Sam is an 85-pound Great-Dane-and-Dalmatian mix with a hodgepodge of black-and-white spots and patches who thinks he owns High Street. Or at least the Short North.

Sam is an 85-pound Great-Dane-and-Dalmatian mix with a hodgepodge of black-and-white spots and patches who thinks he owns High Street. Or at least the Short North.

And in his own little world inside the Cookware Sorcerer, where he's spent most of his days for the last 12 years, he is.

"He thinks all these people came to see him," said Nancy Haitz, who owns both Sam and the shop with her husband, Ron. "People bring him treats, and he gets Christmas cards."

He's in competition, though, with at least 18 other dogs in Short North storefronts who are equally as adored by shoppers.

At Segway, Jared Cavileer's furry, friendly, 150-pound Newfoundland, Bogie, isn't scared of his store's speedy machines. "He got used to those as a baby," said store owner Cavileer.

And Bogie's far from scaring any shoppers. "He just lays on the floor and stares out the window," he said.

The now-ubiquitous Short North dogs joined the scene years ago, Haitz said, when owners of places like the now-closed Kenny's Pawn Shop started bringing their pets to work. It's great for owners and their pets, and shoppers usually love them, too. Shop dogs need extra training against barking and jumping, though, Haitz points out.

Dogs aren't as unexpected at Three Dog Bakery, the treat and toy shop where "doggies and owners on leash" are welcome.

Great Danes Sadie and Solomon are happy to greet shoppers with a sniff and a lick. The two-year-old siblings love the perks of living at a place where human-grade treats with names like Beggin' for S'mores and Pupcakes are made.

"They just try and sneak as many treats as they can, and we have to limit them so they don't get fat," said Doug Oilar, who owns the bakery and the dogs with his wife, Susan.

Of course, alternating snacks with exercise can help with that, too.

And that's exactly what dogs participating in the Easter "Beg" Hunt will get to do this weekend. Susan Oilar came up with the idea as a way to celebrate the holiday, the Short North, and its dogs.

Doug Oilar said he's expecting 50 to 75 dogs and their owners will scurry down High Street with Easter baskets Saturday afternoon, collecting plastic eggs filled with doggie treats from designated Short North shops.

For their owners, some eggs will hold gold coins that correspond to gift certificates from local retailers. All participants are eligible to win the grand prize, a basket packed with treats, toys and gift certificates.

To register, call the Three Dog Bakery at 614-221-3647 or e-mail threedog@threedogcolumbus.com by 5 p.m. Friday.