Ruff Life

Fashionable shopping for furry friends


Many things separate Wayland Square’s Plaid & Stripe from the other pet stores in the area. Topping the list, though, is owner Robin Bugbee’s cheery disposition and tongue-in-cheek sense of humor. Here, Robin explains his recent relocation and expansion of services and products.

How did Plaid & stripe get its name?
I named the store after my two beagles, who are sitting beside me right now. My late wife gave me Plaid nine months before she died. My wife loved plaid – we had plaid furniture, plaid everything – hence the name. I got Stripe two years later. Since all the wallpaper in my home seems to be some sort of striped pattern, I decided to base the name off of that. When it came time to open the business, I searched online and saw that the URL had not been taken yet so I jumped right on it.

I heard you’re in a new location. Why the move?
Yes, we moved here recently. Our last place was great, but small – only 600 square feet. When our lease was up, we found this spot, which is double in size and in the same neighborhood. Moving here has allowed us to expand the business as we’ve always planned to do, by offering pet grooming. We have two groomers who are here six days per week.

Do you have any horror stories?
Not really, although just this morning we had a wrestling match with an English Bulldog who simply did not want its nails cut. But, we won. The dog was very cute, but very large. Grooming animals is fun – and funny. We’ve also groomed a brown poodle named Betty White. You just never know what will happen around here.

What do you mean by that?
Well, we like to have fun. One lady came in and asked if we did cat grooming. I said, “Sure we do. But first we nail the cat’s feet to the table.” She asked if I was kidding, which of course I was. We’re happy to groom cats and it’s guaranteed to be pain free.

What’s your most unique product?
I’m always looking for items that stand out. We now have a winter coat that’s also a harness, which solves a problem many dog owners face this time of year. My favorite item is the patron saint of dog statue, which I found in a voodoo shop in New Orleans. Well, either that or a cat toy that’s three little balls filled with really strong catnip. It comes packaged with a card that reads, “My cat’s balls.”

That’s funny. Is that the funniest product you’ve sold here?
God no. I randomly found a book about crafting with cat hair. I thought it was a joke, but it was a serious book. Really. Doesn’t everyone want a purse made from their cat’s fur? I picked up six copies. They sold out immediately.

Are your dogs spoiled?
Not really. You really can’t spoil dogs. But, they’re right here beside me now. That’s Plaid in the plaid jingle bell collar and that’s Stripe in the red jingle bell collar. I’m not selling the dogs, but I am selling the collars.