In 2006, Cindy Rucker and her husband, Scot, opened Rucker Horse and Pet on Keith’s Bridge Road, though neither knew anything about running a retail business. Cindy was a horse trainer, Scot was a hay broker and the two owned a horse training facility in Forsyth County. But they decided to sell the horse training facility and make the jump into the pet health and nutrition retail industry.
Now, the couple have four Rucker Pet locations, including one that opened this past December on Windermere Parkway and Highway 20, making a small but prominent footprint in Forsyth County’s business and pet communities.
We sat down with Rucker, at that first location on Keith’s Bridge Road, and talked about her favorite pets, least favorite pets and how she gets away from the frenzy of entrepreneurship, all while Rucker’s dogs Tucker and Rizzo played nearby.
“We’re very fortunate to live on [Lake Lanier]. To take a nice slow ride on my pontoon boat — I call it my old lady boat; it goes very slow — with my husband. That’s my happiest place in the world. That’s where I want to be.”
“Of course dogs. But I do love horses. Horses have been very rewarding for me. My family had them when I was a kid. I love the connection that you can make with those animals. They’re very gentle, they’re very kind, and you can create such communication with them that they enjoy making you happy as well. It’s an easy relationship if you know how to work with them. To be able to bond with an animal that size and with that kind of beauty is very rewarding.”
Least favorite pet?
“The pet I don’t understand the attraction to is the reptiles. They frighten me. They need to stay in their space. I don’t want to hurt them. I’m not a snake-killer as long as they stay in their space, and I stay in mine. I’ve got a girl that works for me; loves the reptiles. I just don’t get it.”
“My favorite books are fictional histories. Love to be taken to another time or another country and lose myself in it. I wake up at night kind of half-awake and think, ‘Oh, I should read.’ A lot of times I get so caught up I end up reading all night long.”
“I love Southern rock. The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Creedence Clearwater Revival; I am a diehard CCR fan. That’s me is that Southern rock. That’s Scot’s love too. Always on a Southern rock station.”
“We love to go to a beach where we can sit on a private balcony and look at the ocean. This year we went to Cabo San Lucas (in Mexico). Had our very own whale show right in front of our balcony. It was the most awesome seven days ever.”
“Scot is. He loves to watch sports. He watches everything sports. He will watch them play darts. Anything sports, he’s watching it. And I’m reading a book.”