Biz on Biz: Swirl on Village Critter Outfitter

In this, our “Biz on Biz” feature, we ask an owner or employee at one New Canaan business to tell us about a favorite thing at another business: an item, a quality, a service, anything. So when Sonny Yi, on-site owner of the popular FroYo purveyor Swirl, told us that he loves the way fellow Cherry Street merchant Shirleen Dubuque, owner of Village Critter Outfitter, deals with her customers, we pressed Yi for more specifics. “A few days ago, there was a lost dog, in the parking lot here,” Yi said, pointing out the window. “It was a family that actually stopped into our store. There were like four kids and one adult so it was kind of crazy, and when the kids jumped out of the car, the dog must’ve come out too, but they didn’t realize.

Meet Bruno and Winston, Born Four Days Apart


For this installment of “New Canine-ites,” we caught up with a pair of new residents, puppies Bruno and Winston Bratches, in front of Family Britches on Elm Street, where a small crowd had gathered to admire them. Newly arrived from the same kennel in New Hampshire, the Labrador retrievers were born four days apart, said mom Patty Bratches. (Bruno is the black lab, Winston yellow.)

The family decided to get the dogs after losing two 15-year-old yellow labs, she said. Asked where New Canaanites can expect to meet the pups, Bratches said: “We’re socializing them all over town. We’re not dog park people, so we will socialize them all around town.”

“They will be at Family Britches all the time,” she added with a laugh as staff members at the Elm Street store joined the crowd on the sidewalk, admiring Bruno and Winston.

New Canaan Dog Owners: Protect Their Paws

By Michael Dinan

Most of us wisely are staying off New Canaan roads Thursday, as a wet, heavy snow turns to sleet (and then snow again), and roads feel more like Mill Pond than Main Street. What awaits us are slush and ice. What awaits our dogs is a painful, dangerous landscape of rock salt.

As Shirleen Dubuque, owner of Village Critter Outfitter on Cherry Street—yes, she’s open Thursday, until about 2 or 3 p.m.—says in a recent blog entry, booties for your pal’s paws are a primary source of protection. Paw wax, from Village Critter Outfitter in New Canaan, helps protect dogs who walk on rock salt following winter storms. Credit: Shirleen Dubuque

“A dog will lick to clean his paws, as well as ingest the chemicals found in the salt and sand,” Dubuque says. “The booties will offer paw and digestive protection.”