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The Case of the Out-of-Control Dog

A pup destroys an entire bakery case and the products within. How should Emily handle the non-apologetic pet parent?
By Nancy Guinn

Three whole days off, Emily thought as she added the finishing touches to the last batch of cookies. It had been over three months since Emily had taken a day off due to the expansion of her store. The in-house bakery was a game changer, and bakery sales had skyrocketed! Customers couldn’t get enough of their creations.

Emily looked over the cookie case one last time. She had made sure it was packed to the gills so they were ready for the weekend. Every tray was filled, labeled with ingredient panels and priced to make it easy on her staff over the weekend. Since the expansion, Emily was in the bakery daily, making sure everything was done just right. This would be the first weekend off in months, but she knew her staff was well trained and could handle any obstacles put in front of them. Plus, extra trays of cookies were ready and waiting to replace all the ones sold.

Emily had a quick meeting with the crew working over the weekend, telling them all the little details and where to find everything they needed, before heading out for the night. There was only an hour left until the store closed, and she wanted to get home and pack for her mini-vacay.

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 businesses and people.

As Emily walked in her front door, she got a text from Maty, one of her closers. She looked at the photo sent, and her eyes widened in disbelief. Her bakery case was on the ground, smashed into pieces, and all the cookies that had filled the case were broken and cracked along with it. The text that followed read, “It all happened so fast. Quinn excitedly jumped up on the case and knocked it to the ground. No one was hurt, but the case is destroyed as well as the cookies that were in it.”

Emily hit call, and when Maty picked up said, “Please tell me you’re kidding.” Maty sighed and replied, “I wish I were. Luckily no one was hurt, but I’m a little surprised that Quinn’s mom didn’t even apologize. She had no control of her dog and let Quinn jump on the case after we asked her not to several times. After it happened, she walked over to our other bakery case, bought $4 in treats and left. No sorry, no nothing. We are cleaning up everything and tossing it all in the dumpster.”

Emily shook her head in awe. She added up the total of everything that was destroyed. That was a full day of baking and decorating lost, plus the cost of the case. How could the customer just leave like nothing was wrong? If it were her dog, she would have offered to pay for all the damage immediately.



Should Emily reach out to the customer and ask her to pay for the damages?

How could her staff have better handled the customer not controlling her dog?

How could this situation be avoided in the future?


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