As a kid, the only thing I knew about Dog Patch Pets was that they sponsored a really great Naperville park district baseball team. My teammates and I were always collectively bummed out when we knew they were on our schedule.
“Who are we playing tonight?”
“Oh, great!” (Cue sarcasm. And, no, we never won.)
What I didn’t know back then was that they were much more than just the sponsor of the best little league team this side of the Missy-sip. They’re also an awesome pet store.
I suppose I use the term “pet store” loosely because they do a lot more than that. They’re a pet shop, an animal rescue agency, animal food specialists, a group of really nice people, and a Naperville tradition.
Greg Gordon Interview:
What’s Best About Owning and Running Dog Patch?
The best thing about running Dog Patch is the people. My staff is the best. Customers are amazing. It feels to me like one one big family. We know a lot about each other and our animals. It’s more than just business. I have a passion for this business. As tired as I get, as much as I work, I love this.
What’s Hardest About Running Dog Patch?
Oddly the hardest thing can also be the people. If you ask anyone that’s worked retail they will tell you the same. People can be tough. I also hate hearing stories of animal abuse and neglect. With our focus on rescue, we hear a lot of them. Cash flow for any business is a challenge. I struggle to get a handle on it everyday.
Why Such A Focus On Rescues?
Our conversion to all rescue came about over about a year’s time. It is something we had discussed for several years. Eventually, we were able to adopt out rescue animals while selling puppies from our breeders. It became increasingly more difficult to find breeders that met our standards.
Where Did The Idea To Exclusively Help Rescues Come From?
Two years ago I fell in love with a little beagle we rescued from Indiana. Daisy changed my view of the world. I could not look at her and do anything but want to rescue more just like her. We have been 100% rescue ever since. In addition to Daisy, my wife and I recently adopted a little beagle whippet mix named Abner. Abner came from an organization called “A Place to Bark” in Portland Tennessee. I have been getting my rescues from Bernie, who runs the place, since November. She is an amazing woman doing the dirty work of rescue. She is saving lives every day. It’s a pleasure to be associated with her. Abner was born with a birth defect on his left front leg so he is running on three legs. What a great guy.
Do You Have Any Other Pets?
I also have four cats, three rats, and a betta.
What’s Your Favorite Product at Dog Patch Pets?
My favorite products in the store are our selection of foods. We have foods that target allergies and sensitivities. Healthy all natural diets can make such a difference in a dogs life. To that end I wish more folks recognized the value of a better diet. Whatever money they spend on better food will be saved on trips to the vet. The effects are all encompassing from skin and coat to digestive health. Eyes, joints and more.
What Are Some Of The Funniest/Craziest Pet Names You’ve Ever Heard?
I have heard some great pet names over the last twenty years. Many are a result of letting kids choose names. I love a pair of dogs named Sprinkles and Princess Cha Cha. Personally I have a cat named Larry and another named Porter Wagoner. He looks like Porter Wagoner. There are so many great names out there. Over the years we’ve met so many Comiskeys and Wrigleys its hard to count.
What Do You Like Best About The Naperville Community?
Naperville is a unique community. When competition built a store just down the street, our customers were downright angry. They were angry that the city would even allow them there. We were so flattered. Naperville is a community that is loyal to its local businesses and appreciates their past. We seem to have become more than a store, rather a Naperville tradition.
If you’ve never been to Dog Patch Pets, check them out:
- 1108 E. Ogden Ave in Naperville