Colorful Tales

Everything You Need is at The Mill of Bel Air

March 5, 2020

So many Up Country collars!

Are you looking for a one-stop-shop for everything from lawn and garden to pet, equine, livestock, and feed products? Insert The Mill of Bel Air here. The Mill of Bel Air, also known as The Mill's central location among their six other stores, is recognized for outstanding customer service specializing in the finest pet food, farm animal feed, home and garden supplies, and more.

The Mill of Bel Air, originally called Reckord Mill, opened in 1886 by Henry Reckord. The business was purchased by H. Smith Walter in 1957, who then sold it in 1986 to his grandson, Henry Holloway. Henry took over the family-owned business, renamed it The Mill of Bel Air, renovated the store, and enlarged the retail aspect with his wife Brenda, and their children. We had the opportunity to speak to Cassie Holloway, Pet Products Manager, and daughter of Henry and Brenda, about all things pets!

Hard at work at the Mill of Bel Air.

Today, the Mill of Bel Air offers a large pet section stocked with dog and cat, small animal, bird, and equine supplies. They even have a mini pig and pigeon food area. Owners and their pets (dogs, goats, rats, etc.) can come in to purchase anything from necessities like high-quality food and treats, to unique toys, and fashionable accessories. “Since 2017, The Mill of Bel Air has been carrying Up Country after learning about the company from different trade shows and expos, including the Global Pet Expo” said Cassie. “Our customers are always excited about fun, new Up Country designs, and especially those that are season-specific.”

Aside from the abundance of high-quality products and expertly trained retail staff, The Mill of Bel Air also offers a wealth of pet-friendly events. “In December, we have pictures with Santa at all of our stores, and we always encourage our customers to bring in their pets. In select stores, we also offer dog and puppy training classes, donation days for local pet pantries and rescue organizations, National Pet Day celebrations, and classes that are specific to your pets. Our last, “create your own snuffle mat,” was a huge hit!”

It's playtime!

When we asked Cassie what her favorite part of the pet business is, her response was; “being able to help customers find a solution to a problem they are experiencing. Whether that be a dog food that doesn't irritate their pup's belly, a toy that is durable enough to withstand those sharp puppy teeth, or even an energized dog who needs the correct walking accessory, I am always happy to help. I once had a customer express her frustration in teaching her pup down. I showed her a quick tip and it worked like magic. We were both happy with the outcome, and that's what it is all about.”

The next time you are in any of the store's six Maryland locations and one Pennsylvania location, be sure to stop in, shop for your furry friend, and see all the reasons The Mill was voted “Best in Harford County” for over two years in a row.

Making Dogs Happy One Tail at a Time!

January 16, 2020

Martinique, owner of Redbones Dog Bakery and Boutique.

“Making dogs happy one tail at a time” is the slogan for the wildly popular dog bakery and boutique called Redbones. Redbones Dog Bakery and Boutique is located on Amelia Island, Florida, a popular holiday destination known for its luxury hotels, golf courses and beautiful beaches. The boutique was established in 1999, and it wasn’t until Martinique Lemke walked into Redbones a few years later, that the bakery truly expanded into what it is today. “I got into the pet industry by chance,” said Martinique. “I was a chef for the Ritz Carlton and decided to take a break from cooking and joined the Redbones team to help expand the bakery in 2004. I then went on to buy the store in 2006.”

Holiday baking in full swing at Redbones.

Today, Redbones offers its customers over 35 varieties of fresh homemade dog treats baked daily in our kitchen, as well as a wide variety of collars and leads, cozy beds, safe shampoos, and spa products. “We have been selling Up Country products for over 16 years. In addition to Up Country collars and leads, we also sell cookie jars, sweaters, rain jackets, toys, futons, and recently we added to custom Amelia Island collars. Beach, turtles, mermaids, donuts, and custom Redbones collars are all amongst the most popular designs. No other brands can compare!”

With a boutique and bakery with everything for your pet, what else could you ask for? Maybe a craft beer bar where you can bring your dog and enjoy a yummy craft beer, wine, or champagne? Redbones checked that item off the list in 2017, and it’s been a massive hit for locals and visitors alike. “Our experience is that we are a destination. People from all over the country come to Redbones daily, monthly, seasonal, or yearly. We want them to feel welcome and a part of our family.”

Bring home a custom Amelia Island dog collar for your best friend!

Redbones is also a proud supporter of surrounding area shelters, including the Nassau Humane Society, Cats Angels, Friends of Animals in Nassau, Nassau County Animal Services, Pit Sisters, and Chow Chow Rescue. “We have monthly fundraisers to help raise money for spay and neuter and heartworm treatment, and we actively promote adoption and saving our local animals.

When we asked Martinique her favorite part of the pet business, her response; “when you love animals, you are a happy person, and you are a good person. You can tell a lot about a person on how they treat animals. When you treat animals with respect, then most likely, you will treat humans with respect. We love what we do, and we love offering the very best products.” 

Traveling with Your Dog During the Holidays

November 26, 2019

Planes, trains, automobiles…or Santa’s sleigh?  No matter what mode of travel you pick this holiday season, there are a few things to keep in mind if you’re taking your dog along for the ride.  Here are some helpful tips and “tricks” to keep your furry family member happy and safe during the busiest most wonderful time of the year!


Most travelers opt for hitting the road during the holidays.  With an estimated 55 million travelers driving to their destination this Thanksgiving, and another 97 million during this Christmas season, that’s a lot of humans on the road!  This Thanksgiving, we have some major storms throwing us a curveball too, so plan accordingly and give yourself the gift of time.  If traveling by car, be sure to leave wiggle room in your schedule to make pitstops for your dog’s bathroom and playtime needs.  Make a list of dog parks along your route, and bring along the essentials like waste bags, water, food, treats, bowls, and a sturdy collar/harness and leash.  Keeping an eye on your dog when in a strange territory is a must since they will be excited by the new sights and smells.  Also, if you happen to breakdown in inclement weather, make sure you have plenty of blankets for your pet, and a suitable coat so he can look fly in his holiday best and be practical at the same time.


This year, major airlines have toughened their policies on pet and service animals because of the increase in misbehaved comfort animals.  Check ahead with your particular airline for their current rules.  Generally speaking, dogs under 20 lbs. can travel in the cabin with you in an approved carrier under the seat in front of you.  Dogs weighing more than 20 lbs. must be crated and ride below in the cargo section.  Also, unless you are traveling with a documented service animal, there will be a fee of around $75-$150 round trip.  A few other considerations when traveling by plane include registering your animal ahead of time and pre-flight paperwork, checking in at the desk vs. online, and picking up your pet at an alternative location if he flies in the cargo hold.


Bring some treats for your dog to choo-choo!  Er, chew, chew!  Traveling by train is a wonderful way to get from Point A to Point B.  Much like planes, animals under 20 lbs. are welcomed aboard inside a carrier that can fit under the seat in front of you.  Trains have a few specific rules that need to be adhered to for a smooth ride.  These include one pet per person, the train ride must be 7 hours or less, the cost is approximately $25, and your pet must be at least 2 months old.  There are other restrictions as well for traveling with an animal on weekends and holidays.  So, don’t get left at the station unprepared; check ahead first to make sure you’re on the right track.


If you are lucky enough to travel by Santa’s Sleigh, we have absolutely no advice for you except to have fun and that we’re super jealous.  Please tell the big guy that the employees at Up Country and their pets were extra good this year!


If you are fortunate to have a host that will accommodate your pet, then get them a meaningful hostess gift!  Also, bring your pet’s essentials and respect the boundaries of your host’s home and yard.  A travel gate is easy to set-up and will keep your pet in the areas deemed appropriate by your host.  Travel crates are great too in creating a safe space for your dog amongst the holiday hustle and bustle.  This Calm Carrier is pretty cool.  If you have to make other accommodations, here’s a great search tool for pet-friendly hotels in the area where you’ll be staying:


Here’s a helpful packing list with links to make sure your trip is smooth sailing:

At Bow Wow Meow they Speak Dog and Cat!

October 31, 2019

As lifelong pet lovers and with a father in the pet industry, Amy Bearg and her two brothers Mitchell and Larry continued the legacy and opened Bow Wow Meow in 1989. Before the store’s opening, Amy and her brothers noticed the lack of upscale pet boutiques during their travels and decided to close the gap in the market. Bow Wow Meow opened in San Carlos first, followed by stores in San Francisco and Menlo Park. Today, the trio of siblings is celebrating 30 years of being a big part of the community and providing the very best for their customer’s beloved furry family members.

Inside each Bow Wow Meow location, you’ll notice a strong feeling of community and an abundance of high-quality products. Each location caters to customers with different needs depending on their area, with a varying selection of products. Those in Menlo Park and San Carlos with more space and yards require different supplies from those customers shopping at the city store. Above all, each store offers pet grooming and a variety of products for both cats and dogs, including food, treats, collars, and leashes, with an all-around focus on nutrition and well-being.

Bow Wow Meow’s three locations have been carrying Up Country since they opened their doors 30 years ago. “We try and change up the designs we offer frequently; however, we see the Bee, Daisy, and Bella Floral designs win the popularity contest most often.” Bee, Daisy, and Bella Floral designs win the popularity contest most often.”

In addition to the quality of the overall products, you know you'll be greeted by a familiar face each time as the majority of Bow Wow Meow’s staff have been employees for 20+ years. “Our employees have become family to us,” says Store Manager and Buyer Amy.

When Bow Wow Meow's staff isn't helping customers or adding new products to the store, they are hosting local events within the community that support rescue pups as well as homeless pets in need. If there is a local concert or festival, you’ll be sure to see Bow Wow Meow’s name on the sponsor list.

When we asked Amy what she loved about being part of the pet industry, she responded, “What don’t I love? I love being part of the community of like-minded, pet loving individuals. It’s a great place to be. Our customers truly care about animals and being part of the greater pet community, as well as the local happenings that surround us.”

If you are in the San Carlos, San Francisco, or Menlo Park area, be sure to stop by and shop the very best at Bow Wow Meow. It’s no surprise that the passion for all things pets stayed in the family! 

Howl-o-ween Tips and Tricks

October 29, 2019

BOO!  Yes, it’s that time of year for ghosts and goblins to come knocking at your door.  While it may be fun and exciting for humans, oftentimes, it can be stressful for dogs and cats.  Here are some song-inspired tips and tricks to keep your furry family members ghoul-free on Halloween.

Some “body’s” knockin’ at the door, some “body’s” ringin’ the bell!  Well, you know it won’t be a skeleton because, um, they don’t have a body.  Hahaha!  Seriously though, every time someone knocks on your door or the doorbell rings, your pets perk up in either excitement or protection mode.  If your pet gets overstimulated by the sounds, then it’s best to prepare them ahead of time.  Some good options include putting them in a room with some background noise, like music or the TV, or in their crate.  You can also send them to a friend or relative’s house who doesn’t get trick-or-treaters, so they (and you) can enjoy a peaceful evening.

It was a one-eyed, one-horned, flyin’, purple people eater!  Getting dressed up for Halloween is so much fun.  If you plan on putting a costume on your dog though, make sure they are okay with it first.  Buy a costume that is made for a dog’s specific body type, so it is comfortable and accommodates their bathroom needs, ears, line of sight, and ability to pant if they get hot.  Put it on them first and look at their body language to gauge their reaction.  Let them wear it for a little while, and then if they are still hiding in a corner with their tail between their legs, it’s a no-go.  Also, make sure they can’t chew on their costume if you look away.  It’s not candy to you, but it might be delicious to them.  Speaking of candy…

Candy Girl, you are my world, you look so sweet, you're a special treat!  Let’s face it, one of man’s best creations ever is CANDY!  Your dog thinks so too, but unfortunately, human candy treats are off-limits for him.  Make sure you keep the loot you’re handing out, or have collected, out of your pet’s reach.  As you can imagine, vets are inundated with calls and visits during Halloween because Fido decided to wolf down a pillowcase full of Snickers – just to satisfy him.  On a side note, if you’re curious as to what the top Halloween candies are, we did the homework for you here.  You’re yummy yum welcome.

With a nick-nack paddy whack, give a dog a bone!  Lastly, in addition to October being all about Halloween, it’s also Adopt a Shelter Dog Month.  If you plan on adopting this month, give yourself the treat of a lifetime by visiting your local shelter.  Also, check out our Up Country Cares page to learn more about how we give back, pay it forward, and all the feel good stuff in-between.    

For more tips and tricks for a Fear Free Halloween, click here.


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