One of the perks of starting your own business is the ability to structure your environment to your own taste. You don't enjoy sitting? Install the desk at standing height. You're a coffee snob? Get an excellent coffee maker. Add a grinder, while you're at it. Put your bargain wine in a boat? Sure. Maybe the gin should be displayed in a bathtub...

And dogs. From the beginning, we knew that Pour Richard's would welcome dogs. In a choice between selling candy bars and potato chips, or letting customers bring in their (well-behaved, leashed) dogs, dogs will win every single time. We choose to give ourselves the opportunity to meet our customers' friends and companions, enriching our daily existence immeasurably. Because we welcome dogs, we've gotten to know Gigi, a sassy and utterly fabulous Bulldog, and Bailey, a handsome and mischievous Cairn, among many, many others. We get to hand out treats. We're the lucky recipients of wags, wiggles, and kisses.

Our customers get to shop without leaving their four-legged friends in the car. Dogs give you unfailing loyalty and unwavering devotion. Whether you've had a great day or a crappy one, your dog is still happy to see you. He doesn't judge. He doesn't care if you forgot to write down an appointment or send an email. What's more, he'll never ignore your sparkling conversation to reply to a text or check Instagram. For those reasons and more, he doesn't deserve to be stuck in the car.

If you don't have a dog of your own, we invite you to come in and pet Jace, who has set himself up as our official greeter. He hangs by the door, ready to say hi to everyone and check you out for any particularly fascinating scents. He is especially fond of children; they're closer to his size.

At the end of most days, my favorite place is on my couch, with a glass of wine, a book, and my two feisty terriers. Fetch, indeed.

Smile: found.