Dog days: Pups beat heat with commerce

While the recent 90+ degree days have everyone talking about the dog days of summer, for some local businesses, every day is a dog day.

For example, two dogs rule 2 French Hens, a downtown antique and home furnishings boutique. (No word on whether they bother the hens.)

"They're good for business," says co-owner Miles Andrews. "They get up on the beds, and people are still happy to buy the linens."

Over at the Engraving Shop on Ivy Road, nine-year-old bishon frise Thomas is big draw. "Lots of people will come into the store just to see Thomas," says his owner, Elaine Townsend. "They get upset if he's not here."

Puddles, a basenji mix, catches some rays on the front steps of Boutique Boutique on the Downtown Mall.

Dominic, an English mastiff at Sun Bow Trading Company, drools when he's offered a cookie.

Otto Zenke, a poodle whose surname recalls a famous interior designer, peers over an antique railing at 2 French Hens.

The Artful Lodger lets Emmet lounge on the "Chaucer" sofa.

Thomas plays with Elaine Townsend, owner of the Engraving Shop.