Happy Tuesday morning, all! I wake up this morning, with several of my fur babies greeting me with wagging tails, heart-felt nudges or licks, and purrs…and I haven’t even seen the outside pets yet! For all of these greetings, I am so very thankful and so I step into this day with joy, peace, and hope. The temporary inconveniences of being out of our house, are just that, temporary inconveniences, nothing more, nothing less. A mentor of mine taught me, “things don’t happen to you, things happen for you”. I believe that and am thankful for all lessons and character building opportunities that are presenting themselves through this.

One of the lessons that I have learned, is to let people help me. I am a relatively strong person and tend to “handle” all things on my own. I jump in when others need me but haven’t always been that good at letting others do the same for me. I always felt like I was inconveniencing people or putting people out, even though I never felt that way when I help friends and family. I have learned to accept help from the many friends and family that want to help, such as: accepting furniture, enjoying meals made and delivered with love, letting neighbors lend helping hands with different projects that have popped up, etc.

The lesson that I want to really share this morning was a complete surprise: while we were walking through the burnt house, assessing the damage to the dwelling and the contents, I saw that the plastic containers that had housed our fur-babies foods had all melted. Some of them completely and some of them partially, but all of them enough for me to know better than to feed the food that was inside them to our furry friends. We also had a wooden cabinet that had about three cases of canned dog and cat food. The wooden cabinet didn’t “burn”, per say, but when we opened it, all of the cans inside were blackened. They were not bloated or busted open, but they had definitely been charcoaled. Along with the food containers and wooden cabinet, we also had four unopened bags of food that had not yet been poured into the containers. These bags were different kinds of food: one was for the adult dogs, one was for my puppy, one was for my princess cat, Esther, and one was for the outdoor cats. All of these bags were plastic and did not “look” melted. However, they had all been in the garage, near the plastic containers that did melt. So…what does this mean?

As you may or may not have figured out by now, I work in the organic superfood industry. I try to stay fairly educated on ingredients and safe handlings of foods and beverages. I have been taught that many plastics can release toxins or chemicals when they are heated up which is why they do not recommend leaving plastic bottles of water in your vehicles during the summer months. With this knowledge in my head, I was seriously questioning the integrity of the canned and bagged foods that seemed to be okay but…

So, I did the only thing I could think to do; I made a couple of phone calls. The first call I made was to Chewy.com. I have been ordering the bulk of my pet foods from them for a couple of years now. They have just about any brand you can possibly think of, from base line pet foods to organic pets foods, and everything in-between. Not only that, but on orders of $49, or more, they ship everything for free, and they ship it FedEx, which means I have it within two days. It is an absolutely amazing service that I have really grown to enjoy; no more lugging giant pet food bags out of the grocery store, throwing them in my car, and then unloading them. The concept is brilliant!

Anyway, I called Chewy.com to ask if they knew, or had any insight, as to what the integrity of the foods may be. The customer service representative that I got answered immediately, “Miss Tammy, I’m not sure if the food is safe to feed your fur-babies or not, so please don’t feed them any of it; I will send replacement orders of your last two shipments, at no charge”. What? He must have misunderstood. I wasn’t asking to get free stuff, I was just asking if they knew if the food was safe to feed. So, I repeated myself, reassuring “Travis” as to what my intentions were. His response, “Miss Tammy, I understand completely what your question is. I am so sorry for what you have gone through and I do not want you feeding your pets that food, which may or may not be compromised, so I am going to duplicate your last two orders, since you had different items in each of them, at no charge to you. Please throw away all of the food that you already received from us”. I tearfully thanked him, several times, and hung up the phone. Two days later, I received a bouquet of flowers…from Chewy.com, expressing their condolences.

Now, what most of you probably do not know about me is that I am a giant customer service snob. I have managed retail, restaurants, and owned my own restaurant, long enough to know that customer service must be taught. Sadly, it is something that very few businesses actually teach anymore, so good, much less excellent, customer service, is hit and miss. If I receive poor customer service, from the same company, more than two times in a row, I take my business elsewhere. There are simply too many options out there to have to be stuck dealing with someone who could care less about you or the business that you are giving them. The exceptional customer service that I received from Chewy, has earned a life-long customer. I understand that Chewy was recently bought by Petsmart and there are many people who do not want to support huge corporate conglomerations, which I understand, however, I have never received such truly caring and total customer service from anyone, and for that, they should be praised…regardless of their corporate ties. Someone, somewhere, in the organization, obviously trains their people to treat people with more than just common courtesy; they are taught to go above and beyond, and that, my friends, is a dying breed.

Many blessings to you and your four-legged-loved ~ Tammy


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