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Receiving Thanks

Customers show their appreciation in a variety of ways, and you shared with us your most touching examples.

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ON ANY GIVEN day, customers express their gratitude to you. Some offer a simple “thanks.” Others post a five-star review. A few even drop off a token of their appreciation, from food for your team to a more personal present.

All mean the world to you, as they show just how much you’ve helped these people and their pets.

We asked the PETS+ Brain Squad to share their most touching examples of customer gratitude, and the response was overwhelming. On that note, allow us to thank our loyal squad and to extend an invitation to those not yet a member. We’d love for you to join us at petsplusmag.com/brainsquad and contribute to stories like this.

Lots of Hugs

Before “social distancing” became a term we use daily — or heck, even knew — hugs were a common way for customers to show gratitude.

Elaina Stanley of Three Happy Hounds in Fernley, NV, shared the story of a little white dog named Snowy who had 15 mini-seizures during a 40-minute visit to her store. She recommended a CBD tincture.

“Snowy’s mom came in a few weeks later in tears and gave me the biggest hug. Snowy’s seizures had dramatically reduced to almost none, and she had her appetite and energy back. That hug reminded me I was on the right path to helping the pets in our community.”

Last summer, Paula Gorman welcomed a customer and his 14-year-old Labrador named Zoey to her Pet Supplies ’N’ More in Muskego, WI. The dog was in poor health, and the vet had recommended euthanasia. On top of that, the owner had just been diagnosed with cancer and told Gorman he “couldn’t bear the thought of losing his buddy.”

She and her staff recommended a diet of raw food, goat milk, bone broth, and raw and freeze-dried treats for Zoey.

“Two weeks later, the customer came in and said Zoey seemed to be doing better. Five weeks later, he came in and was almost in tears as he explained that Zoey had had such a turnaround, jumping off the pier and running around like a pup.

“He gave me a huge hug and said he couldn’t thank me enough. He continues to come in and give us updates on Zoey and himself.”

Popcorn For Life

During the holidays, Natalie Bosch and her team at Albany Pet Hotel in Albany, OR, receive a variety of gifts. “We have one family who brings us popcorn, which started when their dogs used to come in for day care nearly every day. Now that the wife is retired, we only see them once every few months, but they still bring us popcorn every year. It’s the lifelong clients who become extra special to our team.”

Bags of Bagels

When Jameson the Chesapeake Bay Retriever began developing back problems and had to use a cart to get around, his humans were concerned he would no longer be able to attend day care at Just Fur Pets in Springfield, VA.

“I assured her that we would make accommodations for him just like public schools make accommodations for children using assistive devices,” Marcia Cram says. “To this day, she brings my staff bagels on Wednesdays as a thank you for us taking such good care of him and, now, his successor, Guinness.”

Handwritten Notes

Nash the Rhodesian Ridgeback visited Bath & Biscuits in Granville, OH, monthly for nearly 10 years. The staff loved on him during grooming appointments. One day, Danielle Wilson received a handwritten note from his family.

“Nash had an aggressive cancer, and he passed away within three weeks. They wanted us know how much they appreciated our compassion and patience with him over the years. They said Nash loved visiting ‘his girlfriends.’ Receiving that note broke our hearts. There wasn’t a dry eye in my salon.”

Carol Will of Lola & Penelope’s in St. Louis, MO, received a letter that drove home the importance of listening.

“An elderly client sent me a note I could tell took a long time to write. Three months later when I saw her, she had tears in her eyes.

“She was thankful because her senior dog is in declining health, and she was worried, but felt she took up too much of my time.

“My heart was breaking when she said that. It’s so hard watching any living being in declining health. I can relate and have a retail store, so of course I’ll listen.”

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A frequent customer of Zach’s Pet Services dropped off donuts, and $200, when cancelling an appointment due to COVID-19.

Donuts & Covid-19 ‘Cancellation Fee’

On March 14, Zach Shearer was walking the property at Zach’s Pet Services in Roanoke, IN, when a regular client pulled in. The man, who was scheduled to drop off his dog for boarding that day, instead rolled down his window and handed over a dozen donuts and $200 in cash as a show of appreciation.

Shearer shared in a Facebook post what happened next:

“He said, ‘This is my cancellation fee, and I am asking you to take it. This whole ordeal is affecting you and so many other businesses, and it’s not fair to you.’ I thanked him over and over and tried my best to express as much thankfulness as I could.

“As I walked into the office, tears ran down my face.”

Shearer shared that 37 clients had canceled boarding in the previous 48 hours, and added:

“My stress level has been rather high. But this extremely kind and very thoughtful gesture showed me many things. It showed me that the good does outweigh the bad, and that our Lord will provide and will make everything be OK. It showed me that there are truly compassionate people in this world who expect nothing in return.

“This amazing man did not have to do this, but he chose to do this. It showed me that kindness and having compassion go a long way. I will never forget this encounter, and I am so beyond thankful and blessed to have thoughtful and kind people in my life. I am surely blessed by knowing this man! Today, my heart is full.”

Glowing Online Review

Keefer Dickerson of Nashville Pet Products in Nashville, TN, says he still gets goosebumps every time he reads this review:

“We’re big fans of NPP. When we discovered an abandoned dog next door, the dog was really struggling. It seemed hopeless. No one had anything but prayers to offer. The dog was mistreated and missing hair from his mid-back to tail, possibly indicating mange. He was known as the attack dog in the neighborhood. We were intimidated, to say the least, but wanted to help him. One of the NPP associates taught us how to gain the dog’s trust.

“And every time we’ve come to visit, she offers all the help she can. We’ve had the dog five years now, and he has really blossomed into a family member. He’s even best friends with our 12-year-old black cat. It’s this level of caring — that’s the reason we return to NPP time and time again.”

Goodie Box

Snacks are always appreciated by Pattie Zeller and her team at Animal Connection in Charlottesville, VA.

“One of our grooming customers brought us a wooden box, on which she wood-burned a picture of her dog and the dog’s name. It was filled with cheese, crackers, sausage, candies and yummy things that she chose because she knows sometimes we’re so busy helping customers we don’t take breaks or lunch. That was so nice of her!”

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Names In Honor

Two of Nancy Guinn’s first customers at Dog Krazy in Fredericksburg, VA, were Oscar Vera-Almeyda and Maddox.

“Oscar brought Maddox to our store every week to visit and shop. When Oscar found out he had cancer, he was worried about being able to bring Maddox to see us every week. I drove to his house when he was unable to drive after chemo and picked up Maddox and took him on a weekly Dog Krazy date.

“After our Bullmastiff Nova passed, we both got Bulldogs from the same litter. I got Porkie, and he named his Bulldog Halley after Halley’s Comet since Nova was our SuperNova. Soon after, he got a Bullmastiff from the same breeder that had Nova’s brother. He named her Luna. He named two of his dogs in tribute to our Nova.”

An image of Jack — and his human — at his first Camp Dogwood in Highland Park, IL in 2007.

Touching Text Message

When a longtime attendee of Camp Dogwood in Highland Park, IL, passed away this winter, his human sent Alysa Slay a series of text messages and photos.

“She texted me a photo of her and her dog Jack at their very first camp orientation in 2007, along with the following message: ‘His life was about to change forever! Camping, lure coursing, swimming, agility … and the list goes on. Thanks for Camp Dogwood. He had a wonderful life filled with much love, many friends and adventures thanks to you.’”

Thank You From Beyond

Pam Sine of Pet Silhouette, in Hobe Sound, FL, shares about a longtime customer:

“I had a great older gentleman, a veteran, who passed away in October. The gentleman’s dog moved on to a kind lady who still brought Dewers in for grooming. The gentleman, in his last hospice days, had written a thank-you Christmas card to be given to me after he died at Christmas. This was the most touching gesture, to be thought of in a most gracious way.

“It has been three years now, and every time I put out my Christmas stuff, I come across his card, read it again, and reflect on him and his true message. Every year the message becomes more profound, and I understand how we touch people’s lives and how they touch ours.”

The special Christmas ornament cake sent to Wendy Megyese.

Homemade Christmas Ornament

Wendy Megyese of Muttigans in Emerald Isle, NC, treasures an ornament she received from a customer who needed more than a little help with her Beagle puppy, Trina.

“Whenever she had a question, Ms. Mary would call or come by, and we would help her. It has taken a village to raise that spirited pup!

“For Christmas, she made this very special ornament for us. She even included our Josie the Pug in it! I was touched because she made it with love just for us.”

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Pickle cake

The thank-you cake sent by Pickles’ owner to All Pets Considered.

Pickle Cake

When Pickles escaped from his home and ended up at nearby All Pets Considered in Greensboro, NC, Alison Schwartz and her team captured him, but not before he was hit by a car.

“He got spooked and ran out into the road and got struck (lightly, thankfully) by a car. We rushed him to the vet, where he was found to not be injured … and located his owner through our store post on Facebook and got him back home. She rewarded us with a huge cake from her dog, named Pickles. The cake had a giant pickle on it. Proud to say, Pickles still shops here and frequently comes in and refers to us as his angels for being here that day to get him to safety.”

Thank-You Book

Corzo, Patron and Don Julio spend their fair share of time at Shaggy Pines Dog Park in Ada, MI. Their human, Kim Cassidy, created a photo book of members as a gift for park owner Pam Stanley.

“It’s beautiful, and you can tell it was time-consuming to make, with lots of thought put into it,” she says, adding that the Cassidy family also planted eight trees in the park. “We are so lucky to have such wonderful members.”

Handmade Pottery

Julie Johannes of Powder Hounds Pet Supply in Bigfork, MT, helped a 14-year-old Labrador named Coco during her final days, and then let her owner return the items she had recently purchased. The customer said thank you with a gift of handmade dog-themed pottery mugs.

“She was so grateful for our support during her time of grief that she gave us the pottery a month later when she came in with a new puppy.”

In-Person Thank You

Janelle Pitula of Wags to Whiskers in Plainfield, IL, says the most meaningful show of gratitude comes with customers “verbally telling me directly that I saved their dog’s life.”

Memorable Email

Janet Cesarini of Pupology in Georgetown, TX, most appreciates an email she got about reuniting a family — in the bedroom?

“I have received verbal thank yous, baked goods, handwritten notes and handmade gifts for the shop, but the most memorable has been an email in which a couple was expressing their happiness and gratitude that after nine years of having to ban their Bulldog from the master bedroom, they were now sleeping with their dog again. After we changed his diet and added a supplement, he had stopped snoring!”

More Hugs

Tammy Vasquez of Bark Life Inc. in Seminole, FL, shared a story about “an amazing client who came to us crying her eyes out because her 15-year-old Labrador couldn’t stand up and was in pain, and the vet wanted to put her down. She wanted anything to help with inflammation and pain. After crying with her for 15 minutes, we decided on a regimen to try. We put her on Pet Releaf CBD oil and Progility by Nootie, double doses of both to kick it off.

“Four weeks later, she came back in with her lab! Walked right in and hugged each of us. Of course, we showered her pup with a million hugs and kisses. In 30-plus years in this business, that was the most gratifying experience ever. Her Lab went over the rainbow bridge about a year later and she came back with a card thanking us for giving her baby one last great year.”

Mexican Treats

David Price of Alabama Pet Foods in Pelham, AL, shares that: “We had one customer whose dog was losing his hair due to allergies, but she couldn’t afford an allergy test. After trying a food we recommended, he stopped scratching and his coat grew back. In return, she cooked homemade enchiladas and empanadas for us.”

Pamela Mitchell is the Editor-in-Chief of PETS+. She works from her home office in Houston, TX, with Ty the Boston Terrier as her assistant.

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