Corvallis has a number of standout features, but the furriest is by far the number of friendly store pets creepin’ around all willy-nilly while you bask in the glory of assorted purchasable items. Though there are many around, below are a few examples of some of the local characters you may recognize.
Shoe Hutch Friends
Meet Bella Beluga, Huckleberry Finn, and Indiana Jones, three dogs from Shoe Hutch. There are three full-time employees at Shoe Hutch, which allows a dog to be at the store nearly all the time.
The official store dog is Bella Beluga, a five-year-old golden retriever. She has been coming to the store ever since her human, Tim Davenport, got her. She is the shop’s third golden retriever, following her predecessors Bingo Bill and Snorkel Bob.
The associate store dog is Huckleberry Finn, a three-year-old yellow lab. He has been coming since he was a pup with his human, Matt Hector. When he first came to the store he was small and Bella Beluga acted like a momma dog. Now he is a giant moose of a dog!
The trainee store dog is Indiana Jones, a one-year-old Australian cattle dog-border collie mix. His human is James Kephart and he has been coming to the store since he was a tiny puppy—he still definitely acts like one!
The dogs love visiting the store and it keeps the humans at ease knowing they can go for walks during the day and not stay at home. The dogs spend time on an “ugly orange sofa” in the window. Besides being a good napping spot, the sofa area doubles as a penalty area: barking, running, jumping, sniffing, and failure to listen. However, there are three offenses that can lead to the firing of the dogs: chewing on shoes, biting children, and knocking down grandmas!
The Book Bin Cat
Tess is the Book Bin cat, an 11-year-old suspected to be a Norwegian forest cat. She has lived at the store almost her whole life. She was a rescue that joined the Book Bin crew once she was weaned. Lately, she has been found hiding in the literature section and in the back room. However, she tends to change her preference with the changing of the seasons. She will lick you if she likes you, though she tends to gravitate more towards adults.
The Animal House Parrot
Tango is a five-year-old green-winged macaw. Though he is actually for sale, he has been living at the Animal House since birth and has quite a following. Many people come to say hi solely to Tango, giving him an apple slice or a few nuts. Tango has a large vocabulary of phrases including: “Hi,” “Good bird,” “Ouch,” “Uh oh,” “How are you,” “Peek-a-boo,” “Whatchu doing,” “Come here,” and “I can fly.”
By Kara Beu