The Downtown Dog is proud to carry Kin + Kind in Cleveland, Tennessee. Growing up, we were pet store groupies. My twin brother Thomas and I hung out at the pet store a few blocks from home. Thomas would play with the parrots while I dreamt about which animals would be mine. When we turned 16, the pet store hired us both. I left each day with any animal that was injured or needed a home. My closet became filled with mice, lizards, and anything that I could hide from my parents. When mom caught me, she had had enough! She evicted my family of broken animals and told me that I could keep all the pets I wanted when I opened my own store. So that's exactly what I did. At 22, I opened Animal Crackers, with hand-fed cockatiels flying overhead and a three-legged tortoise to help greet the customers. My brother took another path and went to Harvard Law School, practicing as a corporate litigator for ten years. I obviously made the better life choice.