Cobber’s Pet Pantry has been sharing their passion for pet nutrition for six years — and they’re delighted to help you, too.
by Diana Mivelli
When you arrive at Cobber’s Pet Pantry in Enumclaw, you notice the sky-blue building and the tidy lawn. The store is inviting, well organized, and exudes warmth. You might be greeted by owner Tamie Waugh and Cobber, the store’s namesake. Her 12-year-old daughter, Joy, might be helping out or selling fresh eggs from the chickens she’s been raising since the age of five. The two groomers might be in session or someone could be using the DIY bathing suite. A dog-training class might be happening. With so many options, you would think that Tamie’s lifelong dream had been to open this store.
“I opened the store because I became passionate about nutrition. There wasn’t a place in town to get the really high-quality food, so people had to leave town to buy the holistic-type supplements and the raw food. I opened the store to be a resource for those like-minded people,” Tamie said.
Before opening six years ago, she did rescue work out of her house with dogs experiencing a lot of issues. Their owners relinquished them, often because they couldn’t afford the vet bills.
“This is part of how I learned to appreciate that food is medicine. Their pet parents didn’t have an appreciation for the fact that what they were feeding them was contributing to or actively causing their skin problems or their chronic ear infections. I became a big believer that if you feed them appropriately, they’re healthier and happier.
Tamie named the store after Cobber, her now 15-year-old German Shepherd mix.
“She’s slowing down a bit and she’s put on a few pounds from the shoplifting she does (referring to Cobber’s habit of snagging treats from the open bins) but she used to be my shining example of perfect health in senior dogs.”
Cobber’s also offers therapeutic grooming, nosework classes, and recently brought on an energy worker for cats and dogs. There’s even a small fenced-in dog play area next door for Cobber’s customers.
“We don’t kennel dogs like most groomers where you drop off at 8 and pick them up at 5…we give appointments. We expect them to be here at that time and we call them when they are done. We do have crates so they can hang out, but the dogs don’t like hanging out all day, so we do our best to get them in here as quickly as possible and get them out so they’re back in their healthy spot again.”
The store fills a niche and also serves as a community resource.
“What is the right thing for the dog? If the right thing is to send them somewhere else, we do that. All of my staff is really good about this. We really try to honor what the dog and the customer want. We never try to upsell.”
Owing to the trust Cobber’s has established with the community, some customers still reach out to get advice, even after they’ve moved. One former customer who relocated to Texas couldn’t find her usual pet food and called Tamie for advice.
The self-described research nerd loves finding drug-free solutions.
“I’m a vegetarian and I opened the store for carnivores. That gives me added credibility because if I could feed my dogs corn and have them thrive, I’d be the first one to do it but that’s how much I believe that there are carnivores that need meat in their diet.”
Recently, a producer contacted Cobber’s to see if they could film a few scenes on location for a movie called “The Rabbit Thief.” Tamie thought it sounded fun.
The movie is about a lonely 14-year-old girl who befriends an older mother-figure-type woman with whom she connects but who leads her on the path to human trafficking. The rabbit symbolizes innocence and innocence lost and her connection to her childhood that’s slipping away.
“They let my daughter, Joy, play a small part. Her bunnies are in the background and we are in a background scene.”
Tamie and her family own three dogs, five cats, six horses, five rabbits, two ducks and 30 chickens. She no longer takes in dogs to be rescued, but she networks and facilitates rescues through customers. “The store gives us a great platform with our Facebook page.”
Cobber’s Pet Pantry hosts a yearly Christmas party from 3pm to 8pm on the first Friday of each December. The party features a Santa, a professional photographer, games, food, and vendors. “It’s our big deal. We want Santa to know we’ve been good all year.”
You can visit Cobber’s Pet Pantry at 1415 Blake Street in Enumclaw, WA, or find them online here.