December 5th, 2009

Maybe YOU should be kenneled until you learn to deal with people.

I was out of town today and while visiting, saw a "holistic" dog and cat supply store. My big ol' dog's having horrible allergy issues and I'm at the "I will try anything to make her better" stage. While looking at the gluten-free corn-free organic soy beefy bits section (hyperbole) I spotted a toy that sorta resembled The Favorite Toy. The one toy both my dogs, a small purse dog and a big ol' floppy dog, enjoy. When they cannot find it they get listless and depressed. One or the other tries to take it outside with them. And it is on the verge of falling apart. My purse dog is old and I think I've spent a few hours on the Internet and visiting pet stores trying to find something like The Favorite Toy, so I went to the counter meaning to ask if the supplier made something in red, since toys that are not red are not as cool to them for some reason. (And dogs can't even see the color red.)

I did not ask for or expect an attitude when the owner of the store asked what breeds I owned. I answered honestly. It's worth noting that in this city, any dog that resembles this breed and doesn't have documented parentage gets put to sleep, but again I don't live anywhere near there - not that she asked or cared, but had we gotten to the credit card stage she would have seen it on my ID. It's like the customer service and politeness portions of her brain shut down. It was "pleasant and very nice" to "you are like something I scrape off my shoe" immediately. She flatly stated "this toy will not work for your dog, she has locking jaws" (um, what?), took it away from me, and said she was busy and walked away when I asked if she could help me find a similar toy that she felt would work. Neither of my dogs are very destructive when it comes to their toys actually - the current Favorite has been used heavily for twelve years and is only now showing deterioration.

You'd think someone who's opened a dog supply store would not have a knee-jerk reaction to dogs, or could at least ask more questions before rushing to judgment and losing a sale. It's too bad, I have a biiig car to load up and I was ready to buy a bunch of various brands of the dog food they carry, but not only did I no longer feel comfortable in her store, she wouldn't so much as look in my direction anyway - and the locking jaws comment made it painfully obvious that she wouldn't have had the knowledge to help me.

Edit: Wow, you all are really awesome. I'll upload a picture of the toy as soon as I can find it tomorrow and maybe someone has seen it. I'm sure to a lot of people it's silly to put so much effort into a 12-year-old dog toy and they're dogs for Pete's sake, if it goes bye-bye they'll be upset but they'll get over it. But the pets that come to my husband and I have already been through an unimaginable amount of pain and confusion and neglect in their lives, and anything we can do to make them ecstatically happy for the rest of their lives, we'll go to incredible lengths to do it.

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Update: satinesatire found something AMAZINGLY close to the toy here. Is there anything the internet can't do? Now I can stop feeling like that crazy couple from Best in Show yelling at people about bees. This should get a "happy ending" tag for sure!