January 7, 2014
When I lived at my last apartment, I used to take Squash to the daycare just around the corner once a week. She loved it there and they loved her. On those days, when I would pull out the Tupperware for her lunch, she would get very excited because she knew it was daycare day. She would literally drag me the two blocks to our destination and stop right in front of their door. Immediately, we’d hear, “SQUASHY!” She was loved and also exhausted by the end of the day.
Then we moved. Not far. Just less than a mile due west. We quickly discovered another doggie daycare, again, just two blocks from our new place. How fortunate! So, Squashety and I fell right back into our routine. Tupperware, excitement, race two blocks, halt at the door. But something was missing.
Nobody was thrilled to see her when we walked in the door. Not that Squasharoo needs to be announced when she walks into a room, but some recognition would be nice. Even after several visits, the same staff lady would ask, “And who is this?” I got the feeling they have so many dogs come through in a day, no one had time to get to know new clients.
There were other little things, like after every stay we would play “find Squash’s leash” where the staff person would shuffle through dozens of leashes hanging behind the counter as I would try to point to it from 7 feet away saying it’s “the blue one with purple polka dots…no, not that purple one with blue dots”. Plus, I’d always have to remind them to return her “lunchbox”. And Squash would always come home and want to play rather than curl up on her bed, which made me wonder if she just slept all day. Our old daycare had spoiled us rotten.
Which is why I now walk the extra 7 blocks to our old daycare. We both relish in the chorus of workers squealing “SQUISHY SQUASH!” when we walk in the door.
There’s something to be said about obsessiveness when you’re a pet care provider (or any small business for that matter). I think if I had gone to the second daycare establishment first, I may have been fairly content with it. I never felt like they did a bad job, they just didn’t do as good of one in comparison. Daycare #1 was simply obsessed with getting it exactly right.
So, when I started to work for Rover-Time, I could tell they were also obsessed. It made me appreciate the small details that go into differentiating yourself from other pet care businesses. So, as all good bloggers do, I made a list. These are my “Top 7 Ways You Know Your Dog Is in the BEST Hands.”
1. They take photos of your pet like it’s their own child
2. Pet safety, health, and happiness are always priority
3. They know you as “[your pet name]’s mom/dad”
4. The know what you and your pet need before you do
5. They have their own “pet” names for your pet
6. They would rather be rolling on the floor with your pet than chatting with you
7. Your relationship is built on transparency and communication
What is one thing you appreciate most with your pet care provider? Have you ever been surprised by something that made you feel like they went above and beyond?