Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bella, Jabba & Ozzy December Daycare

Bella's favorite spot, watching me in the office, or just watching the other pups as if to say, "Why are you wandering around like that?  Conserve some energy.  Come and relax."

Jabba was pretty hilarious, getting so excited the first time we went out into the yard and he could "fly" through the powder... that is, until he got stuck.  Bella thought he was silly, too, and started chasing around the "tunnels" when he looked back at her with that sheepish, snowy grin.

Even Ozzy got in on the action.  Our fence in the yard is a bit over 4 ft high, and the powder covers that height today!  Whew.  Can we just get one day without a foot of snow... please?  :)

The trees at our front porch.  Beautiful.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Après Pooch E-Newsletter (December 16, 2010)

In this "E-Newsletter"

* Holiday Calendar
* Cancellation Policy

* We are BUSY BUSY BUSY and booking up fast!
* But we're working on expanding to a new commercial facility in Mammoth, which should allow us to take more than our current 4-dog maximum for daycare.

* We're also hiring for Independent Contractors to work with us to provide dog walks.  I'd love to do them all myself, but I only have two arms and two legs, and your pups deserve more than I can do myself in one day!

* How to confirm service (Google Checkout)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Holiday Calendar & Cancellation Policy

First of all, I want to thank everyone for your support in the past two years.  And for trusting us with the care of your petsWe've got an email list of 250+ clients and growingI'm so proud to be able to do this work, and I'm amazed with the growth we've experienced in 2010.  The recession continues to sting, but for many the bite would be worse if they had to leave their pups at home when going on vacation to Mammoth.  Locals, I haven't forgotten you, either.  You help me make this work during the off-seasons!

Growing Pains

We're going through several changes, and this email is one of many to come to to let you know what's happening.

Last year, I loved how flexible my schedule could be.  I enjoyed being able to take last-minute reservations and to "pencil in" clients who were going to "see how they felt in the morning."  Unfortunately, with my current 4-dog max at my in-home daycare, and with the explosion of requests from new clients (I received six just this morning!), I simply cannot provide the flexibility of last year.

Because of the high demand this year, there's simply no way for me to guarantee a space for the pups without confirmation.  If we continue to work off the system of "I'll pencil you in on the 23rd and see what happens," for any clients who request daycare for the 23rd afterwards, I'd have to say "Nope, sorry" to them.  Since we're full already. 

And if you cancel last-minute, I could have helped out that other client!

I'm meeting with multiple potential Sitters and Walkers this Sunday to hire a few great people to help me.  More details to follow in a later "e-Newsletter".

What about the weather?

We all love Mammoth for this crazy snow we get ... and yet ... it can really disrupt our plans, too!  It's the nature of the beast, I suppose.  I understand the hesitancy to book specific days in advance.  What if the weather is horrible and we decide to leave town early, or just to stay indoors and keep our pets with us?

Below you'll find our cancellation policy.  We feel that it's fair, as we've tried to take into consideration circumstances such as weather that are out of your control. 

Standard Cancellation Refund: 10+ day notice: 100% / 2-9 day notice: 75% / 24-48 hour notice: 50%
Holiday Cancellation Refund: 25+ day notice: 100% / 10-24 day notice: 75% / 2-9 day notice: 50% / 24-48 hour notice: 30%

* I just added the holiday 24-hour notice refund.  So that's a change to your existing service contract.  :) 

Please check out the Holiday Calendar to the right!  Our holiday dates are pretty similar to the mountain's "blackout" dates.  You can click on any holiday to add it to your google calendar so that you're prepared.

OK, so how do I confirm service?

Remember having to pay cash last year?  :)  Yeah, it wasn't just a hassle for my clients.  Keeping accurate accounting records was quite a struggle for me.

So, this year, I've signed up with Google Checkout to process credit card payments online.  The procedure will be:

* You contact me and make a request.
* I check my calendar & letcha know if I'm available.
* If available, I email you with the total.
* Then I send a second email from Google Checkout with a link to take care of payment.
* Make sure to double-check the dates/times/services!
* Click on the link (if you're not signed up with google, you just have to do it once; they'll even save your info so you don't have to enter it in every time!)
* I'll send that wonderful Confirmation Email.  You're all set.

6 to 10 feet of snow this week.  Are You Ready?  Are You Coming?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Oliver Cowboy

Just a few walks for Oliver, and I have to say, I'm impressed!  We hadn't met before yesterday (which I would otherwise never do, but this booking was for a friend, so I took the rules and bended them a bit).  As I entered, O did his best to act the guard dog, but gave up within a few barks.  Fantastic.  I appreciate a pup who knows to alert of impending danger, and then wait to see if the situation is actually dangerous!

He did just as his owners suggested; give him a little food to go in, and he'd need something to go "out."  He pulls a bit on the leash, but I think that was mostly my fault, as with this head cold I've got, I had no energy to establish walk boundaries.  I had a few hints that O was a good walker in that when I did warn him with a "hey, Oliver?" he happily ran right back to me and performed a few turns for me.

Pups with short legs like pugs are great about getting untangled from the leash.  O just lifted his arm & shook a bit; Free!  :)

Today I decided to bring Bella along for the walk, and O practically peed his pants with excitement!  He couldn't resist her "perfume" and jumped all over her.  B loved it!  Sometimes she gets annoyed with hyper pups, but I think yesterday's 8-hr drive (to Reno & back) left her craving some time with a peppy friend. 

I admit, we didn't do much boundary-setting on the leash today, either.  But why would I squash the fun the those two were having?  Thanks for letting me take care of little O Cowboy for a few days!