Guest Author: Heather Araskiewicz
My family loves Disney and we look forward to each and every trip. The only part we don’t look forward to is leaving our pets behind. The dogs usually have to be kenneled. Last year it broke my heart when I had to kennel my senior pug Tyson. He was blind so the kennel was very stressful for him because he didn’t know where he was or what was happening.
That said I wanted to bring him back something special from our trip. I always bring back a little something for him from every trip I go on regardless of where I go. But the Disney gifts seemed to always be his favorites. For the past several years we got bought the same gift for both dogs….a stuffed Mickey shaped plush toy.
The good thing about getting them a new one from every trip was that the old dingy one could be casually replaced with the new one. Tyson would carry the toy around with him everywhere and would hold it between the ears so that the ears completely covered his eyes. It had gotten to the point where both dogs had several of these silly things laying around the house.
Last year we took our family trip and I searched store after store for the pet items. Then I remembered seeing a small variety of toys, bandanas and bowls at the Firehouse Gift Shop on Main Street. I stopped by the Firehouse and found out it was no longer a gift shop. So I searched Downtown Disney high and low for the pet items. Finally I asked a cast member at World of Disney if they could help me. This very nice cast member informed me that the shops would no longer be carrying pet merchandise and he suggested checking at the Best Friends Kennel over near Port Orleans Riverside. Hearing that bummed me out because this was a staple souvenir I got without hesitation on every trip. Although we were staying at Riverside I wasn’t about to run across the street to kennel to see if they had anything. To his credit the cast member walked the store with me and suggested alternative items and we finally settled on a flat Eeyore toy.
Although Tyson was excited when I gave him his new “baby” he never took to this toy in the same way he took to his Mickey Mouse. I would often have to coax him into playing with Eeyore when his Mickey needed to be cleaned.
Since Disney never carried a huge selection of pet products (usually just an end cap on an aisle) I really wish they would reconsider restocking them. I can only speak for myself but my pets are part of my family and I think nothing of spending the money to get them that special Disney souvenir too!