It’s not that I don’t want to take your money: A Letter to today’s disgruntled clients.

7 Mar

Dear Indignant Client,

Today I am pissed. As you have seen I work in a dog-themed business in a management-type capacity. I don’t manage employees, I do however have independent and, on my work days, sole control over what essentially amounts to a Pass/Fail evaluation to determine admittance to our Shangri-la. I manage who comes in and today you failed repeatedly and amazingly, so I’d like to explain to you my reasoning because you seemed offended and confused. I heard you call me stupid and I’d like to explain exactly what transpired to you, since you seemed unwilling and unable to see it.

Just kidding. It’s both.

I saw you walking in, or should I say, being dragged in, barely keeping your balance as your hell hounds charged through the parking lot, paying not a lick of attention to the useless bags of flesh at the end of the lead (That would be you). You laughed, or maybe you half-heartedly told the dog to quit, flapping your flexi leash like a mentally-challenged chicken attempting to fly.

And he still has better leash control than you do. Think about that one.

That dear client, that was your first failure. It showed me you had no control of your dogs and little to no desire to gain that control. Whatever your dog does will be “Cute”, “So funny” or “I don’t know he’s just like that”. You feel no personal responsibility for your dog’s behavior and aren’t inclined to acquire it despite signing a contract with me to the contrary. I watch this, shaking my head, and mentally preparing for the fiasco, all the while hoping your lack of responsibility or caring will be made up for by your animals’ exceedingly good nature and forgiving temperament.

My little munchkincakes is such a delightful companion.

Your entry into my work-space is calamitous. Your hell-hounds attempting to lay siege to the gate starts what could only be described as a battle of decibels when the shrieking of disgruntled cattle dogs rattle the gates and the eardrums of those of us unfortunate enough to listen. You giggle when I tell you to please move your dogs back. “Oh they’re fine,” you tell me, allowing obscene vertical advances over the gate into cattle dog country. When the gate suddenly and forcefully pushes outward as twenty-five pounds of unmitigated Australian rage hits it, you jump back. That vicious dog could hurt your precious babies. “Mine will not be,” I tell you. You get an inkling that I’m not pleased, but I’m probably a bitch anyway so who cares what I think.

Nothing. Like what my dogs think of murdering yours when it jumps over the gate.

That dear client was your second failure. It showed me that you truly believe that you know best, regardless of the needs and concerns of others. Your dogs are “fine”, therefore everyone else’s dogs must be fine with whatever yours may or may not do, and therefore their owners must also be fine. I do not claim perfection for my charges. I asked you not to do something. You ignored me. That doesn’t bode well. It also tells me that left to their own devices your dogs are assholes. While this doesn’t make entry impossible it does require you to get your head out of your ass. While I understand it’s warm and safe in there, the real world would appreciate your participation in things that involve you.

So much advice for you… So very very much.

You have your required paperwork (Shockingly), and I give you the other forms. You fill them out, only grumbling mildly about how much work it is to write your name and read a few lines of text. It’s a stretch, I understand. All the while I’m managing my own hell-creatures desperately attempting to keep yours from making it into their space and starting what I could only describe as ‘Lord of the Flies’ with more swearing. Finally the arduous task of simple word construction is over and we’re ready for the moment of truth; The temperament test. I explain the rule, a simple off-leash greeting in our big room. My big sweet boy is my barometer. He is sweet and big enough to not get squashed in a conflict and he refuses to engage in squabbles. Your first dog is a delight. Sweet, gentle and attempting to provoke a playful response from my boy. He complies and they bow and scramble at each other playfully. My pesky puppy joins the fray and your first dog alters the play to include her and yet not overwhelm her. I will enthusiastically pass *that* dog. The second dog enters for what should have been a similar test. The grumbling from the start is not unexpected but the repeated posturing over everyone is not promising. Refusal to disengage from said behavior on a recall, and proceeding to bully each of the the others to a corner and continue to ignore your plaintive calls to “Sweetiecake Mufifn Prince of My Heart!” is the nail in the coffin. “I’m sorry but he does not pass. He cannot go in”

At this point, dear client, we were at a draw. I can grumpily overlook the lack of control, training, and concern for others, because through pure luck, you have one really excellent dog-friendly dog who listens to strangers. Your second dog could be really awesome but we will never know for sure because of said things I am unable to overlook because he is not in fact dog-friendly. We could have left as friends (Not really.You suck hard.) but then you had to go and ruin it, client by opening your stupid-filled mouth.

It’s indignant bullshit filling, Mr. Shark. Sorry about that.

 

“I can’t believe you won’t let him in. We’ve never had a problem, and it was just with that one dog! He just doesn’t like German Shepherds. This is ridiculous. Nothing even happened. This place is a joke I would never pay to come back here.”

As I unclench my jaw and swallow the words I feel rising in my mouth. Firstly, Believe it. I take *real* safety issues incredibly seriously. Your dog poses a safety risk for others, human and canine. He is a bully and you show no interest in gaining control over his less than desirable traits. Secondly, if you haven’t had a problem yet, it’s because you’ve either refused to recognize his behavior as a problem and ignored it likely pissing off others like myself extensively, or because you don’t take him anywhere. Thirdly, my big male is essentially the toned-down version of most park dogs. He isn’t overtly pushy. He won’t bounce your dogs around in rough play. If they have an issue with him odds are pretty good it won’t be good with others. We tried with puppy, no improvement. So, it was two vastly different personalities, sizes and appearances. Fourthly, neither dog is a GSD, but thank you for playing. Yes, it is in fact ridiculous but not for any of the the aspects that you’re considering.I offer to let you use our training yard but you stomp out in a huff.

Angry! Fury! Breedism!

This is your third and final failure, client. It’s not that I don’t want to take your money, in fact, were I less scrupulous, I would do precisely that. I can kick you out per owner discretion without giving you a refund, see? If it were about the money, I’d let you in to run amok and ruin everyone’s day with your ill-mannered dog and your shitty attitude. The bitching about you and your dog alone would ruin my day, and frankly I’m not interested in dealing with anyone else’s shit today so my money grubbing plans will have to wait. And just so we’re 100% clear, when I say your failure, I do in fact mean you. I failed you today, not your dog. Your dog simply didn’t pass. Their likelihood of passing in the future is fully determined by you. You failed and you failed your dog.

And it’s all yours/ Lucky fella.

So thank you. Thank you for pointing out to me that working with a dog, regardless of the struggle is more rewarding than letting it pass by in front of you without doing anything. Thank you for confirming my initial thoughts as I saw you being yanked across the lot and making me sure of my choices. Thank you for overreacting to the exact wrong part of what I told you. Thank you for not listening so I don’t feel badly about telling you ‘No’. And finally thank you for your rudeness, without which I would be unable to compose this letter. I’ve been doing this a while and I’ve gotten especially good at seeing issues and potential problems. I’ve passed dogs with reservations and those reservations, if unaddressed have become realized. I don’t tell you this to hurt your feelings since I genuinely don’t care about your feelings. I tell you this because you need to know and you need to address it before you have a real problem, not just some uppity bitch failing your dog because she is just hateful. I am all of those things, but I promise I don’t use my best qualities on lesser beings.

Sincerely annoyed,
Fang (Your not so friendly and not-so-amused local uppity dog bouncer.)

It’s a calling. You’re welcome.

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9 Responses to “It’s not that I don’t want to take your money: A Letter to today’s disgruntled clients.”

  1. Honor Blume March 8, 2015 at 1:37 am #

    Absolutely love this!!

  2. catherineduke March 8, 2015 at 2:18 am #

    I work in a doggy daycare in a VERY wealthy area, and were I more eloquent I could have written something very like this….well said!!

  3. Al Kenny March 8, 2015 at 2:32 am #

    Not anywhere near a dog expert but I know enough to control a dog that is acting like this….We had one mutt the SPCA figured was a black lab X…I personally thought it was crossed with a Tasmanian devil, but that’s neither here nor there….She was good with family and cats, and another dog we “inherited’ but just had to be watched like a hawk around anyone else. And we watched her and CONTROLLED her every moment inside and out of the house…..My personal favourite collar was a Halti cause you controlled her muzzle and she ended suprisingly well behaved on a leash.

  4. Penny Webster March 8, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

    I SOOOOOOOOO **LOVE** this page.

  5. Connie Kaplan March 8, 2015 at 4:17 pm #

    Nice!

  6. Jennifer March 12, 2015 at 1:57 am #

    I love this post so hard it is literally painful to internal and possibly necessary parts of me.

  7. TerrierGirl March 13, 2015 at 8:45 pm #

    As someone who also works in a boarding kennel/daycare facility… I totally feel your pain here. Hell the place I work at doesn’t even temperament test, they just ASSume the owners’ know what they’re talking about when they state Princess Fluffykins is ‘good’ with people and other dogs. The front desk people throw the new dogs in with the play groups and its up to us lowly kennel employees to deal with whatever happens next. Needless to say I spend my days part time cleaning up dog shit and part time busting up dog fights. I’m still trying to decide if this is better than my other job as a bartender dealing with drunk morons all night, at this point it a toss up. I do, however, know it makes me appreciate going home to my awesome, well trained dog at the end of a shift.

  8. Ms. Fuentes March 22, 2015 at 10:07 pm #

    I am admittedly, covered with shame reading this. It isn’t because my dog hasn’t passed temperament tests (he is a regular at doggy daycare, the groomers, dog park, etc), but because I’m ALWAYS that person getting out of the vehicle with a wildly barking/pulling dog. My GSD is a good boy most of the time. He is chill at home and has a great time with other dogs large and small, but I cannot seem to break him of becoming (anxious? excited?) right when we’re parking the car. He literally starts howling/whining/barking so much that at least a couple of times people have stopped on the sidewalk to watch us, no doubt assuming that severe animal abuse was going on in the back seat. It’s so embarrassing. Also if he knows where we are going (the dog park, Petco, his doggy daycare) he barks wildly from a block or two away if I don’t hold his leash while I’m driving. And yes, if it’s some “fun place” he knows well, then he pulls hard to get inside. It’s really ridiculous. If I say “wait” he will sit down and wait..but then when I say “okay” he lunges forward again. I can’t seem to find his “neutral walking” gear at those times. (On regular walks he is okay, though excitable/pulling if we pass by a place he likes to go.)

    Anyone else have this problem? It’s not cute or something I haven’t tried to fix, but I’m pretty much at my wits’ end…and yes, I feel like an asshole every time. 😦

  9. Ms. Fuentes March 22, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    I should also say, I have taken him to basic and intermediate obedience. He is pretty obedient about other things (come, leave it, sit/down/stay), but that damned “park the car freak out” is such a stumbling block. He’s been like that since I got him a little over a year ago (he’s about two years old now).

    Any thoughts on how to not always be Miss Ineptitude and her Crazed Dog in the parking lot?

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