One of the really good things about working in a small shop over a number of years is you get to know your customers as more than customers but as friends. This is especially true for us in a tourist area as you often see them only once a year and it’s gratifying to see the families grow up and their dogs certainly remember where the pet shop is! One such family used to come in every August with Charlie the black Labrador, who was treated to a new red collar every year. Red looks so good on a black Lab. Sadly, Charlie died aged 12 but the family bought two chocolate Labradors, who for a few years carried on the tradition of coming in every August for new collars. Somewhere along the line they stopped coming in, which isn’t unusual as family holiday priorities can change over the years. Then, a couple of weeks ago a young lady in her late twenties came in looking for poo bags and she asked if we remembered her at all. I don’t have a great memory for faces so she explained that when she was little she came in with her parents, grandparents and sister with Charlie the dog. The two chocolate Labs had lived for 15 years and sadly grandad had also passed away but they were in the area again with a 10-month old Labrador puppy. Two thoughts spring to mind, one that it’s a privilege to see families grow but secondly, have I really been behind this counter for so long?