Our beloved sugar skull pooch that has been proudly worn on t-shirts by locals and stickered onto various surfaces through out town, has really become an important piece of the Pupologie culture.
It was around this time five years ago that Tito was born, but his origins began many years before. November of 2003, I started training for my new position as a manager for a small independent chain called Pet Nutrition Center. At the time, I was looking for a fun job while deciding on design college. I had already been in retail for years and I loved animals, so it was the perfect fit for me. Little did I know that accepting the position would change the course of my life forever.
It happened on my very first day of training. The owner of the company was teaching me how to read labels and she was going through the list of ingredients that were often found in pet food. She had them separated by good ingredients and bad ingredients. Three ingredients into the bad list, I found myself ready to crawl out of my skin. I was repulsed, outraged, and utterly devastated. I could not believe that the government felt it was acceptable to allow such vile ingredients into the bowls of our beloved pets. From that moment I knew that I had found my passion. I needed to do whatever I could to help bring these dirty secrets to light and help as many pets as I could.
In 2005 I was the proud owner of my very own Pet Nutrition Center. In acquiring the keys, I simultaneously acquired a hefty debt that required me to take very little money home and to keep very minimal staff on hand. As luck would have it my husband, then boyfriend, joined me on my mission to keep the little business afloat on a skinny budget and to share our knowledge with the community.
2010 was the year everything changed. We began to rebrand and make some big changes as our loans were paid off at last. We actually had money to make some much needed changes and to add on more staff. I also wanted to be more active in the shelter and rescue community, and use my business to help raise awareness and funds for the orphaned and abused animals in the community.
Enter Tito. We wanted to celebrate all of the new exciting changes and share our platform with a local rescue group. We decided to throw our first ever annual Dia de los Perros, a festival to celebrate dogs and to educate the community about the importance of rescue. Being in San Diego, what better way to celebrate than with Mexican traditions? A sugar skull dog had to be created. Luckily my grade school friend and artist, Juan Martinez, had recently gotten in touch on Facebook and I was able to ask if he could create one for us. He came back within 24 hours with the first draft of Tito and it was love at first sight.
We love Tito and everything he represents so much that we are dedicating a mural to him in the self wash of our Oceanside location. In true Pupologie fashion, we want the input from our community before deciding on which piece of art will be painted on the walls of our store for our customers to enjoy. We have narrowed it down to two Tito inspired designs created by our very own Kim Warner and are currently taking votes on our Oceanside location's Facebook page. To cast your vote visit www.facebook.com/pupologieoceanside before the end of August.