Shop Dogs of Downtown New West

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Shop Dog: Begbie from Brick & Mortar Living

Summer Ambassador Jessica travels a few steps away from the office to the home of Begbie, resident cutie and Shop Dog at Brick & Mortar Living.

When I dropped by Brick & Mortar Living, owners Julia and Emma were stamping away at some product signs for their shop, but were happy as always to talk about their very own little Boston terrier shop dog.


They told me that when they set up shop about a year ago, they wanted a dog right away, but their mom (also owner) Jenn warned that it would be best to settle in first before taking on both a shop and a shop dog. So it wasn’t until April 2013 that friendly, playful pup Begbie (a nod at the name of their shop’s street) came into the picture for Brick & Mortar.

When Michael and I first met Begbie on our second week of work, she was still a tiny puppy sniffing around our feet and getting comfortable in the gift shop. It’s pure strong will that keeps us working at the BIA despite such cuteness in our midst. (We do occasionally break however; Maddi, the BIA Program & Events Coordinator pictured here with baby Begbie, has taken one or two field trip Fridays to visit Brick & Mortar).

Julia said they had to pick a puppy that suited the space and Begbie sure does! She is the official bagel-snacking and toe-licking greeter of Brick & Mortar Living.


I asked Julia if their curious pup ever tinkers with the trinkets in the shop, and with a smile she called Begbie a “pinecone hoarder”, but otherwise had no catastrophic stories about Begbie getting into any of the displays. A new hobby Begbie has discovered though is to people-watch by the window! It seems as though she likes to monitor the happenings on her street.

As is the common theme we’re noticing with shop dogs here in DTNW, Bebgie is apparently more popular than the girls at Brick & Mortar. One local New West Artists member and Cultural Crawl featured artist, Cliff Blank, who does custom pet portraits, got in touch with Jenn to capture little Begbie in paint. Emma also brought out a drawing of Begbie done by their uncle to show me, and spitefully (jokingly) pointed out that Begbie has two portrait paintings while they have none.

Honestly though Begbie is only one of the favourite ladies of Brick & Mortar Living – Julia, Emma, and Jenn are so friendly, down-to-earth, and wonderful to talk to. Make sure to check out the Brick & Mortar Facebook page to get all their updates, and make the trip to visit the shop. They have vintage, locally made, and handmade you-name-its, welcoming staff, and little shop dog Begbie all in a lovely, imaginative store so you’ll never want to leave!

Ps: the girls also wanted me to set the record straight – in case you ever get a sudden, unpleasant whiff at Brick & Mortar, it’s Begbie who cut the cheese!

 - Jessica G.

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