“What I Love Most About My Business”
I’ve been asked a lot this week “What do you like the best about working at Canine To Five?” This is always changing over the last 16 years, but for the last year or two, it has remained constant. It’s the people.
I don’t think when I opened the business I thought much about the relationships that I would build with people. I think I was only thinking about the dogs, and how to tactically build the business. And even in that first year, when I would spend hours at the front desk chatting with customers, I do not think I grasped how long these relationships would last, or how much they would mean to me.
Now, almost 2 decades in to running Canine To Five, I have fully grown to love and appreciate the relationships with both the clients and the employees. Here’s why.
It has been a long, tough road learning how to be a good boss. In a lot of ways, I really sucked at it for the first several years. But for the people who stuck by me, and tolerated my developing management style, those people have become like family. I write grad school recommendation letters for them. I watch as they get married, have babies, and go on to create awesome lives. Some stick with Canine To Five for years, and they truly become my family. Like a cross between my siblings, my kids, my friends and co-workers. Watching them grow into managers, watching them move into their first homes, watching them learn more and more about dogs, and just life, is pretty special. I am so grateful to have had so many employees over the years that I can call my friends.
I did not grasp the longevity of the relationships I would have with the clients when I opened. But, if you think about it, the average dog lives 10-13 years. Doggie daycare and grooming is a repeat business. When you see the same people 1-5 times a week for many years, you start to get to know them. I’ve gotten to watch clients get a puppy, graduate from college, start their dream job, find their dream mate, marry them, then have kids – from such a unique perspective. I am the lady who cares for their beloved pet while they go about their lives, and they know me and my team will do a great job, so they love and trust us back, open up, and share their lives with us. It’s like I am a god-mother, or auntie, to hundreds of dogs in the metro Detroit area, and I am here for it.
I look at our client list a ton these days, and since it prints with the oldest date at the top, I see my very first clients’ names frequently. The thing that makes my heart swell with love each time, is that I still am in touch, in some way, with almost all of them. Many of them still bring their dogs to us – not the original dog in most cases, but after all these years, they still think of Canine To Five when they want quality pet care and that’s the most I could ever want for my business.