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SHOP LAGUNA:Posh treats for selective pups

Laguna’s picky pups-about-town have a new shopping adventure at their disposal: Surf Dog, at 384 Forest Ave., beside the post office.

Some of owner Holly Haisting’s more unique wares include dog treats fashioned to look like sushi and fortune cookies, and emergency kits that contain bandages and freeze-dried food.

One of her favorite products is a line of collars and ponchos that is handmade in a Peruvian village.

There’s even a matching line of human ponchos.

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She believes no dog should be without a Wubba, toys which come in three sizes and contain a tennis ball, squeaker and tug-of-war end.

Although the toys are sturdy, Haisting cautions there is no indestructible toy.

She carries more indulgences than necessities at the Laguna store, she said, because she’s waiting to gauge whether more tourists or regulars frequent the store.

Haisting has been in business for 10 years, and has developed an eye for quality "” a fact which her clients appreciate, given the recent pet food scare.

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“I’m my vendors’ worst nightmare,” she said.

Six months before the news of the pet food recall broke, she had discontinued purchasing a brand that suddenly said on its label that it was made in China.

“The minute different packaging comes in, that’s the red trigger,” she said.

She purchases food and treats from family-owned farms in places like Wisconsin, Illinois and Texas, and offers samples for pets to try before their owners purchase them.

Haisting’s eagle eye has now landed on the bowls she carries; concerned about the top coating material of them, she has scouted a ceramic pottery maker in Los Angeles that still uses a 1930s processing method.

She also dispenses advice on various medical concerns, with a homeopathic bent.

She offers a line of enzyme ointments from New Zealand and other essential oils.

“People come to us before they go to the vet,” she said.

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Haisting also designs canine couture under another label, All About Phoebe, but wanted a retail aspect to her business.

She operates another Surf Dog, a 3,000-square-foot full-service store in Redondo Beach.

Behind that shop is a 1,500-square-foot “Zen garden” where she hosts pet birthday parties and lets dogs romp while their owners shop.

She is hoping to find a space in Laguna to hold benefits and other events, and has plans in the works for a blanket drive.

The feline variety of pet isn’t entirely overlooked in Haisting’s gem of a shop; one corner is devoted to goodies like organic catnip and fish-and-chip-flavored cat treats.


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