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Posted on Mon, Nov 22, 2010 : 6:04 p.m.

Encore Recordings says farewell to Carmen, the store's mascot for 15 years

By Paula Gardner


Encore Recordings customers are remembering Carmen, the store's mascot.

Source: Facebook

Carmen, the store mascot of Encore Recordings, died over the weekend at the age of 15.

Since then, Peter Dale, the owner of both the East Liberty record store and the popular Papillion, has been answering questions from customers who join him in grieving for the dog whose personality was a part of the store for her lifetime.

“Carmen was a very popular fixture here,” Dale said. “We always had quite a few people who came in to see her. Not shoppers, just fans of the dog.”

They brought her treats, and she rewarded the gifts with shows of affection: A paw on the knee, or a jump into their lap.

Some people showed up just to walk the dog.

Carmen’s reach also extended to other store owners. Jules Van Dyck-Dobos, owner of Le Dog, would send hot dogs over for her. Vicki Honeyman, owner of Heavenly Metal, was so inspired by Carmen that she adopted from the same breed: Papillon, a toy Spaniel.

“Carmen was a special dog,” Dale said. “Super affectionate, super smart. And cute.

“She was a wonderful mascot for the store.”

Carmen made the trip to the store 5 days a week with Dale, staying home on Saturdays with Chris Hench, Dale’s wife.

Carmen joined the couple’s family as a puppy when Dale presented her as a Christmas gift to Hench.

And her trips to the store began shortly afterwards.

Fifteen years later, she was starting to show her age, Dale said. She was sleeping most of the time. She was blind and deaf, and suffered from some arthritis.

Dale and Hench “decided it was time,” he said, “so we had her put down.”

Her passing was marked on Monday with a special display in the front window, including a T-shirt bearing her familiar image.

Coming to work without Carmen was difficult, Dale said. But he’s convinced that they did the right thing by not allowing her to suffer.

“It’s hard to do,” he said, “but you realize you have to.”


Paula Gardner is Business News Director of Contact her at 734-623-2586 or by email. Sign up for the weekly Business Review newsletter, distributed every Thursday, here.



Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 9:56 a.m.

Now that Carmen has passed, remember this. There are rescue paps that could use a new home? RIP, loosing a friend after this long is tough. Now pass the tissues and remember her life listening to a vinyl spin.


Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 9:52 a.m.

Aw darn, I will miss seeing that dog in there. RIP Carmen the recordstore dog!


Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 8:44 a.m.

RIP Carmen. You will be missed.


Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 7:47 a.m.

Very sad news and I'm sorry to hear this.


Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 5:59 a.m.

Peter Dale: Love you, love the store, love Carmen. I've spent many hours in Encore records, browsing titles, liner notes, and many muses. It's a close, wonderful store with great people: owners, employees, and customers alike. It's delightful old-school Ann Arbor that is greatly appreciated. I'll miss standing at a music display, surprised to have Carmen's front paws rest on the back of my leg, as she sniffs, and then stands for a rub behind the ears, just long enough to share her joy before running to the next person or place. We'll miss her...


Mon, Nov 22, 2010 : 9:18 p.m.

she was sweet. my heart is with you all as you grieve.

Lorrie Shaw

Mon, Nov 22, 2010 : 9:09 p.m.

Pets are such an integral part of so many people's lives. I'm so glad that Carmen was able to be with her people that much, and in turn bringing happiness to so many humans.


Mon, Nov 22, 2010 : 7:18 p.m.

We all need to think of memorial album covers for our beloved friend and neighbor. Obviously Bizet's Carman...