An interesting phenomenon: People who knew me at the store do not recognize me at the clinic. I'm not sure why. I wear my hair the exact same way. I wore scrubs at the store. Nothing has changed about me. The only thing that is different is the setting. Yet people can have an entire conversation with me before I gently remind them of who I am, and only then does the dawning look cross their faces.
It's sort of amusing.
Saturday afternoon I had a client who purchased a female Boxer/GSD mix from the store a couple of months ago.
I remember her distinctly because a really pushy, demanding, condescending yet clueless girl had purchased her, and returned her about 48 hours later saying, "The German Shepherd makes her so so sweet, but the Boxer makes her vicious." Clearly, the recent Sour Patch Kids commercials did a number on this chick's thought processes. I wasn't there when the girl returned the puppy, but I did hear about it from quite a few people, and the transaction ended with Pushy, Demanding, Condescending Clueless Girl calling SaintTawny a bitch and stalking out of the store. (It was something along the lines of she demanded a full refund because, "We should have warned her that Boxers are vicious dogs." Well they aren't, so why would we, but nice try on that one.)
I was very pleased when a Down To Earth, Thoughtful, Sensible couple purchased her about a week later. The guy wanted a running buddy, his fiancee just wanted a puppy. They were undecided for a little while between her and her brother. Her brother was much more dominant, mouthy, and rough. I cautioned them that sometimes how the puppies act in the store isn't always how they act when you get them home, especially if they are rooming with a domineering cage-mate. Sometimes what seems to be a very mild, calm dog turns into a rampaging hellion when you get them away from a dominant sibling. They decided on her, and purchased her.
I hadn't seen them back in the store since, so I was very happy to see them at the clinic on Saturday, and to see that she was being very well taken care of. The Guy told me they had just gotten back from a two and a half mile run in a local park before coming to the clinic, something they did every few days. I praised The Guy for it, telling him that many behavior problems in dogs could be avoided if they just got more exercise. When I knelt down to greet her, she immediately bathed my face, and I commented on it. He said something about having been concerned when they had purchased her because her brother was really rough and, "you know, sometimes how they act in the store and how they act when you get them home are completely different."
"Yes, I know," I told him. "I remember telling you the exact same thing the day you bought her." The Look of Comprehension came over his face and he said, "Wait. You worked at the pet store." "Sure did." "You were the one who handed her to us the first time we ever got her out!" "Yep, it was me." When his fiancee arrived (she came in after I had already brought them into the exam room, just as Dr. S, the other veterinarian, came in to check her out), he said, "Honey, honey, this is the girl who sold Moxy to us!"
This is the type of thing that makes me feel like the last five years of my life were not spent doing something completely worthless. I know that the dogs were well taken care of when I worked there, but not knowing if they were well taken care of (and knowing without a doubt that some of them were not) after purchase always weighed heavily on my mind. Seeing Moxy and her caretakers in the clinic and how much she is cherished and what a delight she is to be around is just refreshing to see. On so many levels.
Here's to another puppy store success story: Moxy, whose Boxer half did not, as it turns out, make her vicious at all.