Prison camp

Posted on 13 Aug 2009 at 5:46pm
By By Arnold Wayne Jones Life+Style Editor

Petropolitan’s Chris Watts goes to jail — but don’t feel too bad for him


IN THE BIG (DOG) HOUSE: Christopher Watts, right, shares his lock-up with a four-legged client. If he doesn’t get bailed out before his deadline, though, he gets thrown into much nicer digs: the Joule Hotel. ARNOLD WAYNE JONES/Dallas Voice

It was just a matter of time before Christopher Watts ended up behind bars.

The co-owner of Petropolitan, the downtown doggie boutique, was "ratted out" (i.e., "nominated") by an anonymous friend to go to jail … unless he can raise $2,400 to bail himself out.

Don’t worry, he won’t be at Lew Sterrett. In fact, Dallas criminals should be as lucky as Watts. If he doesn’t raise the money before Aug. 26, he’ll have to sit in stir … at the Joule Hotel.

"They ‘arrest’ me by picking me up in a limo, and I have to stay there until the funds are delivered," he explains. If he doesn’t raise all the money — which benefits the Muscular Dystrophy Association —  the person who nominated him will have to come up with the difference. (Watts doesn’t know who nominated him, and will only find out when he’s hauled to the pokey.)

Even though this turned out to be fundraising-by-ambush — and despite Watts having no personal or family experience with muscular dystrophy — he was happy to oblige.

"Everything we do comes back to us," he says with Zen-like calm. "It’s a great group of people who support us, and members of our extended family" have been touched by MD, he says. And that includes the four-legged kind.

Although there is no cure yet for humans, "dogs have MD, and they can cure it in dogs — they created a patch," Watts says. He hopes his participation not only benefits the MDA, but raises awareness of the diseases (and treatments) that affect animals.

Watts opened Petropolitan — which provides dog walking, grooming, boarding services and supplies for scores of furry fellas — in November of 2006, and had developed a loyal client base since. He started raising money with an e-mail blast to friends and family, and several hundred came in right away. He still has time for more fundraising, but treatments are expensive and he wants to hit his target.

Just maybe not too soon. The Joule awaits, and if he has to suffer through a few cocktails first, he’ll make the sacrifice. That’s just the way he rolls.

To bail out Watts, stop by Petropolitan, 408 S. Harwood St. or visit JoinMDA.org/downtowndallas2009/paperfish/SID/4726538.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 14, 2009.

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