Eighth Street Pet Shop Still Open despite plumbing mess
Posted by Jill Rizk (+49) 18 years ago
Monday night (the 5th) we got a call at 9:30 at our home that the ceiling in our shop had collapsed and there was water running into the store. Living 55 miles out we made a few calls to Greg Losinski (plumber), Ken Holmlund (locks) and Miles City Police (who helped coordinate efforts) and then drove into town.

Since buying the building (14 N. 8th-the old Blimpies building) in August 2004, we have been working to upgrade and remodel it. The renter that came with the building destroyed the front apartment before he moved out in February...you can't even imagine what he did to the place. We gutted the place and then it took months of work (mostly evenings and weekends) and a mound of money to complete it. The end of August we rented it to two MCC nursing students who have been wonderful. They saw the collapsed ceiling inside the shop and called us that evening.

What happened was that the drain line running from the apartment (cast iron) had split along the top (about 3/4" across and a 4' stretch). When the line came back into use, it plugged sending the drain water up through the crack and down into the store.

We worked until 2:00 Tuesday morning to move stock and shelving out of the way. My boyfriend and Greg Losinski then worked all day Tuesday (literally dawn to dusk) to repair the line and get the building up and running again. The next 6 days I worked to relocate stock and shelving to the front of the store, inventory and pack what I didn't have room for, tear down all remaining shelving, run everything to storage and then wash down walls. I've kept the store open the entire time.

The biggest hurdle I need to overcome now is letting people know I'm still up and running and that the store isn't closing. Parking a U-Haul out front doesn't send the most positive message, but it was the easiest way for me to deal with the situation.

I did call the Miles City Star and asked if they'd do a little story on what had happened to dispell the "closing" rumors, but to date I haven't seen anything and people continue to think the store is closing.

Well, we're not closing. We're fully stocked with all the high quality natural products we're known for and are keeping our hours 10:00 to 5:00 Tues. through Sat. (and are very often at the store well past closing and do accommodate customers often until 6:00).

Since purchasing the building, we've completely remodeled both upstairs apartments providing Miles City with additional high quality housing (something this community constantly complains about needing) and then opening a shop with exceptional pet foods and products that are all natural and chemical free.

Maybe the Star will do a little article on the store after all, but in case they don't please pass the word around that we are still open and are in the process of repairing the damage.
Posted by kate scotty (+40) 18 years ago
Sorry to hear about your water problem.
I am happy you are still open. When I come to Montana, I always stop at your store for supplies for my 2 dogs (babies). They are small and you have the things I need there.
I will be there next week again, so I hope that you will be open.
Posted by Dan Mowry (+1435) 18 years ago
Sorry to hear what happened! I had a friend, years ago, whose family ran a business and lived in that location (during the 80's). I know how expansive that area is... I'm sure you all had your workd cut out for you.

Would a vinyl sign hung on that UHaul out front help?

"We're still in business - Just renovating"
Posted by Jill Rizk (+49) 18 years ago
The U-Haul is gone, the Miles City Star did an article Friday the 16th (which helped a lot) and I've put as much up in front of the store as I can fit. Only downside is that now we'll be doing most of the ceiling work ourselves as most of the local contractors are extremely busy. Great for them, but not great for someone with a small project. I do have insurance, but it's not much good if there's no one to do the work. We'll just be back at it evenings and weekends again till we get things put back together.
Posted by Tana Whicker (+19) 18 years ago
You may want to call Fritz Snyder at Sherwin Williams as he does small drywall jobs in the evenings and on Saturdays. He did a couple of rooms at our house and we were pleased with his work.