Thursday, August 9, 2012

What's Your Pet Worth To You?

Note: I will ask for your forgiveness in advance.  This post is the ranting of a disappointed woman.  If you have a pet that means anything to you, you will understand.  I figured pets are a great American pasttime so this post seems appropriate.

Our "Big Mama" passed away almost two months ago, on the day of her 11th birthday.  We took her to a local will-not-mention "chain" vet's office to be cremated. (We have BANned this FIELD of bad service providers from any future pet appointments.)  As you guessed, Big Mama was our beloved dog.  That was her nickname because she took care of everyone.  Her bark even changed when she was letting us know that one of the kids (ours or someone else's) was doing something s/he should not have been.

We decided to have her cremated.  When we took her to the chain-that-will-not-be-named vet's office, we were told that it would be a couple of weeks before she would be back.  Our sad goodbyes were said and we left her. 

Recently, we received a phone call from this chain's vet's office letting us know that they still had her there (her body, not her remains) and that we had not paid, and wanted to know what were we going to do with her.  I'm sorry what did you just say??  What do you say to that conversation?  I politely said I would speak to my husband and call her back.  If you have a man in your life and if he has a dog, you know exactly what the reaction was to that news.  (Actually, I don't think you have to be a man to have reacted.)  He shot off the couch like a bullet out of a gun.  He called to verify that I had heard them correctly and they confirmed that I had indeed heard everything correctly.

As this dog was his best friend shortly before I was, he launched a social media campaign to let everyone know how his dog had been treated, or rather mistreated.  He called their corporate office and was told that they would look into it and call him later in the afternoon.  That call never came.  The next day he called their corporate office again.  This time they knew exactly who he was because of his social media campaign.  He was transferred to someone's voicemail.  Really? 

A manager finally called back later that afternoon and spoke with my husband.  He said he was going to contact the manager of the store we took our dog to and handle this.  He apologized and said that they were going to have an inspection done of the store to make sure this did not happen again. 

Ok.  Here I go.  This should not have happened to begin with.  What makes me sad and brings me to tears is the thought of our  beloved dog lying in their store somewhere like she was a stray dog or an unloved dog.  She was loved and respected.  She is missed dearly.  She was the cuddliest dog.  She was good to all the kids that came to our home.  She was the best vaccuum cleaner...EVER!  I can't say enough about her.  And this store, to cover up the fact that they made several mistakes, called us to put it back on us.  They poured salt on our wound.  They left her there for this long (or better said forgot about her).  We thought it was taking a while, but when we dropped her off the young lady told us it would take a few weeks. We figured we would call at the two month mark to followup.  How long would they have let her lay there before contacting us?  Would we have been the ones to contact them to see where her remains were?  Then, they did not collect payment up front, which apparently is not something they do.  How is that my fault?  When the young lady called, she had said that we had been sent to collections.  What?!  How do we get sent to collections for a service we obviously did not receive since the dog was still sitting there and they accepted us leaving her there before collecting their payment and then didn't bill us?  Why didn't they just cremate her, call us to let us know that her remains were ready and give us the opportunity to pay when we picked up her remains?  They forgot about her and tried to cover it up.  That's how.

What saddens me is this:  Where was the accountability before this phone call was made?  Why did the dog sit there for so long before they called us?  Why did they threaten us with collections?  Someone wanted to cover a mistake instead of saying, "I'm sorry.  I made a mistake."  The fact that my dog has been there for so long is saddening.  The fact that they tried to cover up a mistake by making it seem like I did something wrong is absolutely offensive.  That fact made me cry.  It's amazing at how far, "I'm sorry" goes.  Accountability.  Admit it and move on.  Our Big Mama Kai deserves it.