By Mike Anderson

The Kibble House, a favourite with pet owners in Pefferlaw, will be closing its doors in September.

Owners Diane Meharg, 63, and John Dewar, 66, are retiring and moving to Bobcaygeon to be closer to family.

Meharg has young grandchildren and a 91-year-old mother to care for, and Dewar is looking forward to spending more time canoeing.

“We work six days a week, so there’s not enough personal time,” Meharg said. “Time is so valuable, and your family is too.”

“We’ve also lost a few people over the year, so it makes you think twice,” added Dewar.

The couple sold the business earlier this year, hoping the new owner would continue to operate the pet food store; however, he’s since changed his mind.

“We were trying to get someone to take over the business, which would’ve meant a lot for me, to keep it going for the community,” Meharg said.

“But unfortunately, it didn’t work out. So last week’s been difficult. Very hard for me to tell people.”

Meharg and Dewar started the business nearly ten years ago, naming the store after the Kibble department store.

“We thought about the name and knew that the house was known as the Kibble house. Because the Kibble’s ran a store here many years ago, it was a bit of a nod to them and kibble, a primary product we sell here. And thus the name was born,” Dewar said.

“When we first started thinking of opening a pet store here, people thought we were crazy,” Meharg said.

But the couple did their homework before taking the plunge.

“We did a lot of market research and found out there were 85,000 dogs in Georgina. And at that time, only 23,000 were licensed,” Dewar said.

“So the lightbulb went off, and we thought maybe there’s a real need here.”

While the store started selling dog and cat food, over the years, they began bringing in a host of weird and wacky creatures, including various reptiles and live rats.

But Meharg says the only animal she had a problem with was a pet tarantula.

“We had somebody who had a tarantula their kids didn’t want, and they asked whether I would take it. And I said, sure, it can stay here. But I would not touch it or hold it,” Mehart admitted. “I’m more of a dog and cat person.”

Since opening the store, Mehard and Dewar haven’t looked back, building a loyal customer base by special ordering pet food and providing excellent customer service.

Ironically, their best years were during the pandemic, when they closed the store to customers and focused on home deliveries.

“We’re going out on a high note which is satisfying to me but also bittersweet,” said Dewar.

The couple says they’ll miss their customers and watching their puppies grow up.

“When you develop relationships, even business relationships with people, it becomes personal,” Dewar said.

“You know the families, their dogs; you are always there for them every month. You’re ensuring they have their needs filled, which is very satisfying. And when you get up in the morning, you know you’re doing something decent.”

“We want to thank all the people who’ve come and supported us over all these years. Because without them, we wouldn’t have been here this long,” Meharg said.

Meharg wants customers to know the owner of Global Pet Foods in Uxbridge will still accept their loyalty cards. However, the nearest pet food store is A5 Pet & Bird Depot in Beaverton.

The Kibble House will be holding a final sale on Saturday, September 3, with most items up to 50 per cent off.

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