This month is National Pet Month and to celebrate it we introduced Cormac Linehan, from our main sponsors The Pet Experience, to dog fan Ollie Harfield so they could chat all things pets.

You can find The Pet Experience at Unit E1 of Link Park, Weymouth and on Facebook.

Cormac: Hi Ollie. I’ve been following your Instagram and you obviously love your dog a lot. What’s his name and how long have you had him?

Ollie: I’ve had Bailey since December 2019. He’s a labrador. I got him from Bicester and has been by my side ever since. He’s 18 months now, a big boy! 

Cormac: Did you grow up with pets?

Ollie: I grew up with a black lab, called Kleo. We lost her on Christmas Eve in 2018 and it was the worst experience. I know any pet owner that has lost pets in the past will understand.

Cormac: What are your key tips for looking after a dog like Bailey?

Ollie: I’m no dog expert but my tips would be to just give them all the love that you have and plenty of exercise every day.

Cormac: And good food! Don’t forget good food, especially as that’s what we sell at The Pet Experience.

Ollie: Also, these days you need to keep them very close as, unfortunately, a lot of people seem to be getting their dogs stolen.

Cormac: Yes, I have heard of a considerable number of attempted dog thefts locally in the past few weeks, it really is quite frightening. We’ve teamed up with a national initiative called Dog Horn, which aims to raise awareness about dog theft. You can buy a Dog Horn pack from us, which contains a bright yellow lanyard and whistle that you can use to attract attention. We are selling more and more packs every day and I continually see dog walkers in Weymouth wearing them.

Cormac: What is the naughtiest thing Bailey has ever done? 

Ollie: Where do I start with the naughtiest thing he’s ever done… Probably the worst thing he’s done is jump through barbed wire and an electric fence to chase a huge stallion around the field. His biggest achievement to date was not getting stamped on by it! Although I’m sure he was very proud of himself.

Cormac: Where there’s a will there will always be a way with a dog! Just because they behaved well yesterday, doesn’t mean they will today! Do any of the other Terras players have pets?

Ollie: I know Ben Thomson has a big German Shepard. Most of our conversations are about our dogs. We’d definitely bring our boys to football if we could.

Cormac: The last German Shepherd I had used to eat footballs. I’d say he’d have gone down like a lead balloon at your training sessions. You’re both welcome to the store any time, we’re open before and after most of the Saturday home games and not far from the stadium!

Ollie: Great, thanks! How’s business been during the last year?

Cormac: It has obviously been a year like no other. We had a huge spike prior to the first lockdown in March 2020 then things did settle down and then business dropped right off for a month. Gradually though, things started to return to normal in a very abnormal world and we have been really well supported by our customers, both new and old. Bizarrely, I think lockdown actually brought us new customers who had previously bought online as we had what they wanted on the shelf when their parcels got lost, damaged or delayed. Nothing quite like a global pandemic to remind people about the importance of shopping local.

Last week was our first week of being back in a more normal trading setting, so finger’s crossed life can get back to something resembling normality for us all.

Ollie: What’s it like seeing The Pet Experience logo on our shirts?

Cormac: It’s still surreal! I love it and am very proud to be a part of the Terras. Watching the live games on BT Sport knowing that it was being screened nationwide was also very exciting. My only regret is not being able to watch a game live in the BLS; that would have been the cherry on a very tasty cake.

Ollie: Thanks for your time, it’s been nice to chat.

Cormac: Cheers, Ollie. All the best for the rest of the season – and pop in with Bailey any time you’re nearby.

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