Opening hours

Trevor Turner, B. Vet. Med., MRCVS

First published in April/May 2005 Edition

One of the biggest gripes I hear from kennel owners, no matter whether they are involved in breeding or boarding kennels, is the lack of consideration they receive from clients in respect of advertised opening hours.

Do you have this problem?

“Oh, this is Mrs May speaking, Penny is due in today for her fortnight¹s holiday with you while we go away. I know you are closed on a Sunday afternoon but I wonder if I could ask a great favour. I have so much to do going away tomorrow morning and all that and I just wondered if I could bring her in about 5 this evening. Would that be at all possible?”

Mrs May is a regular and good customer so you reluctantly agree, abandoning that fanciful idea that you could perhaps sit in the sun for a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon and do your VAT returns. You console yourself with the thought that at least Mrs May, unlike some customers, doesn¹t want to come just when you are sitting down for the first proper meal of the day as happens with some that you know.
You wait. Five o’clock comes and goes. Oh, well, it is a sunny summer Sunday afternoon and there is a lot of traffic. Perhaps this has delayed Mrs May. By the time it gets to six you decide you had better give her a ring to find out if she really is intending to come.

The telephone is answered immediately, profuse apologies. Oh, yes, she did leave and then found the traffic was so bad that she returned and was waiting to see if it got any better and then would give you a ring to see if you could just take Penny in a bit later.

Mrs May is clearly perceptive and realises from the tone of your voice that her suggestion has fallen on stony ground. Positive to the last she then asks if she can drop Penny off on the way past to the airport in the morning, at about 6.45 a.m.

“I know you start very early because a friend of mine who lives near you tells me that she hears the dogs when you start working in the kennels at about 6.30.”

Thanks, Mrs May!

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