Our independent bookstore is a small business, and that means everyone has a job to do -- even the four-legged members of our staff. Don't be alarmed if you're greeted at the door by one of our small, furry, friendly associates. (Just make sure the door closes behind you, if you don't mind. The parking lot is no place for a shop dog!)
Sparkman "Sparky" VanDevender
Sparky is Ann's rescue pup. He loves to pop in the store and offer recommendations in exchange for attention. His particular specialty is deconstructive criticism.
Manager of Canine Staff
Opie Brennan was adopted by the Brennan family after a storied career as a manuscript restorationist at the Morgan Library in New York City, where he made valuable contributions to the preservation and restoration of the letters of Georges-Pierre Seurat and the handwritten lyrics of Bob Dylan. His specialties are music histories and biographies, and cooking narratives.
Empress of the Back Office, Mom to the Shop Dogs
Lavinia Patchett is a relatively new shop dog and living proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks. Like any good mom, she stations herself in the one place in the back office where she can keep track of all the comings and goings of the shop people and pups. She loves books about cooking, nature, and travel, as well as parenting guides that help her keep her sister, Marlee, in check.
Herder of Booksellers, Hoop Jumper Extraordinaire
Marlee Patchett is our Renaissance woman. Therapy dog certification? Check. Expert hoop jumper? Check again! She was born deaf, so she and her mom, Heather, have come up with their own sign language. What an overachiever! You can find her herding all the booksellers into their assigned places.
Shop Dog in Training, Connoisseur of Cardboard
Barnabus is our newest shop dog. He enjoys climbing on boxes, barking at inanimate objects, and hanging out with his best friend Pete in the back office (shhhhh don't tell anyone, but Pete keeps treats in his pockets!). He's learning more about being a shop pup every day. Ask to meet him when you come visit us!
Retired Shop Dogs
Head of Belly Scratches Division, Assistant Director of Naps
Cats may have nine lives, but Bear Gardner had his second dog-life at Parnassus. Rescued at an advanced age, he took a grateful and laid-back approach to his daily adventures. He was often found practicing meditation in our philosophy, spirituality, and self-help selections. Bear rocked an underbite and a jaunty belly-belt like nobody's business. Read our farewell to our good friend Bear here.
Mary Todd Lincoln Coffman
Mary Todd Lincoln Coffman may be the smallest of our shop dogs in size, but she has more than enough personality (and names) to make up for what she lacks in stature. She's child-friendly, shelf-friendly, photo-friendly, and fits in most pockets. If you're looking for a travel-size reading companion, she's your gal. Even though her humans recently moved to Mississippi, she loves to visit her bookstore friends in Nashville (and have a photoshoot or two while she's at it!)
Eleanor Roosevelt Philpott
Roving Marketing & Social Media Assistant
Eleanor Roosevelt Philpott is our book-beagle-at-large, a "prestigious" position she "earned" when she was "promoted" from her original job in the store (after running out the front door and across four lanes of Hillsboro Road traffic). She works mostly from home and enjoys Tweeting, Instagramming, Facebooking, and howling about great books.