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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Texas Rancher Brings Watusi Along on Trip to Petco, Watch Giant Steer Waltz Right Inside Store

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Most of the time, when you think of a pet store, you think of big names like Petco or PetSmart, or maybe a local little place. Most of these businesses cater primarily to cats and dogs, though they offer supplies for small feathered, furred and scaled critters as well.

The biggest creature that generally walks through the doors is a Great Dane, but that’s just because not everyone has an Oliver.

“Oliver is a fully trained African Watusi steer that is personally owned and trained by Vincent Browning,” the steer’s Facebook page reads. “Available for events!!”

Recently, Browning put the “All leashed pets are welcome” policy at Petco to the test. He posted the result on his Facebook page, and it has since taken off.

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“We decided to take a chance and call Petco’s bluff on the ‘ALL LEASHED PETS ARE WELCOME’ policy,” Vincent Browning wrote on Facebook on March 18. “The awesome crew at Petco – Atascocita did not disappoint!!”

“They welcomed Oliver the African Watusi with open arms. The staff members here are always super friendly and courteous to us. We really enjoy coming to this location…our favorite Petco BY FAR!!”

But Browning didn’t just waltz into the pet store and see what happened. He and his wife Shelly were regulars at the location, and one employee’s curiosity got the best of her.

“We went in (Petco) and (an associate) came out to see (Oliver) in the trailer,” Shelly told Chron, “and she said ‘bring him in,’ and I said ‘are you serious’?”

“She talked to her manager and her manager said ‘yeah bring him in as long as you clean up the mess.’ We brought him in there and he did great.”

“We didn’t take him down the aisles or anything,” she explained. “We just sat him up front and let everybody pet him.”

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Chrystal Armour, who works at that Petco and knows the Brownings frequent the location, said she’d known about Oliver but had never been able to meet him before.

“At a recent visit, they mentioned Oliver and that they’d like to bring him in one day,” Armour said. “I said we’d love to meet him and that he could come in any time, as long as he’s domesticated and on a leash.”

“Shortly after, they paid us an incredible visit that we won’t forget any time soon. Getting to meet such a beautiful and sweet animal was an amazing experience for all of us. We love all of our guests’ animals and the wonderful bond they share.”

Shelly added that they didn’t think the store would appreciate having their huge steer march into the store, but was surprised they were so welcoming.

“It was exciting and just something we really wanted to do anyways,” she said. “So it just really kind of fit that we got there (and) came at the right time when the right people were there. They welcomed him with open arms, everyone was so excited.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking