Just a warning–I am going to rant…
This weekend was pretty quiet. In the winter months I begin to focus on my writing again and so don’t take too many animal training appointments. Instead, I offer more phone consultations and answer inquiries.
If the weather is good, I am happy to train but find most people don’t want to in the winter weather. Never mind that the icy roads and snow on the ground make me less inclined to take the risk of driving admist the skier and snowboarding traffic.
This weekend was calm and quiet except for the first storm of the season. As the temperatures dropped to 16 degrees the torrential rain turned into small pellets of snow–my blood boiled, keeping me warm at least, but turning into depression the following day because I could do nothing about it.
I got a phone call from one of the local pet stores asking me if I talked to a guy with a beagle puppy. Since I hadn’t, I wondered why they were calling me. Some idiot called them wanting a shock collar for an eight-week-old beagle puppy.
Seems the little bugger was whining too much.
Who in their right mind would even think of using a shock collar on a puppy?
The thought made me mad, really, really mad.
Let’s see, rip a puppy from its littermate and home and then get pissed off to the point of unresonable actions because the puppy was whining and crying because it is lonely and scared?
It goes beyond a lack of understanding and failure of common sense…
Maybe I have been in my field too long.
Each year end I reassess my business–this is the straw that has made me ponder just what direction I’ll be taking next year. I’ve just had a string of unpleasant interactions and my review is filled with thoughts of these and just how long am I going to keep plodding along.
Often, I spend more time than I should talking to people on the phone. I don’t mind in most cases, since there are those with aggressive animals pondering whether or not they want to venture into behavior modification or euthnasia.
It is a big decision either way.
Then there are those that make me wonder why they called in the first place.
Just last week a person called and called and called–initially I spent 20 minutes on the phone, the next call was about the same. After the second converstation I sent her an article series I wrote to get her onto the right track and illustrate how she should get professional help.
Since I suggested she should make an appointment with me to avoid any problems, and invited her to do so, when she didn’t, I wondered just what was up.
She left me another message but didn’t say she wanted to use my services and so, I quit accepting her calls. About the 6th call (on my day off–which doesn’t happen often) the message was incoherant because she was sobbing.
Warning! Danger, Will Robinson!
But sometimes I get hooked into being a professional, so I returned the call the next day, she still didn’t book an appointment but informed me that the new dog was completely out of control and scary.
And you are not making the appointment with me–why?
These are the types of situations I hate. Early in my career the longivity of a professional animal trainer was seven years. Today, I have over 30 years under my belt in animal work…and also understand why the longivity of a training career was so short.
The animals are the easy part.
Last week I talked to the only colleague in the area to whom I feel safe referring clients. She is thinking of closing shop.
But really, I understand.
When she was pregnant I took over her client base. Now, I wonder what she will do–will I step in and take up the slack?
I love what I do, I am good at it. My clients are from all walks of life and income levels and are fabulous people who love their animals BUT it is the abusers and uneducated folks that get under my skin once in a while.
Occasionally, I get a client that I want to help and find that they end up being no pleasure at all. They should have saved me a trip…that happened last week, too.
Time for a review I guess.
But it is the shock collar for a 8-week-old puppy that really tipped the scale. I have not been that mad in a long while.
I couldn’t believe the guy told the store he called me and quoted a consultation price that I never gave him–because I never talked to him.
Now some animal is going to be abused because the guy is a jerk…
What makes you mad?