No Lunch….Free or Otherwise

Sadie and I have had to make a lot of changes in our routines since we sold our house. Many things we just took fro granted now take planning and compromise. Its all worked out pretty good…we live in a smaller space and now like the lack of big responsibility that goes with that. Sadie goes to a great day care and likes that…no longer a solitary dog watching Animal Planet and waiting for me to come home. However, once in a while we hit a snag and have to re-tool things…like the day she went to a vet’s because her regular day care was unavailable. That’s the day she didn’t get lunch…despite the fact that like any good Mom…I had packed one and had taken it with her.
This place…Phillips Animal Hospital had a great website. I took a tour and it seemed nice It was not like her normal place…it was not even close to being extra special, But it did appear that Sadie would be safe there for the 7 or so hours I had to leave her and work.
For the first two times, it seemed to work our. OK…Sadie was a little ticked at me each time…batting me with her paws on the way to the car as if to say..”Gee…why did you have to leave me in these inferior conditions for all this time?” But overall…it was OK.
Then came the Freaky Friday that we have not forgotten. I packed Sadie’s lunch as usual. It’s important that I make sure she isn’t fed something she’s allergic too…important so she doesn’t itch herself crazy…AND keep me up all night as well. So…her lamb and rice food along with Cowboy Cookout was mixed into a nice container and handed to the attendant who was reaching for her leash. It was simple…”Here is her food…feed her.”
Not so it seems. When I went to pick her up, I paid the bill, collected her and her tote bag, and we rushed down the boulevard homeward bound eager for DOGERCISE. I placed the tote bag on the kitchen floor and went to change clothes…but Sadie didn’t follow me into the bedroom like she usually does. She had her head buried in her tote bag and no wonder…her container of food was in there…untouched. She had not been fed ALL DAY.
I quickly mixed her a fresh bowl of food and watched her scarf it down…yes…even faster than usual. She then slurped up an ENTIRE bowl of water as well and I sat down on the floor next to her as she thankfully licked my face. Gee…I felt horrible as I looked back on the the delicious lunch I had enjoyed at a favorite restaurant celebrating Friday and the approaching weekend. While I feasted with friends, my poor little dog had sat in a strange, stark kennel with nothing to eat and it appeared…nothing to drink either.
I immediately called Phillips and not to belabor the point…they were full of excuses. “The attendant hadn’t understood what I told him?” How could that be…here’s food…here’s a dog…give it to her? Should someone who has such a lack of comprehension of simple commands be working with living creatures?

I asked that Dr. Homan call me. I left message after message. It was never important enough for this veterinarian to return my call. Sadie never went back.

What is happening in our world today? Customer services…customers’s that are right…these are things of the past. But you expect more from someone who is supposed to care for animals…who professes to love living creatures…you expect that they will answer your calls and quesitons…that they will care that they made a mistake…that they will take seriously if not sacredly that you trust your beloved animal to them whether its for an hour…a day…or a medical problem. I couldn’t trust this facility nor its employees again…my dog deserved her lunch…she needed to have water available. I needed to know why she didn’t have these. We’re still waiting to find out.

There’s a lesson in this. I asked people AFTER this incident about this facility and I was not happy with what I was told. In fact, I was frightened that I had ever left her here in the first place. Choose carefully where you leave you pet. Cindy Adams the famous NYC gossip columnist who made her Yorkie Jazzy famous with a best selling book learned the most horrible lesson when she left Jazzy at a careless kennel. Jazzy died.

Sadie seems none the worse for her missed lunch…perhaps I feel worse that my trust was misplaced…sadder…wiser…onward and upward!