Best Pet Store - 2008
Lola & Penelope's
"Isn't it true that dogs can sometimes detect cancer?" a friend asked. He paused, then added, "I really have no idea where I heard that. That probably sounded completely insane." Actually, the notion isn't crazy at all. We've heard it, too. Specifically, we heard it at Lola & Penelope's, during a fundraiser honoring heroic animals. One pup — a tiny white terrier named Charlie — had insistently nosed around his owner's ear. The owner shrugged Charlie off at first, but the terrier was persistent. He kept nosing. And whining. And nosing. When Charlie's owner went to the doctor a few weeks later, he received this startling news: a brain tumor, near the exact spot that Charlie found so troubling. Fortunately, the tumor was treatable — it had been caught in time, thanks to an early-warning system that also likes walks and tummy rubs. We impart this tale not just for the "wow" factor, but also because it reflects Lola & Penelope's ethos: Far more than just a fabulous upscale pet boutique (although it certainly is that), this Clayton shop is a force for good in the four-legged community. The frequent fundraisers benefit homeless animals, dogs who assist the disabled and members of the canine police force. Lola & Penelope's offers organic dog and cat food made with "human-grade" ingredients, along with supplements that do everything from keeping immune systems healthy to assuaging aches in older pets. And of course, the shop stocks all manner of adorable toys, plush beds and chic accessories, just in case you want to thank your furred friend for enhancing your life — or saving it.