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 Amazon.com 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!)
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.