On the weekend we went to a street fair near our neighbourhood. After we’d toured around for an hour or two, the kids and Mr. Fixit disappeared into a candy store. They were in there so long I wondered if it was one of those magic candy stores which are so popular in children’s novels. They must have been sucked into a vortex and transported to another dimension, or maybe Willy Wonka and the Oompa-Loompas were giving them a tour of the factory…but no, every time I looked through the window they were still there, looking at all the candy, jingling the change in their pockets. I had the dog with me so I couldn’t go in to the store, and I was starting to attract some attention, standing there on the sidewalk in the chill wind with a shivering miniature schnauzer-poodle mix in my hands, looking like the Little Match Girl. You know, if the Little Match Girl was almost forty years old, and she was holding a schnoodle instead of matches.
So the schnoodle and I decided to move on down the street a little ways, and we found a doggy boutique. The part of town where this street fair was being held is rather well-to-do, and it’s one of the few areas that could support a store like this. This is one of those stores that sells gourmet dog biscuits, and designer doggy rain jackets with the matching booties, and special diet dog foods made by elves from fresh wild unicorns. Think of anything a dog could possibly need. Now, think of the most expensive possible way to provide that need. Collar? How about adding some semi-precious jewels to that? Leash? Make it a special leash. Not just any old hunk of rope, oh no, give it a fancy clasp and make it out of some super-expensive nanotechnology material, and make it light up with little LED lights. NOW it’s something that might be for sale in this doggy boutique. It’s not a store where I, the Little Schnoodle Girl, normally shop, is what I’m saying. However, it was out of the wind and the dog could go inside without violating any public health regulations, so in we went.
Just inside the front door, there was a woman with a clipboard. “Would you like to enter our contest?” she asked. “You could win this gift basket….” Win? Free stuff? I’m there. I moved closer. Then I noticed her clipboard. She was writing down people’s names, sure, but also dog names and times. Things like, “Meeko – 30 seconds”. Huh? “The dog who sits and stays the longest wins the prize,” she explained.
I started to laugh. “Oh no,” I said. “Not this dog. He’s got too much energy to sit still for any length of time. And he’s not what you’d call a TRAINED dog.” I looked at my bad little dog fondly and started to move away. Quick as a flash, the woman with the clipboard pulled something out of her pocket and handed it to me.
It was her business card. She’s a dog trainer. I’m still laughing. I don’t know if she’s any good with dogs, but I think she is a marketing genius.