Apparently allowing dogs into the mall is good for business. Spread the word.
Socializing Honey at the Mall
When Honey was ten weeks old, we attended the Pet Expo at the Shops at Ithaca Mall. A clean, safe area for socialization was just what she needed.
Since then, we attended the Pet Expo in April and again this past Saturday.
We find three kinds of people at mall on Pet Expo day:
- dog lovers whose dogs accompany them
- dog lovers who were surprised and thrilled to find dogs all around them
- people who appear not to notice the dogs at all
I know. I find that last group pretty odd myself.
How the Pet Expo Works
Pet-related businesses set up tables to promote their cause or sell their wares. We saw several vets, a pet sitting service, a baker of organic dog biscuits, the SPCA, the 4H Junior Tail Waggers club and an exotic animal educator with several snakes.
Most common areas, except the food court, are available to dogs. Each store has a sign at the entrance stating whether or not dogs are welcome.
How Honey Works at the Pet Expo
A crowded shopping mall is a great place to work on Honey’s impulse control. No, you cannot play bitey face in front of Victoria’s Secret.
It’s a test of her concentration and her listening skills. And as long as no one complimented her on her good behavior (see yesterday’s post to know what I’m talking about), Honey was a perfect lady.
Honey met lots of people and even got a few belly rubs.
Doing Well While Doing Good
The Shops at Ithaca Mall, in addition to hosting the Pet Expo twice a year, rents a store to the Tompkins County SPCA which serves as their adoption center annex. Approximately 55 cats or kittens are adopted from the mall each month.
By their willingness to rent a store to a shelter, the mall is putting adoptable cats in front of the public where they might usually expect to find a pet store.
And I suspect it is a business draw for the mall as well. I’m not a big recreational shopper. But even I will occasionally suggest to my husband on a rainy Sunday afternoon that we go check out the kitties at the SPCA annex and have lunch at the mall.
Looking Forward to the Next Pet Expo
After spending Saturday at the mall with Honey, I know what we need to work on. Her greetings are still a little wild for those who are immune to the charm of the Golden Retriever wiggle butt. And who can blame them? It is an awful lot of floofie tail to handle at one time.
So we’ll keep working on it and get ready to return to the mall in the spring.
Would you like to have a similar opportunity with your dog? Then why not send this post to your local mall’s manager? Who knows? I couldn’t hurt.