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Chew on this


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It all started last fall, when my 13-year-old son Sam asked, “Could we get a dog that likes me?” It was apparent our little Yorkie, Nya, was not enthralled with Sam. She either barked at him or avoided him altogether. My only guess is that years ago, the younger version of Sam did something that scared her—and she has a long memory.

His plea for a dog he could play with did not fall on deaf ears. I’m a mom, and I couldn’t bear the thought that Sam would have issues later in life because the family dog rejected him. I could envision a therapist, 20 years into the future, pondering, “So why didn’t your mother let you have a dog that liked you?” (Somehow dads are never responsible when therapy is involved.)

I acquiesced, and against my husband Doug’s better judgment, on Thanksgiving weekend we adopted 10-month-old Dixie, a terrier mix from a local rescue. We all fell in love with the floppy-eared, energetic bundle of love.

What I hadn’t counted on was the chewing and the digging. It was subtle at first: a sock carelessly left on the kids’ bedroom floors, a smelly tennis shoe kicked off near the back door—I must say, she warned us about the impending apocalypse of chewing. It advanced to my leather shoes, Sam’s underwear, books, pencils left on the edge of the kitchen table, a printer ink cartridge, paper clips, toilet brushes, sofa pillows (a delicacy), the arm of a stuffed chair, CDs, toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, etc. etc. “Put it away, Dude, or it’s chewed,” is the refrain at our house.

When spring arrived in Minnesota, the chewing went outdoors. As I write this, I need to replant the petunias I just planted on Saturday (sigh), and Doug will replace the last sprinkler head Dixie chewed up last weekend.

I think Cesar Milan, television’s “The Dog Whisperer,” would pin this problem on me, the owner. So I had to laugh when I saw that this month’s franchise focus was on pet-related franchises. From Houston’s own dog whisperer, a trainer about to franchise, to franchises that clean up after dogs, Franchise Times has it covered. (Although Sam is bewildered that you have to buy a franchise to learn how to clean up after dogs—his job at our house.)

Speaking of cleaning up messes, I encourage you to read contributing writer Julie Bennett’s story on the history of Minnie Pearl Fried Chicken—once a mess for founders and investors alike. Labeled a scam by many, you may rethink the long-defunct franchise after you read the founder’s side of the story—it’s colorful. Or, you may not. But either way, you won’t want to miss it.

Our cover story, which features franchise exec. Mike Patel, is also worth a read. Patel has been credited with giving AAHOA, an association for Asian hotel franchisees, much of the power in numbers it has today. What’s interesting is that after working on behalf of his fellow franchisees for years, Patel is becoming a franchisor. He will use what he learned in leading AAHOA to build positive relationships with his franchisees.

We’ve covered so many events, this issue is full of the people who make franchising an interesting sector to cover. If you attended any franchise events these past two months, you may find your mug among our pages.

Let’s put it this way: This month’s issue will give you a lot to chew on. Enough said.

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