Interview from West Side Rag

By A. Campbell

Name: Leap

Age: 3 years old. I was born on January 2nd and came home on a leap day, so that’s how I got my name.

Breed: Welp, Mom and I have run two DNA tests and the results were completely different. So much for accuracy, I guess. My mom was a Boxer and the organization that rescued me, Homeward Bound, said my dad was a Saint Bernard mix.

Profile/History: This is a great story! Mom was working a corporate job which had her traveling two weeks each month and all she really wanted was to have a dog. After 18 years of working at this large and successful financial services company, she decided the time had come. She went to her boss and said, “I quit – I’m going to rescue a dog!” Around that time, my dog mom, my litter mates, and I had been rescued from a kill shelter in Virginia by Homeward Bound. Mom drove to Pennsylvania and came home with me that day. Soon, I became the inspiration and brand ambassador for Mom’s new business – Amuse Pooch Artisan Dog Treats.

Daily routine: I’m a great sleeper and I don’t get out of bed each morning until I hear my breakfast bowl being prepared. After a hearty breakfast, we’ll head to Riverside Park to do some sniffing and catch up on all the recent dog “news”. One part of our daily routine is playing hide and seek. After our evening walk, I’ll wait by the door while Mom hides treats around the apartment and then, when I get the ok, I run around and search for all the goodies. It’s kind of like a scavenger hunt, but the only goal is to find treats!

Loves: One of the greatest things about being a pup is that every day is like Halloween, but without the spooky bits. All I have to do is poke my head into a store and they’ll say, “Would you like a treat?!” The answer is always yes.

Does not love: I hate when trash bags blow down the street on windy days, like creepy specters. Ack! Also, and this is a little embarrassing, but I don’t like tight spaces because sometimes I’ll get stuck between parked cars and it makes me feel very body conscious.

Favorite store/business on the UWS: I love stopping by neighborhood businesses like Pet Market and Camp Canine.

Favorite treat: Amuse Pooch treats, of course!

Favorite park spot: One of my favorite things to do is to put my paws up on the stone walls along Central Park West and peek over to see what’s happening in the park. Outside of the park, I also like sitting on stoops. There’s so much fabulous stoop-age here on the Upper West. I love how people decorate with flower pots in the Spring and Summer, and in the Fall, with beautiful mums, pumpkins, and gourds.

Tell us about Amuse Pooch and what you’ve learned from starting a local business: Well, after Mom left her job and began doing freelance work, she realized that lots of the treats for dogs are kind of icky. They’re not necessarily single-ingredient and often they’re not cooked or baked at proper temperatures. She recognized a need for a new, healthy, single ingredient product and I encouraged her to pursue the idea. We put our heads together and really worked hard to create a superior – and delicious – product. We collaborated with Cornell Food Science and the New York Department of Agriculture. It took about a year to develop a recipe, find a commercial kitchen to make them, and create a logo, and then finally, Amuse Pooch successfully launched almost two years ago. While you can buy our treats online on Amazon, we are also incredibly grateful for our local Upper West Side community supporters who sell them in their businesses. A special shout out to Pet MarketCamp Canine, and Amanda Gagnon Dog Training for spreading the good news about Amuse Pooch! Stop by and try some today! Mom and I firmly believe that the Upper West Side community is just wonderful. I would recommend to anyone looking to start a business here to reach out and not be afraid to ask for help. People like to know where their food – and their pup’s food – is coming from. Our supporters have been genuinely kind and helpful. We couldn’t ask for more!

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