Maren Esch

Maren Esch

Barkside turns ten

Local pet supply story, Barkside Pets, recently celebrated their tenth birthday in Fernie.

Barkside’s staff of passionate animal lovers already give so much to the community’s pets, but last week they gave back to its human residents as the pet shop celebrated 10 years of service.

On Feb. 25, residents were invited into the shop for an evening, welcomed by warm drinks, wine, cheese and cake.

Maren Esch, a veterinary technician and Barkside owner, said the relationships she’s built with her customers have become the favorite part of her job.

“I’m not a people person so I never expected that,” she said. “I went into working with animals to avoid people but it’s really brought me out of my shell.”

Esch said changing dog’s lives through their services and advice “makes her really proud.”

“For our customers, their dogs are family,” she said.

She herself had a dog that was very allergic to salmon, a fact she discovered after having its hair and saliva tested for stressors. After learning about that, she was able to change her dog’s life for the better.

Esch said other owners would also be wise to attend to the happiness of their dogs through training, bonding and good health.

“It’s important to invest in your relationship with your dog, just like any other relationship,” she said.