Pet's Best Friend

We love our pets. So visiting a shop that caters to our four-legged friends is bound to be fun. And that’s not just because Bella, the store dog at Tabby & Jack’s Pet Supplies and Grooming, greets you when you walk in.

Although Tabby & Jack’s has been open since September 2007, they’re celebrating their one-year anniversary this month in their newest location in Fitchburg. The expanded shop boasts 1,700 square feet of food, clothing, toys and accessories, plus a holistic grooming room.

“Holistic grooming is labor intensive, but it’s more humane and effective,” says owner Michelle Lonergan. We use all-natural shampoos and we don’t use cage dryers, which are dangerous and invasive.”

Indeed, the room is even outfitted like a less-glitzy version of a salon. I notice two beautiful, fluffy Husky-mix dogs eye me up as they sit peacefully, patiently waiting for their owner to pick them up after their grooming appointment.

Lonergan’s pet passiTote Fido in Zack & Zoey and Jeep pet carriers, $39–$59.on is in her blood: when she was growing up in Rockford, her parents started Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary, a no-kill shelter for abandoned pets. They also own a natural pet foods and accessories distribution company, and Lonergan carries some of their brands at Tabby & Jack’s.

“We sell human-grade food that is free of animal by-products, chemical preservatives and grain fragments,” says Lonergan. She’s got such an extensive knowledge of natural and organic pet foods that right after our interview a customer stops in carrying a box of various pet foods and asks Lonergan’s advice on their safety. He leaves with a new bag of food, plus treats for his pup, who’s waiting in the car outside.

Happy with being able to help, Lonergan smiles and turns to me with sage advice: “You should be your own biggest advocate for your own health and your pet’s health.”

And with Tabby & Jack’s your feline or canine can be happy from tip of the nose to tail.

Price range: $.50–$299.

Owners Picks: Hotdogs ID tags, $14.99; Jax & Bones eco-friendly pet bedding (you can choose the fabric pattern to match your décor, says Lonergan), $139–$200; Cesar Millan (“The Dog Whisperer”) leashes and collars, $8.99–$18.99.

Editor’s Picks: Petrageous Designs and Castlemere food bowls, $8.99–$14.99; Casual Canine pink camouflage rain jacket, $15.99; Tabby & Jack’s peanut butter and honey treats, $5.99.

Verdict: Lonergan’s vast pet knowledge will assure that you pick out just the right food/collar/pet shampoo/bed for your best animal pal. Since the move from her old location her sales have tripled and life is good: “Helping people with their pets and their pet’s nutrition is very satisfying.”

Tabby & Jack’s, 2990 Cahill Main, Fitchburg. 277-5900. Tabbyandjacks.com

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