New Posh Place to Shop for Pooches

Need new toys or accessories for Fido there will soon be a new place to shop.

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Just in time for the holiday season, one store in Southeastern Connecticut is opening up a pet boutique, barking on the fact that dog owners are willing to splurge on their beloved four-legged friends.

Dockside Dogs is coming to historic downtown Stonington and Rob Hunter and Stephanie Theberge plan to open the boutique by the end of the week.

They call it Connecticut’s fabulously proper pet boutique. It’s a place for you to shop for your classy canines. It will offer toys, beds and treats for dogs of all sizes. The shop owners say they’ll even have comforting accessories and reliable gear for your dog.
The idea seemed to come naturally for Hunter and Theberge. When the couple lived in Boston, where they would take their two dogs to the city’s adorable pet boutiques.

When they moved to Connecticut, they realized there were no places like that where they could take their dogs to get them fun toys, treats and quality apparel, Theberge said.

So, they decided to open their own – Dockside Dogs.

“We have always loved the Borough and one day while taking a walk around we just happened upon this empty store front and thought it would make a great dog boutique,” Theberge said in an e-mail. And it went on from there.

"One of the central themes of Dockside Dogs is the well-being of the dogs themselves and the happiness of their owners. Our solution to providing dogs with the best lives possible is to offer a place where their owners can purchase healthy foods and treats, stimulating toys, comforting accessories and reliable gear for the dogs themselves," the owners said.

While some dog-focused places like a barkery in West Hartford Center have closed, Theberge is optimistic about this being the right time to start the business. The worst is behind us and things are looking up, she said.

Afterall, the pet industry is a $43.2 billion industry, according to the American Pet Products Association.

And the shop is opening up just before holiday shopping hits full force, offering a shopping destination for people who want to shop locally and buy more organic, eco-friendly items, because Dockside Dogs will offer them.

“I don't think people have ever lost that holiday shopping fever,” she said.

So, if you’re looking for a pet-friendly destination, you might want to head to the borough. The shop’s at 160 Water St. in Stonington. The grand opening will be on Nov. 28.

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