I have been meaning for some time to sing the praises of the independent pet supply store. There is a time and a place for big box stores, don’t get me wrong. And I’m aware that some of the more responsible chains invest a fair amount in their employees’ education and professional development. But nothing beats a well-stocked shop run by someone with a passion for dogs. I’m lucky: In Northern California, there is a wealth of amazing stores owned and managed by highly educated people. They carry super-premium foods, and can tell you – accurately – why the foods are better. The lower-cost foods they do carry are the best products available at that price point; they don’t carry the lowest-cost, worst-quality foods. They wouldn’t dream of it.