A point of pride in planning birthday parties has always been the infusion of learning -- imagine that from such an incredible educator (sarcasm). The educational experience for my daughter and her friends during the party on this day reached a paramount level because of Lou's Pet Shop. A visiting pet shop; at a birthday party? Yes. You read that correctly too. A traveling pet store party.
Don, the Owner of Lou's Pet Shop, transformed my youngest daughters ninth birthday party into a educational traveling zoo of sorts. As any teacher can attest; just having some animals or reptiles and showing them to some nine year old girls isn't going to keep their attention for long. Like a seasoned teacher -- Don knows his pets are simply learning tools; no different than a book, iPad or computer in the classroom. It's Don that makes learning happen. As an incredibly charismatic, caring and kid capturing kinda guy; Don blends these traits with humor to impress upon young minds his passion and knowledge for animals. In short, Don posseses all the qualities of a highly effective teacher presenting a top-notch lesson plan.
Like a seasoned teacher -- Don knows his pets are simply learning tools; no different than a book, iPad or computer in the classroom. It's Don that makes learning happen.
Focused with baited-breath as hands are popping in the air and bodies bobbing where they sit on floor the party-goers actions show how engrossed they are by the lesson. This is a constant behavioral theme of the kids during the entire one hour long presentation. Before each specimen is shown, touched and held Don gathers background knowledge from the audience through their participation answering his fascinating whimsical quiz style questions. Then, after setting the stage, he interjects vital information. Tidbits, such as, what colors indicate a dangerous snake to avoid; safety and precautionary measures when around reptiles, bugs and mammals in the wild or in captivity; in addition to proper animal care for house pets of all types. Then the kids get to touch and handle these critters he brought with him -- like the Tortoise named Frankie.
Exiting or Leaving the party is Don's most difficult feat. Swarmed by the inspired kids as he gathers together his materials and animals; the ongoing comments and questions never seemed to end. We had a hard time getting the kids to transition to the next phase of the party -- Cake and Icecream. Imagine that problem at a birthday party... the eating of cake and icecream couldn't match the joy and excitement of learning.
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Fastforward a few months -- Don inspired my wife and I so much that we finally succumb to our daughters plees to add another member to our family: a pet. This is no ordinary pet; at least we didn't think so at first. Little did we know as parents it's the third most popular household pet behind a dog and cat. It's a Bearded Dragon.
Our "Beardie" purchasing experience at Lou's Pet Shop was amazing. Like always, the staff accommodated these two extremely reluctant pet purchasing parents like true champions of the trade. We're not strangers to the Shop -- we've always gone there for fish, aquarium gear, pet food, etc. What's incredible and sets the store apart from all others isn't just the great customer service and attention to detail but the fact that it's also a mini zoo of sorts. There's a Lemur, a Parrot, a Boa; a massive free-moving Rabbit; and of course a tech-rigged Tortoise: aka all the stars of the party are here.
If you're in the Grosse Pointe, Michigan surrounding area, like us, visit and use Lou's Pet Shop for what it is -- an educational and pet experience like no other. We're very grateful to all you've done for us Don and we'll be visiting even more often now that we're caring for our new Bearded Dragon "Cooper."
Sources and References:
Lou's Pet Shop
20779 Mack Avenue
Grosse Pointe, MI 48236
EcoHealthyPets.com - Bearded Dragons