The Things We Do for Love: “I Started a Business for My Big Dog”
Published on August 27, 2012
Caroline Golon, the human behind popular humor blog Romeo the Cat, shares stories of pet owners who have gone the extra mile for their pets in this series, The Things We Do for Love.
When Sonia Charry of Scottsdale, Ariz., adopted her new puppy, Nala, she had no idea that the mixed breed “mutt” would turn out to be the inspiration for a thriving new business.
Charry first met Nala when a friend of hers was pet-sitting the puppy. “The first time I picked her up, I was smitten,” Charry remembers. “She put one paw on each side of my neck and put her head on my shoulder.” Something compelled Charry to tell her friend, “If the owner ever changes her mind about this dog, let me know!”
For two weeks, Charry couldn’t get the puppy out of her mind.
In a happy coincidence, the puppy’s new owner decided she couldn’t keep the dog after all and began searching for a home. Charry was overjoyed. “Yeah, I will take the dog!” she told her friend. And Nala was hers.
Making Room for the New Puppy
Nala was “all ears and paws,” Charry says. Adopted originally from a shelter, Nala’s breed was unknown. And so was how big she would become.
“She grew so fast!” Charry says. Nala went through an enormous growth spurt between 6 and 9 months, at which time no toys could withstand the growing puppy’s playtime. “I couldn’t find anything strong enough for her,” Charry says. “When she started chewing on a tree in the backyard, that’s when I knew I had to do something.”
Luckily, Nala maxed out at a relatively moderate (at least, compared to some giant breeds) 70 pounds but left Charry with the understanding that there was a gap in the marketplace for big dogs. So Charry and her husband, Hernan, started Paw Posse, an online store and resource just for big dogs.
A Growing Specialty
As Nala has grown, so has the business. “Having a big dog is different than having a small one,” Charry says. “There are lots of products that need to be specific to a big dog’s needs — toys and feeders and even boots.”
Charry says her customers are excited to find a big-dog resource and she enjoys personally assisting them when they’re searching for a particular product. “They love that there is someone on the other end of the phone who understands the products and what it’s like to have a big dog,” she adds.
Charry is thrilled with where her path has led because big dogs have always been an important part of her life. “Technically, I’m the oldest kid in my family, but my mom will say her first baby was a German Shepherd,” Charry says. “We love big dogs. It just feels right having them.”
What do you do for love? We’re looking for the funny, sweet and special stories that will make other pet parents smile. Email us at [email protected] to share your story. Please put "The Things We Do for Love" in the subject line.