9 Questions with… Dog Bar ‘wooferee’ Erica Schubert
Dog Bar “wooferee” Erica Schubert. (Scott Harrell)
Are you a Tampa Bay native? If not, where are you from?
I am! I was born at Morton Plant, grew up in Clearwater until 3rd grade and then finished high school in the Brandon/Valrico area.
How would you describe your job or claim to fame?
My job is a very unique position! Not only are we a full-liquor bar, but also an off-leash dog park. It’s great to see dogs and their pet parents both enjoying their time together at Dog Bar! The staff are very near and dear to me and it’s basically a family unit that is hyper focused on providing the best experience for the puppers (oh, and their humans, too!).
What’s your favorite Tampa Bay restaurant?
My favorite Tampa Bay Restaurant would have to be that pizza place directly located next to Bradley’s in Ybor that’s open when you need it! New York, New York Pizza. What lifesavers!
Do you have a personal Tampa Bay “secret spot” and/or “hidden treasure”?
I would love to divulge my personal treasure trove of secret spots, but if I told you, they wouldn’t be a secret anymore.
What is your favorite Tampa Bay tradition?
Hands down, my favorite Tampa Bay tradition is Gasparilla, so I think you can imagine how mortified I was for no Gasparilla this year. I’m an Aquarius and love to attend Gasparilla as part of my birthday festivities, but instead headed out to the Brevard Renaissance Faire for my 30th birthday! (Can’t wait for BARF—Bay Area Renaissance Festival, that’s my 2nd fave.)
What’s one thing many people don’t know about you that you’re willing to share with us?
Most of my close friends but maybe not most people in general know that I love cosplay and just dressing up in costume in general. In high school for Spirit Week, a couple of friends and I dressed up like KISS (I was Gene Simmons) and I never looked back!
If you could change one thing about the Tampa Bay area or your community specifically, what would it be?
TEACHING PEOPLE THE ART OF MERGING. I PROMISE IT IS NOT A DIFFICULT CONCEPT, PEOPLE! (Clearly, for as much as I drive, I hate the traffic!)
So how does one become a “wooferee”?
Well, first and foremost, it should go without saying that you have to have a passion and extreme love and respect for dogs in general. Being able to read body cues and understand dogs’ demeanors are also very pertinent to the position. I love all the dogs that come into the yard and I want each dog to have a positive experience, whether they’re most comfortable hopping up on a table and getting pets, making a new play pal, or catching up with a regular bud. We have a check-in area as well that helps educate patrons coming in on certain rules and regulations of the park so everyone has an amazing and safe time!
(NOTE: Dog Bar’s “wooferee” job description and requirements are available here.)
What’s your favorite thing about the job?
My favorite thing about the job is 100% when I walk into the yard and get swarmed with dogs that either know, remember, and/or just plain love me, or new dogs that just smell that delicious multi-dog scent on me from my pack at home! It’s the best feeling in the world to have the dogs run up to you, like you’re the most important person—until they see the next person has treats! It also helps to work with the most amazing bartenders who know how to make a mean margarita!