“The story is always better than your ability to write it.” — Robin McKinley
Rebecca, Maxx the dog, and I stopped into the Castleton PetSmart this morning to see our dog trainer. She’s been working with us for several months, and we’ve grown quite fond of her.
While we’re taking a break from training because of life, we wanted her to know that we’d still swing by to see her.
She’s also the first person we wanted to thank during The Year of Thank You so yesterday I dropped off a letter Rebecca and I wrote. After Maxx was checked into Doggie Day Camp, I tracked down the manager and talked with him for a few minutes about our experience with the trainer and told him that I hoped he’d share what we said to him.
We found out today that he shared it with the entire staff.
When we came into the store, employees continually came up to us and thanked us for writing that letter about her and about the staff. We continually were told: “Nobody ever says thank you.”
Their comments weren’t said derisively. Instead, there was a longing about it as if they were also reminded that they didn’t say thank you enough either. What was supposed to be a quick hello to our trainer turned into a 35-minute meet-and-greet with the staff.
It was a pretty good morning, and an amazing reminder about the power we have to create the world that we want. Just a few little words brightened the day of the people who have helped us with Maxx the dog.
Here is the letter we gave to the general manager (with the name of the innocent party removed). And don’t forget that I’d love to hear your stories as well.
My name is Brad King, and my fiancée Rebecca Hutton and I wanted to write a letter to let you know about our wonderful experiences with <our trainer>, who has been our dog’s trainer for the past several months.
Too often we let good deeds and good people get pushed aside in the swirl of the day-to-day activities of life. While understandable, we believe that a general lack of acknowledgement subtly reinforces the idea that positive interactions are no different than negative interactions.
With that in mind, we wanted to share our experiences working with <our trainer>.
As first time pet owners, we wanted to ensure our dog, Maxx, had a happy and healthy home life. We enrolled him in <our trainer>’s training classes hoping she could teach us how to work with our dog, and help guide our young Brittany.
From our first moment in the training room, we’ve been amazed at how kind, caring, and knowledgeable <our trainer> has been with all three of us. She has helped us harness our young pup’s boundless energy, and created an environment that Maxx enjoys. (We know this because whenever we’re driving up Allisonville Road on the way to the store, he starts pacing back and forth in anticipation.)
Beyond training, she’s helped us figure out what shampoo Maxx needed to deal with skin irritation, what toys he needed to keep himself occupied at our house, what harness we needed so that he could go running with us, how to rotate food so that his stomach (which is delicate) doesn’t get upset, and what training devices we need to make sure our dog is calm and respectful when we’re out in public.
Throughout the course of our training, we’ve become quite fond of <our trainer> (as has Maxx). She has treated us as something other than just a customer, and she has given Maxx a steady dose of love and training.
In a day and age when businesses operate with one eye on the bottom line of the Excel spreadsheet, we wanted to let you know that <our trainer> (and the rest of the staff that enthusiastically greets our dog whenever we come to the store) may be one of the best assets in your store precisely because she doesn’t fit into a spreadsheet cell.
She has been honest, forthright, kind, and professional with us in every interaction we’ve had with her even as she has dealt with life events outside of work that would have made it completely reasonable for her to act otherwise.
In closing, we hope that you share our appreciation with <our trainer>. Certainly we have expressed our gratitude to her, but we believe it’s important that she know our support goes beyond kind words at the end of a training session.
Brad King, Rebecca Hutton, and Maxx the dog