For all of those that don’t know, this past weekend Kevin and I brought home our adopted dog, Gus. He is a black and white beagle mix and almost 10 months old. He was being fostered by a long time friend of mine who runs her own rescue and since we have been talking for a while about getting a dog we decided to go for it!
There is a pre-story to this story, so if you want to skip ahead look for the *. The first few days were pretty good and Gus seemed to do okay in his crate for an hour or so while we were out. He was obviously a little shaken when we returned, but we returned and he was fine. It was obvious he had a little separation anxiety but being in a new place we figured as much. Today was his first day being in the crate while I was at work and Kevin was on campus. I stopped home at lunch and he had had a little accident in his crate. No big deal, obviously he was nervous. I cleaned it up, took him for a walk, and went back to work. I was upset about it when I first got home because I don’t want my pup sitting in a soiled crate because he was scared!
When I got back to work I felt a little better and thought that if I came home to another bathroom accident it wouldn’t be too bad. Then I pulled up to our place. The blinds on the sliding doors were half missing and half broken. Gus had escaped. (Pictures to come.) I rushed to the door fearing the worse and could hear him crying… but when I opened the door he was just standing in the kitchen waiting. I ignored him because that’s what all the experts say to do. I walked into the living room and promptly started crying. This was just too overwhelming. I mean, I knew a dog was going to be difficult, but I never imagined he’d escape his crate and tear up the blinds. I went over to his crate to find the front was collapsed in and a quilt that hadn’t been in there (it was an oldie we used in the car to bring him home) was now twisted and turned throughout. I called Kevin and he came home to help me clean up.
Kevin went to PetSmart to buy another crate, but was unsuccessful as the only thing they had were more collapsable crates. He had come home with a plastic crate that we quickly decided wouldn’t work. He headed back to campus and gave me his debit card so I could go do a careful inventory and pick something out to exchange it for, but requested that I not spend much more than he had spent ($65!).
*I loaded Gus in the car and headed back to PetSmart. While I stood and checked out the crates a PetSmart employee walked over with his pregnant wife. She said hello to Gus and I told them Gus had been a bad boy. I told them the story and they quickly related with an anxiety-ridden dog that they also have. The employee suggested the Kong brand and said those were the best and he wouldn’t be able to get out. I looked at the price – $109 – and started to cry. I apologize and told them I was overwhelmed from the day. I explained that we are getting married in July and really couldn’t afford a $109 crate and I didn’t know what we were going to do. I explained we were borrowing a friend’s crate until we could pick up my parent’s crate in Virginia at the end of June. The employee said to me, “Well, let me tell you what… this box looks a little damaged, there’s a whole and the corner is bent. I can make you a deal on it.” I thanked him and said okay and his wife measured Gus to make sure we were getting the correct size. We went up the register to do the exchange. I figured he was going to do a straight exchange and just charge me $65 for the new crate. He scanned everything and played around with the register and then said, “Your total is $8.01.”
I just looked at him. “Are you serious?” I asked. “Yeah, I told you, the box is damaged.” They must have seen my look of disbelief because they both laughed a little. I started to cry again and apologized for crying, telling them I couldn’t believe it and that was so nice. The employee said, “We’re doing this so you WON’T cry.” and his wife laughed and said, “Yeah so you won’t come home to a damaged home.” I took a deep breath and said, “It’s just so nice to know there are such nice people in the world.” I finished checking out and he carried the crate to my car. In the parking lot he told me that if Gus is able to escape from it, then he won’t know what to tell me, but this crate should do. I thanked them both again and told him we go to that location for all of Gus’ stuff, so if I saw him I would let him know how it goes.
I am still a little overwhelmed even typing this story even though I’ve told it 4 times already. $8 for a $109 crate just like that. Here was an employee that truly cared about my pet and me. While we were really upset when we got home and saw what he had done, we love Gus so much and understand he is a puppy and he will get used to his new home. In August his wife will give birth to a little girl and she is the third luckiest girl in the world (obviously behind my sister and myself who also have great parents).
No, I wasn’t crying hoping he’d do something like that – I was honestly overwhelmed. We want to give Gus the best home possible and we knew the original financial burden that would occur, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t overwhelming. When he mentioned the deal I honestly thought it was going to be a clean exchange for our previously purchased item. That employee turned my whole day around and gave me confidence that Gus will be safe tomorrow when it’s time for us to go back to work again. So hey, do something kind for someone else within the next day of reading this… you never know how it will really help them!