Shopping with Duke


Elyse Schurman

Customers bustle through the aisle, their eyes scan the racks looking for deals. As they look down, a cat’s head pops out from behind the clothes! Yes, believe it or not, varying stores around Holland allow pets. I took my cat Duke to visit these stores. 


   The moment we walked into the store, an employee greeted us, waving and gasping at the bundle of fur in my arms. Duke led me around the store on his leash. The store was quiet except for the music playing. Conversations could be heard here and there. 

   Multiple times employees stopped us. “I love your cat!” “What’s his name?” “Can I pet him?” Duke loved the attention, but he had a mission to sniff every item in the paint aisle. 

   After 30 minutes of walking around, we got in line to check out. Duke pulled on his leash trying to walk around more. 

  Michaels loves pets. The employees were friendly and asked me to bring him back. 


   When Duke and I walked into JOANN, a gasp from the cashier and a customer greeted us. “I’ve never seen a cat here before!” 

“We’ve had birds and hamsters, but never a cat!”

   Duke wanted to play with all the supplies. I had to drag him away so he didn’t make a mess. Many customers stopped to pet him. He wanted to keep exploring, but we still had other stores to visit. 

JOANN was a friendly and calm experience for me and Duke. 

Old Navy 

After JOANN we walked to Old Navy. Earlier, I learned they allowed pets, but as we walked in the door, I worried they would turn us away. We received many confusing looks from employees. But none asked us to leave. 

   There were many kids shopping with their parents. Duke walked up to all the kids in the store. He received lots of pets from kids and their parents. Most parents commented on how well-behaved he was. 

   Old Navy was awkward due to all the stares, but Duke and I enjoyed our visit. 

TJ Maxx

   TJ Maxx was our last stop that day. Duke and I were both tired. A few employees who adored cats greeted us. Duke enjoyed all the love he was receiving. They thanked us for letting us pet him. Then we walked around the store. 

   Many customers stopped and asked to pet him. He happily agreed. Duke would stand on his hind legs and sniff all the clothes hanging. And then meow and flop down. He was ready to go home. 

   TJ Maxx is very pet-friendly. They even have dog treats at the register! 


   Canines are spotted often at Lowe’s, but cats are another story. 

   “There’s a cat!” I could hear people whisper to their fellow shoppers. Most people were too busy shopping to stop and pet Duke. That was fine with him, he was exploring.

   However, he seemed overwhelmed by the noise and towering aisles. The true test of his behavior is when he came face to face with a dog. They touched noses and the dog licked Duke. He was not very happy but he dealt with it. 

   Lowe’s can be overwhelming for some pets, but the employees are friendly. 

Tractor Supply

   Duke and I walked in behind two guys who gave us confused looks. A few seconds later we were greeted by a happy employee. She was excited about how friendly Duke was. 

   We went on our way to the pet section where we stopped to look at the chicks. Duke stood on his hind legs so he could get a better look. 

   Duke sniffed almost every bag of cat food in the pet aisle. I bought him a case of canned food. 

      Tractor Supply has small aisles but Duke and I enjoyed it. 


   Many stores in Holland are pet-friendly. Pets must be leashed at all times. They must be well-behaved. Not everyone loves animals, so pets must stay by their owners. If all these guidelines are followed, Michaels, JOANN, Old Navy, and TJ Maxx are great places to shop with pets.