From New Parents to Aging in Place - a Community ResourceWell into our 13th year of serving our extended Community as a local, independent business here in the District, we have been thinking about many of our customers and the life stages that they go through with friends, families and neighbors. In fact, how we engage and care for our community at large is what builds the fabric of our society, both here at home and across America.
As a small, local business we have watched our customers start new families with their companion animals, watched their children grow, and many of our customers are now moving into retirement, with the issues (even in good health) of starting to address aging in place. While we have multi-generations as customers, I think all of us go through periods where we may need help with our companions no matter the age, and so I thought we might discuss some resources that would be helpful from new parents to our seniors who are passionate about their pets and want to keep them healthy and happy through all of these life transitions.
To that point, one of the upsides of starting our local store-to-door delivery service was the ability to help our customers who may have just had a baby, or had surgery, or are aging in place with delivering their food and supplies (including litter). Our drivers are happy to help out when the need arises to need a bit more than just dropping your package at the door. Our drivers are instructed to help bring packages inside, and even help put things away when asked. We all go through certain stages when we need a little additional help.
Many of our friends, family and neighbors may not drive. I know a number of friends who grew up in New York City, and never learned because it was easier to take a taxi, other ride-sharing options, or public transportation. While that is convenient for bi-pedals, it may not be easy for our companion animals. We have several companies in the area now that provide Pet Taxi services to help our noble commuters get their companions to and from the veterinarian, to the groomer, or to a good boarding facility.
We have a great network of local resources listed on our website to help with all aspects of care for our companion animals. We also have developed close partnerships over the years that provide space for deliveries to be dropped off, come to offer and provide many of these services in-house and through their extended networks.
Why is this important?
Animals can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and increase social interaction and physical activity. Pets provide other intangibles, too. “Dogs and cats live very much in the present,” says Dr. Jay P. Granat, a New Jersey-based psychotherapist. “They don’t worry about tomorrow, which can be a very scary concept for an older person. An animal embodies that sense of here and now, and it tends to rub off on people.” Our closest companions have a healing power that we believe extends to a deeper place than some of us are able to reach with other people. It is different, and when we listen can have a profound effect on us day to day.
We all have a friend, a neighbor, a family member who could benefit from having help with their pets at some point. One of the owners of the store recently had hand surgery, and was dependent on help with not only her animals, but all of the staff at the store while she was on the mend. We are constantly looking for great referrals to add to our list of Local Resources, so please send in your recommendations!