The Case of the
Wild Goldie An event at a boutique draws an overexcited pup whose owners are oblivious. How best to train the pups’ parents?
By Nancy Hassel
Tom and Sherry were hosting their first open house "doggie party" to celebrate their grand opening of their second location of their retail boutique and doggie day care center, a high-end retail boutique and dog daycare center. The front door to the shop burst open, and bounding inside to the crowd was a young Golden Retriever dragging her dad and another dog inside with her.
Tom looked at Sherry and said, "Oh boy!" The very excited golden was jumping, pulling and knocking into other dogs. Sherry nudged Tom, "Better get over there and help them." Tom rushed over.
"Whoa, let me help you with her!" Tom said. The owner put his hand up to Tom, "It's OK, she's just a little excited. She's still a puppy, she will calm down, eventually."
"I'll say, an excited pup for sure! She is beautiful. What is her name?" Tom asked.
"Goldie," the owner replied, just as Goldie whipped around and two smaller dogs that were near her started barking, growling and snapping at her, then at each other.
"Uh, maybe we can move you and Goldie over here," Tom said. With that, Goldie jumped up in her excitement knocked into a display, and some of the items came crashing down almost hitting a little Pomeranian in the head.
"My dog!" exclaimed the Pomeranian's owner. "Learn how to get your dog under control!" she said loudly toward Goldie's owner. She bent down, scooped up her dog and left in a huff before Tom or Sherry could check on her dog.
Sherry ran out after the lady to apologize, "I am so sorry, is your dog OK?"
Real Deal is a fictional scenario designed to read like real-life business events. The businesses and people mentioned in this story should not be confused with actual pet businesses and people.
"You shouldn't allow people with dogs like that to your events! I thought this was going to be an enjoyable afternoon." The Pomeranian's owner turned and stormed off with her dog. Sherry apologized again and headed back inside.
A staff member grabbed hold of the Goldie's leash to try to help, however Goldie was all over the place with excitement. Sherry said to Tom, "We need to get him where the daycare is, we don't want this to escalate any further. That lady was very upset."
"Let me try again," Tom said.
Goldie was yanking and pulling trying to get into every display and the owner was not making any attempt to get her under control.
"Would you like to see the rest of our facility?" Tom asked Goldie's owner. "I would love to give you a tour and show you the daycare area."
"Yeah, sure, in a few minutes."
This is not going to end well, Tom thought. Walking over to the other customers to try to diffuse the situation and make light of Goldie's antics.
"Puppies can be so excited sometimes," Tom said. "So happy we offer dog training — we hope we can help Goldie."
"Yeah, and I think maybe you can train her owner too," said one of the patrons while laughing a bit.
Smiling awkwardly after that comment, Tom walked back over again to try get Goldie's owner, "Let's take Goldie to our daycare area and let her run off some of that energy," Tom said.
"Uh ... yeah, OK, sure," Goldie's owner said.
Tom glanced over at Sherry and their eyes connected and they both had a look of relief on their faces.
After the event was over, while cleaning up the boutique, Sherry said to Tom, "You know what happened with Goldie ..."
Tom said, "Yes, she was a lot of dog."
"But her owner's lack of concern is more troublesome to me than Goldie. We really need to do something to get pet parents to be more realistic of their dog's behavior," Sherry said. "That could have been a real disaster. And we didn't get that Pomeranian's owner's name. I really hope she doesn't post anything bad about her experience online."
"Me too," Tom said and sighed as he continued to clean up.
THE BIG QUESTIONS:Approaching pet parents can be delicate in this scenario, how could you get Goldie's owner to get her into the daycare area faster?
How could Sherry have handled the situation differently so the Pomeranian's owner would not have left?
Crowded pet events can be an invitation for problems, is there a way to cap your attendees without losing customers?