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New pet store, The Cheeky Puppy, headed to Dupont Circle

Cheeky Puppy owner Courtney Stamm and her Labradoodle, Schroeder

No fooling, dog and cat lovers of Dupont and Kalorama: a chic new pet-supplies store is going to open in your part of the District right around April 1.
“There are so many moving parts,” says Courtney Stamm, the Kalorama resident who is opening the shop soon at 1709 Connecticut Ave. NW, where DuFroYo used to be. “Now I understand why there are 'coming soon!' signs in windows for months on end” before a new business actually opens.
Stamm, 37, is an Indiana native who relocated to Washington nearly 15 years ago for her career in nonprofit fundraising. Since then, she’s helped further the causes of organizations as diverse as Food and Friends, Refugees International and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights.
Yet in recent years, while she’d attained a long-sought title – director of development, “I was feeling disconnected from the people or the things I was helping” via fundraising, Stamm says.
Buying her first condo – and perhaps even more importantly, bringing home Schroeder, her four-year-old Labradoodle – nudged her to think differently about her professional life would look like in the years to come.
Walking her dog, “I soon realized there is a lack of [pet-oriented] retail in this part of Washington,” yet no lack of pets among the residents of Dupont Circle, the West End and Adams Morgan.
To that end, Stamm began to envision a pet-supplies store with “a home, lifestyle and gift bent.” Toys, treats, collars and leashes will be on the shelves of the 850 square-foot Cheeky Puppy, but not pet food.
“We’re going to be bipartisan” in terms of offering items for dogs and cats, though Stamm admits she’s allergic to the latter.  She says she’s heard a lot of verbal encouragement for her shop from her “DPFs,” or dog park friends, as well as from tourists passing the shop – now in build-out – who are visiting Washington and lonesome for their own four-legged friends.
In a question that might only be posed in DC, Stamm says she is often asked whether her own cheeky puppy was named for the former German chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder. In fact, she had the piano-playing Peanuts character in mind.
“But I might get him a playmate and call her Angela,” after Angela Merkel, who has had Gerhard Schroeder’s old job for about five years, Stamm says with a laugh.

Read more articles by Amy Rogers Nazarov.

Amy Rogers Nazarov is a Washington, D.C.-based journalist with more than 25 years experience as a staff reporter and a freelance writer, covering technology, adoption, real estate, and lifestyle topics from food & drink to home organizing. Her byline has appeared in Cooking Light, The Washington Post, Slate, Washingtonian, The Writer, Smithsonian, The Washington Post Express, The Baltimore Examiner, The Sacramento Bee, Cure, The Washington Times, Museum, and many other outlets. She is a member of the American Society of Journalists & Authors and tweets at @WordKitchenDC.
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