Bad News Bears

Flea? We ain't got no stinkin' fleas!

Flea? We ain't got no stinkin' fleas!

It’s finally happened…MoJo’s Backyard got a bad review. You know that helpful little feature on Google that gives you a list and a map of local businesses when you search for a service in your city? Well, that’s where our reviewer has posted her comment. For the whole world to see. Our own scarlet letter. Search “dog daycare tallahassee” or “dog boarding tallahassee” and MoJo’s Backyard is almost always in the top ten. Now we’re in the top ten followed by a two-star rating proclaiming that we have a flea infestation!

I guess it could be worse; it could be a one-star rating. Or a review about a dog bite or scratch (hey, it happens even though we take all the precautions. We are dealing with dogs here…). And after 4 years of business, we’re likely to get some sort of publicity be it good or bad. Is that old adage true? Even bad publicity is good publicity? Does this mean that we’re doing something right to be in business long enough to provoke such emotions and actions from people? Or am I a hopeless optimist looking for a silver lining on an impossibly bleak cloud?

Honestly, I am not opposed to people having opinions and sharing them; I’m a huge fan of reviews and usually let them guide me in my choice of electronics, editions of books, recordings and sometimes food! But what really does bother me is that this is our only review. So when someone from, say, Tampa is coming to Tallahassee and wants to find a place for their dogs to stay while they’re showing their daughter around FSU’s campus, what will they read about us? That we’re overpriced, unaccommodating and infested. I fully credit people with being able to make up their own minds even in the presence of this stain but there is no opposing viewpoint! What about Nestlee, who when not feeling well got to stay in the office and was hand-fed chicken broth that we bought specially for him? Or Jonesy, who plays with the dogs until he gets tired and then gets to sleep on a cushy bed in the office until his mom comes in the afternoon? Or Coco who didn’t even get to play with the other dogs because we all took turns carrying her around and loving her? What about Layla and Paddy whose parents took long trips overseas and received progress reports, pictures and videos from us so they wouldn’t worry? Who gets to read about these dogs or the dogs that come every single day and have become family to us? Not to mention that some facts of this reviewer are untrue (though I’ll spare you the details).

So I contacted the mom and wrote her at length about how sorry we were about the fleas. And how after her first account to us about the single flea, we scoured the building to find the source of the problem. Because even though we may work with dogs and this happens from time to time, once we’re notified of the problem, we do remedy it. She contacted me in return thanking me for the concern and saying that the problem was long taken care of. Also that there was no actual need to board her dog anywhere in the future because friends usually take her when they do have to travel. So at least there’s that. There were things left unsaid but as a business manager I have to pick and choose my politically correct language and I don’t mind that at all. I’m diplomatic and try to evoke the peaceful and understanding ways of the Buddhists. But I’ve lost plenty of sleep and peace of mind worrying about the review and how it will affect business. Because I am an avid googler (I love that word!) and if I were ignorant about dog daycares in the Tallahassee area, I would certainly think twice about taking my dogs somewhere where he could get fleas, yuck!

In order to make myself feel better, I’ve been partaking in what my mom calls Retail Therapy. I’ve bought a book, had several meals out, gone to the movies (Julie & Julia was fabulous, by the way) and am looking at Flip cameras so that MoJo’s can have lots more of those fun videos for our YouTube Channel. I usually try to be a thrifty and picky spender (mostly because of my hippieness and feelings about carbon footprints) but this week has been an incredible exception. Sorry trees, fishies and gorillas, but sometimes you just really need your therapy, whatever it may be. (Plus, it helps the economy. There’s that optimist!)

Sometimes an itch is just an itch.

Sometimes an itch is just an itch.

Update on fleas: Yes! MoJo’s is flea-free.
Occasionally we will get a dog with a few stowaways but we know how to check for and handle those varmints. Capstar is a great product that is given orally, has no side effects and is safe to use with other medications. It kills all adult fleas within 30 mins to an hour. We always keep this little miracle pill on hand. It’s only drawback: it will not prevent future invaders. You must use Capstar with a flea preventative of your choice (conventional or natural). A lot of people in Tallahassee (and I venture to guess, in the whole South) are finding that their once foolproof topical preventatives are not doing their job. I’ve heard from many clients that alternating between brands will keep fleas from building a resistance to the treatments (buy one box each of either Frontline, Advantix or Advantage and switch between chosen brands every month). Others who have tried this method and still not succeeded have found relief in the oral medication Comfortis which works from the inside out for 30 days and is comparable in price to the older, topical brands. The drawback: you must have a prescription from your vet for this one.


About Megan

I live and work with dogs in Tallahassee, Fl. My loves are in this order: 1. Dogs 2. Food 3. Coffee 4. Endurance Sports
This entry was posted in Daycare Days and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Bad News Bears

  1. I have found that no matter what or how good a product is, there is always someone who finds something wrong. You can go to Amazon and find 100 great reviews but then there is that 1 person who has everything negative to say. I think these people are just negative and always see the glass as half empty.

    Instead of standing up and dealing with the problem head on by bringing it up to the proper people they will hide behind an anonymous public review.

    Don’t sweat it. We know how much the dogs are loved at Mojos and that is what counts.


  2. Brody and Pepper's Moms says:

    Just wanted to publically let you know that we have never had a problem with fleas / ticks / disease at Mojo’s –and the boys are there basically every Thursday as well as the occasional overnight. Then again, as good dog parents, we take responsibility ourselves for our boys and fleas in the Florida summers with baths, combing, Advantix, etc etc.

    As I have said many times, being a former abused animal, Brody won’t go anywhere where he’s had a bad experience and he’s first to get out of the car and head toward’s your door!

    Thanks for all you do!

  3. Fran Gilbert says:

    Well, I can certainly attest to the wonderfullness of Mojo’s! My Toby LOVES it at MoJo’s and I LOVE all the folks at Mojo’s!

    I know my baby is in good hands at Mojo’s and that they treat him with all the love and care that I do.

    I’m sorry you received a negative review–I will be happy to write a review about my experiences with MoJos. Just let me know how to get to review site.

    Mojo’s rocks!!!!!!

  4. Poppi's parents says:

    As new puppy parents, it is a constant struggle to keep Poppi flea-free, but he loves his visits to Mojo’s!

    Chris and Lisa

  5. Diane Cuccio says:

    We agree — MoJo’s rocks. Jasper loves MoJo’s and eagerly climbs over the backseat to get to Miss Stacey on Sunday mornings. Once inside he tries to open the inside gate and get right to the doggie party inh the back.

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