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MOUNT WASHINGTON - Thirty years ago, there was a cry at the back of a pet store.
“Help me! Please help!”
Dee Goss, being the only customer inside, searched for what she thought was a missing child until she realized a bird was yelling the words. She had been in the store to look for a bird to adopt, and knew this was the one.
“Birds just steal your heart when you are around them,” she said.
Goss’ love for animals-especially exotic birds-led her to open Phantasy Farm Pets in September. The shop specializes in unusual animals such as chinchillas, birds and degus, but also sells hamsters, guinea pigs, mice and dogs.
After purchasing her first bird, Goss “caught parrot fever” and started breeding different species. She had almost 100 birds in her home before realizing she needed to sell some and make a business out of the breeding. She began breeding dogs-mostly Yorkies, Papillions, and Chihuahuas-and had a stand in the Awesome Flea Market and Peddler’s Emporium as well as a job at a veterinary office for 20 years before contemplating the idea of a store.
“It was a big adventure to strike out on,” Goss said. “We are still building and will continue to over time.”
Goss partnered with Mike Brown, who does most of the heavy work for the company, and she and her husband breed the birds and dogs. She also makes food mixes for some of the animals. In the future, Goss hopes to breed Bengal cats and create more specialty products.
“We will try to special order anything people want,” she added. “But since we do breed, we know what we have. We are just trying to get our name out there.”
A Shepherdsville resident for 10 years, Goss knew she wanted the shop in a rural part of town. She and her husband live near the Nelson/Bullitt County line and have always enjoyed the country, which is how the store’s name originated.
“My husband used to take long road trips, and always wanted a house with a porch swing and yard,” she said. “He used to say ‘it’s such a fantasy,’ and we wanted to name the place ‘Fantasy Farm.’”
Since they never got the house, Goss decided to use the name for her shop, which was another dream.
As for the spelling?
“It’s just because I’m a little weird,” she admitted. “I don’t want to be like everyone else.”
Phantasy Farm Pets, located at 842 North Bardstown Road, is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.