Puttin’ on the Dog: Maggie Mae's is an animal-friendly store where all pets are welcome — and can expect a treat
Patti Sells | News-Telegram Feature Editor

Aug. 31, 2006 -- Wedding gowns and tuxedoes, $14.99 to $19.99! Faux leather jackets, $16.99 to $25.99! Bath robes $8.99 to $14.99! And bling-bling T-shirts and sundresses start at just $9.95!

This may sound like just another great end-of-the-summer sale, but actually, the attire is for pets, and these are the pooch price points people are willing to pay in order to dress up their doggie divas.

Doggie dress-up is the latest rage, making pet boutiques one of the fastest-growing business ventures in the nation, according to Maggie Mae Sherrow, owner of Maggie Mae's Gifts for Pets & People, located at 403 Gilmer St., Suite B.

"People treat them like their children," said Sherrow, who admits to being one of those people. "Sissie Joe is my kid.

"I tease my Mother that she [Sissie Joe] is the only grandchild she'll ever get out of me," laughed Sherrow of her 18-month-old longhaired Chihuahua, and the inspiration for the new store that caters to pampered pets.

In addition to dog clothes and costumes, gift items include doggie treats and truffles, pet carriers, beds, purses, dishes, strollers, toys, leashes, as well as jeweled fashion accessories.

"You don't have to drive to Rockwall anymore for a rhinestone collar," Sherrow said, pointing out her glamour collection that also includes pearl collars and barrettes. "People are really having fun with it and going all out for their pets, spoiling them just like kids."

Sissie Joe has approximately 20 outfits herself, including a new cowboy hat since the two only just recently moved to the East Texas area in February.

"She's a great conversation piece," laughed Sherrow, who makes pet sun visors herself, an item that puts the fun in functional.. "Vets have found that some pets have sensitive eyes to the bright sun just like people."

As for people, Sherrow carries flower arrangements, frames, sequined ball caps, scarves, fashion jewelry, and something sure to be a hit in “Wildcat Country:” paw-print purses, coin purses, bookmarks, key chains, anklets and pins.

Soon, Sherrow said, she will be doing pet photography, as well.

"People just have a love for pets," Sherrow said. "I don't think pets take the place of people. They just give us added affection, motivation and much joy. Pets have all the feelings that humans do. And they love to be pampered and taken care of."

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