News Flash: More than 1 Dog Goes to Pet Camp at a TimeJanuary 7, 2020
The other week we had to fire a client. I hate when this happens. There is the obvious business reason for not firing a client: it costs money to market a business and in the pet care world the first few visits (until we get to know the pet and the pet parent) are the least profitable, so ending the relationship costs us money. Then there are the non-financial reasons: firing a client means it didn’t work out – it’s like breaking up with someone and that is never fun. But sometimes it is just something that has to happen and almost always it has nothing to do with the pet and everything to do with the pet parent. This recent example is a case in point.
The pet parent wanted their dog to participate in our Back Country all-day play activity. We tried to meet the pet parent’s desire. We introduced the dog to a small number of dogs, manipulated the dogs in the small play group, and changed the physical location of the play groups, all to no avail. The dog simply was not ready for group play.
We called the pet parent, explained all that we had done and why it simply wasn’t safe (for their dog or the others) to continue this process. The pet parent was not receptive to this feedback but reluctantly agreed to have the dog participate in one of our K9 Enrichment programs (for this particular dog we did some structured training and fungility). We thought all was well – we were wrong.
After the dog went home the pet parent called back cussing at a counselor and demanding that we refund the cost of all the K9 Enrichment. The pet parent was furious that we were not able to successfully socialize their dog. It was as if there was nothing wrong with their dog and everything wrong with the other dogs at Pet Camp. They also failed to comprehend that their desire to have their dog socialize wasn’t more important than the health and safety of BOTH their dog and the other dogs with whom we thought their dog might socialize well.
The pet parent then launched into an attack on the K9 Enrichment we offered their dog. Specifically, if we were working with their dog while at Pet Camp, why wasn’t their dog fully trained? Sure, the pet parent has had the dog for years, but although we had the dog for only about a week it was clearly our fault the dog wasn’t fully trained.
End result: Pet Camp and the client parted ways. We’re sorry that Pet Camp is not the best fit for this pet parent (we suspect the dog would do just fine here). In the spirit of not wanting a client to ever feel like they paid for something they didn’t receive we refunded the K9 Enrichment money. If this ends here this is the last you’ll ever hear of this incident. But something tells me there is the “bad review” shoe left to drop, in which case you’ll have to see all of this again in our response.
Thanks for reading.