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2018-01-10 / South Texas Living

A pet store — and a little bit more!

By Julia Weaver
Wilson County News


Watch out for “George,” the bumblebee grouper. He likes to bite! 
JULIA WEAVER/Reprints at bit.ly/wcnphotos Watch out for “George,” the bumblebee grouper. He likes to bite! JULIA WEAVER/Reprints at bit.ly/wcnphotos SAN ANTONIO — The big purple building on Basse Road is certainly hard to miss, and walking through the front doors is an experience.

The first thing you notice when entering are the massive wooden boats, dinosaurs, and castles decorated with lights and tinsel, many painted with exquisite detail, resting atop the many shelves.

Though you’ve entered a pet store, it truly is an art gallery. All of the masterpieces are hand-crafted by Toy Louie of Forever Pets.

“It’s his hobby to make his wooden art,” said Toy’s daughter, Vivian. It’s what keeps him busy.”

It all started in 1984, when Toy’s wife, Ann, went to the carnival and returned bearing a single goldfish. That goldfish made Ann and Toy decide that they wanted to be in the pet business, said Vivian, one of the Louies’ two daughters, and co-owner of this unique pet store.


Imagination and some creative woodwork transform scraps of wood into stagecoaches and steeds, handcrafted by avid hunter and pet store owner Toy Louie. 
ELAINE KOLODZIEJ/Reprints at bit.ly/wcnphotos Imagination and some creative woodwork transform scraps of wood into stagecoaches and steeds, handcrafted by avid hunter and pet store owner Toy Louie. ELAINE KOLODZIEJ/Reprints at bit.ly/wcnphotos Toy, 90, and Ann have been up and running alongside their pets for more than 30 years.

“After the goldfish, Dad decided to open a small retail store,” Vivian said. At one point, they had three stores, but they closed two, keeping the Basse Road location.

Toy, an active hunter and fisherman, still works at his store every day, accompanied by Ann and either Vivian or her sister, Sherry Waggy — and sometimes, both.

Ann — petite, cute, and lively — makes a visit to Forever Pets a fun and friendly experience.

“Look us up on ‘SA Live’!” she said. The local TV show recently featured the pet store.


Toy Louie of Forever Pets in San Antonio instructs young customers how to care for their new fish. 
JULIA WEAVER/Reprints at bit.ly/wcnphotos Toy Louie of Forever Pets in San Antonio instructs young customers how to care for their new fish. JULIA WEAVER/Reprints at bit.ly/wcnphotos Forever Pets is the last “mom and pop” family-owned pet store in San Antonio. As such, the Louies really do make you feel like family.

“We always try to find people their forever pets,” Vivian said. “We sell everything except dogs here, and we encourage people to adopt pets, too. We work with companies like the Humane Society to help stray animals find homes.”

Animals and future pet owners are not the only visitors to the store. The Louies often give tours to elementary school students, too!

“It’s like a zoo for them, especially with the fish,” said Vivian.

The store also helps customers who want their fish tanks repaired or resealed. They are the only place in San Antonio that offers such a service.

The Louies encourage you to visit Forever Pets, even if you don’t need a pet. They are a full-line pet store, after all, carrying everything from collars to food and fish tanks to hamster and bird habitats.


Ann and Toy Louie have owned and operated Forever Pets in San Antonio since 1984. 
COURTESY Ann and Toy Louie have owned and operated Forever Pets in San Antonio since 1984. COURTESY Forever Pets

•1030 Basse Road, San Antonio •Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily •Call 210-733-6243, or like and follow them on Facebook @ Foreverpetssa, or Instagram @ foreverpets_ sa.

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