We haven’t see anything like this before, and they fall into the same category as beloved products like freeze dried duck heads and fermented pig and chicken feet (meaning they gross some folks out but are nutritional superstars and dogs love them!) Hilariously named, these are actually dried eyeballs, which are loaded with protein and DHA and EPA, which are a must for puppies and excellent for all dogs and cats. A lot of people in the world feel the head and eyes of fish are the most delicious and to be saved for the most honorable guest at the table.

New Fluff and Tuff Kangaroos are so dang cute! We love F&T for their durability, and for the company’s strong commitment to donating to rescues and other animal causes. These Kangaroo moms with a little baby in their pouches are part of that effort - 10% of all kangaroos purchased is given to wildlife rescue in Australia! 

Lickimats and Toppls

We’ve mentioned these Kong alternatives before, but they’re some of our very favorite products. Lots of people have to work from home these days, and most pets are thrilled about this new arrangement. But many are becoming pests that don’t understand that their people, though home, need them to chill out for a while while they work. 
Lickimats are flat, easy to clean rubbery mats that have a textured surface, and Topples are tough cup-shaped rubber toys that have rubbery prongs inside (Toppls come with a one time replacement guarantee).

You can spread moist things on the surface of the mats or fill the Toppl with things like raw foods, applesauce, yogurt, peanut butter, cooked sweet potato or canned pumpkin, canned dog foods, some of their kibbles (a few of the lickimats have bigger textures that you can sprinkle kibbles into), etc. You can also use liquids like goat’s milk as part of the mix and freeze the whole thing for longer licking. Other Toppl tips: you can wrap a bit of saran wrap around the toy to prevent soft things from coming out the hole in the side while it freezes. You can cram small chewies like the trachea pieces down between the prongs and then fill and freeze. You can make the tips of veggies like carrot sticks or green beans stick up out of the frozen stuff. Even better, the little toppl is designed to fit as a cap on the big Toppl to make it a harder puzzle.
If you have Kongs, these stuffing ideas work for them too!

Our Two Favorite Cat Toys

Now's the chance for kitties to get the playtime they deserve! I know they're enjoying extra lap time, and that's nice for us too, as that sort of activity helps our stress level. But the two things cats often don't get enough of is interactive play and enrichment. Interactive play is very important, as it simulates hunting behavior which is so very hardwired in cats. Like us, they need exercise to keep healthy hearts, maintain muscle tone, work the calories off, and generating good endorphins that positively affect mood and lower stress levels. The best toy in the store for cats is Da Bird - I'm sure many of you know it, but those who don't should try it - its super long string allows big playtime (long enough for seniors to play while seated), and its feather end is designed to spin when it travels through the air, truly looking like a bird flying through your living room. Pro tip: immediately reward the best leaping catch with a great meaty treat to supercharge the game. So satisfying for them to hunt, catch, kill and eat their prey! The other important element is enrichment, meaning novel items or activities that pique their curiosity. Things they can investigate, and which might stimulate solitary play. Many things around the house can be enrichment - a cardboard box with little and big holes cut into it, a pile of paper from the shredder, shopping bags, a pile of lightly crumpled tissue paper, a piece of furniture from another room moved into the middle of the living room, etc. Just recycle these materials when they grow tired of them and use your creativity to come up with something new. Our favorite toy for solitary (or interactive) play is the Hide and Sneak paper bag cat tunnel. This collapsible tunnel is remarkably sturdy and durable. Otis has belly flopped right onto it and we just popped it back into shape. It's a great game to use a wand toy in and around the tunnel. It provides satisfying loud crinkle noises and provides a quiet place to retreat after they play themselves out. 
World’s Best Leash

In the last newsletter, I raved about our new Trailblazing Tails leashes that were about to be delivered. 
They’re in the store and we’re so in love with them! We carry the Sunny in the 6 foot or 8 foot version that allows you to tether a dog with the handle, turn it into a 4 foot leash by clipping the end farther down like those English leather leashes, wear it across your shoulder or around your waist for hands free walking thanks to the movable tab, or hold the leash in the middle to walk two dogs at once. Our Charity walks her pittie mix and a very enthusiastic big Bernese Mountain dog at the same time and her small stature is able to keep control of both of them even when they bolt for a squirrel thanks to the amazing grippy-ness of the rubbery biothane material. We also cary the Pika, which is a bit more affordable version of the Sunny, that allows shoulder, waist, tether, and two dog options. Lastly we carry a fabulous 20 foot long line in bright orange, perfect for recall training or allowing some fetch games in areas that require leashes. The material these leashes are made from is a dream - buttery soft like a broken in leather leash but unlike leather is impervious to wet and muddy conditions, very grippy, and could last a lifetime. The brass fittings are all like those on high end leather leashes or horse bridles. With all the dog walking going on, you might want to treat yourself to the very best leash we’ve seen. PS: She makes a big variety of leash configurations, including one that would let dog walkers walk up to 4 dogs at a time. You can go to her website and figure out your perfect custom setup and we’ll get it for you. The owner makes them right in Portland!

This Just In 

 As we expected, Portland has just issued a shelter in place order today. Hopefully we can do better than people in California, etc who are crowding the streets when they should be inside. This will interfere with our ability to cough in a famous person's face to see if they get sick since we don't have access to testing. 
Ahem... Sorry about that joke. 

You will be able to visit businesses that are considered essential, but only if the business is keeping strict 6ft distance rules in place. We hope it doesn't last long but we really have learned from places like Italy that this is really serious and needs to be controlled. 

Neighborhood News: NextDoor app adds Help Maps and Groups to connect neighbors during the coronavirus outbreak. The Help Map offers a way to coordinate aid between those in need, like the elderly and at-risk, and those willing to offer some form of assistance — like running errands or dropping off supplies, for example. Check it out here.

We love you! Be Well!
Located in Beaumont Village
4327 NE Fremont Street, Portland, Oregon 97213

Telephone: 503-528-1800

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Green Dog Pet Supply, 4327 NE Fremont Street, Portland, Oregan 97213, United States
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