Jim Shulman: Carey’s pet shop taught youngsters how to care for their animals | Historical past

I cannot remember a childhood time when our family did not have a pet. My earliest memory was about age 3 or 4 when we experienced a cocker spaniel named Brownie that relished chewing on my toy rubber vehicles.

When Brownie passed absent, my people assumed it finest to have smaller, a lot less dependent animals so I could understand some accountability for caring for them.

Carey's Pet Shop ad

Carey’s Pet Shop was the only finish shop for pets and pet materials in Pittsfield in the early toddler boom yrs. Opening in October 1954 at 641 East St., the store carried a variety of tropical fish, birds and other modest pets.

Increasing three kids in the 1950s and 1960s, our mother and father were being moderately supportive of obtaining a assortment of pets in our home. Having said that, they were being not especially fond of the snakes, frogs, salamanders and industry mice I introduced to the house from the nearby woods.

In 1954 my father took me to Pittsfield’s only total pet store, the freshly opened Carey’s Pet Shop at 641 East St. He acquired me a modest three-gallon fish tank, gravel, crops and fish foodstuff.

The retailer operator, Mrs. Dorothy Carey, served me choose out a several guppies and snails. Not only was this my first experience in shopping in a pet retail outlet, but it was a studying working experience about my new animals. Mrs. Carey pointed out that only the male fish had been the colorful really kinds. I remembered my father was chuckling when she shared that this was correct of the sexes of most animal species, besides human beings.

It was not lengthy following that initial go to that I would bike with a close friend to the pet retail store at minimum regular to commit my weekly allowance (25 cents) on a assortment of tropical fish. By the time I was 11, my father experienced acquired a 30-gallon aquarium with a mild, pump and filter. We experienced more than 40 fish in the tank, together with a dozen different kinds.

Photo of Dot Carey

Dorothy “Dot” Carey operated Carey’s Pet Shop in Pittsfield from 1954-61. Dot was incredibly useful to consumers and helped young people today to study how to care for their first animals.

Carey’s experienced grow to be my beloved retail store and Mrs. Carey, whom I received to get in touch with Dot, was a excellent instructor on the treatment of animals. Our household quickly had a modest menagerie with turtles, chameleons and a few of parakeets, all from the pet store. Dot experienced healthier and much better cared for pets than the five and dime pet departments.

I normally relished my visits to Carey’s Pet Shop and observing the colourful parakeets, canaries, hamsters, turtles and other pets. I seriously loved observing Wayne, the one particular resident capuchin monkey.

Capuchins are usually the pet of preference for street organ grinders. Wayne grew to become much more of a loved ones member to Dot as she put a high price on him in her reluctance to aspect with the sweet simian.

He ate a specific eating plan of fruit, greens and nuts, and had his possess cage in the Carey domestic, in which he spent each evening. Sooner or later Dot did provide Wayne when available $300 — properly over her inquiring selling price.

In November 1955, Dot Carey had moved the pet store to a dwelling at 194 Elm St. She and her spouse, Harold, relocated to an condominium in the constructing as perfectly.

The new shop’s products and services included the boarding of birds and cats, the bathing of modest pet dogs and trimming of pets’ nails. Sing Sing, Dot’s gorgeous Persian cat, would greet prospects as they entered the shop.

With Carey’s Pet Store only a number of blocks from my home, I would generally end in just to listen to the cat “sing” with its meows. I grew fond of the cat, but we experienced just adopted a small shepherd/husky blended breed pup from the community SPCA. Dot’s pet shop did not yet market canines or cats but had a good deal of pet dog toys, food and pet materials.

Dot’s partner, Harold, a school custodian, received a lot more concerned in the pet enterprise on a portion-time foundation. In 1960, the couple changed the store’s name to Dorhar (from their very first names) and started boosting and marketing AKC registered German shepherd puppies and Persian kittens. The shop also extra pet obedience education to its providers.

As the dog breeding small business grew, the Careys made the decision to relocate to a much larger more conducive space for getting a kennel. Their individual shepherds and individuals they offered were being profitable many pet clearly show competitions which assisted the enterprise.

The couple marketed their Elm Road making in May 1961, and it was razed for the development of a Dairy Queen that opened in 1963. It also was razed to grow to be dental workplaces in 1991.

Just after leaving the pet shop, the Careys acquired a put at 108 Caldwell Street, with loads of area for breeding canines and providing other canine services. With the go they gave up the pet shop business enterprise and focused only on the puppies.

In just two years Dot and Harold marketed this site to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for a new animal shelter.

In excess of the years the Careys had purchased and marketed several properties in the Berkshires. This experience set the phase for Dot to pursue a new profession. She turned a profitable Real estate agent, opening a true estate business enterprise in her Dalton Avenue household in August 1964 and subsequently moved to an business office in Lee.

She and Harold phased out of the Dorhar kennel enterprise altogether. In 1966 just after the couple had divorced, Dot moved to Springfield and ongoing doing serious estate.

I nevertheless delight in animals and have a frisky cat and a pond comprehensive of fish. I often feel fondly about Dot Carey, who gave me an intro to the adore and treatment of pets when I was a youngster.

Jim Shulman, a Pittsfield indigenous residing in Ohio, is the writer of “Berkshire Reminiscences: A Toddler Boomer Appears Back again at Developing Up in Pittsfield.” If you have a memory of a Berkshire little one-increase landmark, business or event you’d like to share or examine about, you should write Jim at [email protected]