What do you do as a dusty, old, semi-retired canine trainer/handler when you’re not quite ready to hang it up? Find a cute little shop on a quaint stretch of paradise, and convince yourself that there is a desperate need for a small, yet amazing dog store on the island. With a porch. And a cooler.
While the idea to move south wasn't really on the radar until after retirement, the humans in the family were up for the adventure sooner than later when a transfer opportunity came along. The dogs were just happy to get in the car.
We soon discovered that the Labradors love the sand and surf of NW Bradenton! The Border Collies...not so much. I keep telling them that they'll get used to the heat (that's a lie), and we'll try to find a nice sheep for them to herd (also a lie). Who knew that Border Collies could roll their eyes?
Then, COVID. Like the rest of the Type A humans on lock-down, it took about 4 days before I'd either painted, cleaned, or organized everything in the house. Since all 5 of my dogs are previously employed working dogs in various stages of retirement, resentment, or denial, I knew I'd better do something to keep them from having clandestine meetings in the guest room to plot our demise. (The Borders Collies would have masterminded the coupe. The Labs would have just shown up for the snacks.)
AMI Beach & Dog Supply Co. was born out of necessity. I needed a job that would allow me to take all of the dogs to work with me. And let me talk about dogs all day long. And allow me to buy all the cool dog stuff that I'd spent the last 23 years of my canine training career drooling over. See? Necessity.
All it took was a little street level space in a Key West cottage to make that dream a reality. And while our little piece of paradise may seem humble, we dream big: Adoption fairs! Dog movie night in the park! Sandy Paws pics with pups at Christmas! Possibly even a bark-b-que fundraiser for local animal chairities? Stay tuned to see what shenanigans we come up with!
Thank you for joining us on this journey! I'll figure out the Blog feature on this thing sooner or later, so you can bear witness to our successes, failings, and misadventures. As with any wild ride, we ask that you secure your personal belongings and keep your hands and feet inside at all times.