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View Full Version : A Girl and her Basset


tjgray
11-17-2007, 05:01 PM
Steve you asked for the story...I hope you were ready to read a book http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

As a child growing up our family always had a house full of pets. Dogs, cats, turtles, ducks, fish, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, you name it we had them. I even remember having hermit crabs that we kept in our plastic swimming pool out back.

Even though I loved having all of our pets I also suffered with severe allergies and asthma caused by having them.

When I left home and got a place of my own I decided that as much as I loved pets my allergies were so severe that I just couldn't have them in my own home.

As the years passed I satisfied my yearning to have animals in my life with reptiles. I worked at the reptile department at our local zoo and had several snakes and lizards of my own.

Even though these scaly friends were a poor substitute I resigned myself to the fact that was all I was ever going to be able to be around.

Eventually my children put an end to my avoidance of any animals with fur with their continued pleas for a dog. I hated the looks of disappointment on their faces every time I would have to remind them that my allergies would not allow us to have a dog.

I just couldn't stand the thought of my illness causing my children to miss out on the joys of having a four legged friend and one year on my birthday I decided that we would go and get a dog.

We found Pugsly at our local shelter. I decided to choose him because I figured if the dog was going to make me sneeze and gasp for breath then gosh darn it we would get a dog that would snort and gasp for breath as well http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

The kids kept their promise for the most part and took total care of the dog and I pretty much kept him away from me. He wasn't allowed in my bedroom and the kids had to vacume everyday...but they had their dog, they were happy and life moved on.

Unfortunately as dogs often do Pugsly decided that he definitely favored our son. This lasted for about 3 years and then the arguments started. Every day I would hear "Mom...Donnie won't share the dog!"

I listened to this for about 2 years before I decided that if I ever found a basset or a dachshund that needed a home I would get them for my daughter.

I told my friend who owns a pet shop one day about my decision and an employee of hers overheard our conversation. He asked me if I was serious and this led to him bringing me the saddest, skinniest, looking basset hound I have ever laid eyes on.

His name was Billie Blue and he had spent his entire life outside with several other dogs with no real training, care, or affection. His owners had decided that they had too many dogs and that he was too much trouble for them to keep.

My heart just melted for this pitiful little guy and even though I had every intention of him being my daughters dog when we got him we found out he was sick with heartworms and had stomach problems. I spent so much of my time with him at the vets and getting him well that he ended up deciding he was my dog.

What I found out during all of the time that I cared for him is my allergies were not nearly as affected by him as they were with our pug. I don't know if my allergies just got more immune or if I just wanted so much to help this sweet boy but, my allergies didn't seem all that bad...

What I do know is that this goofy fur kid who was such a fighter and had such a loving a loyal disposition found a place in my heart. He was the first dog I allowed myself to get close to in over 10 years. I can not tell you the joy I felt the first time I put my face into his soft fur and my eyes didn't swell up with blisters, my skin didn't break out in hives...I almost wept with happiness.

I lost Billie Blue all too soon shortly after we had received a clean bill of health from the vet.

My children found a stray with a hurt leg one spring day in April 2005. They brought him home to see if they could fix him up. I was busy trying to get all the household chores done so that I could take Pugsly and Billie to their favorite place to go, the dog park. I yelled at the kids to leave the darn stray alone and come in and get started on their rooms. The did as they were told but let the stray in the house when they came in.

The darn dog was crazy running all over the house getting along pretty good on three legs if I should say so myself, leading us on a merry chase to get him back outside...

In all of the confusion no one noticed my sweet hound slipping out the open door.

He wasn't gone long before I realized he was missing but it was long enough. I found his lifeless body right beside the busy road outside of our neighborhood. Lifting his body from beside that road and carrying him the few blocks back to my house is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.

That night after returning from having my hound dog cremated at the vet’s office, I of course could not stop my tears. My husband gently explained that even though he knew I was upset, that my crying was keeping him awake and he reminded me that our lawn customers had to get taken care of despite how sad we might be. I obliged him and went to lay on the couch in the living room.

All was quite as I lay there when suddenly I heard a dog crying outside on the porch. For just a brief second I allowed myself to think that my Billie had come home. That this day had been a horrible dream but I knew it wasn't true...

I opened the door and there stood the darn ol stray...hopping around on three legs and looking up at me with pleading brown eyes. I couldn't just leave him out there to get run over too.

I didn't think we were going to keep the stray that obviously had been abused and had so many issues but as life would have it my daughter fell in love with him...and since my original intent had been to get a dog for my daughter the stray became Rebel and is still with us today http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Sooo my son had his Pugsly and my daughter had her Rebel and all should have been right with the world except for I had caught basset fever. I missed so much having a goofy hound around. I longed to bond with another and missed Billie Blue terribly.

My family surprised me that Mothers Day with the best present of all. An 8 pound ball of fur...all ears and paws that I named Hamilton Hound.

He is not 8 pounds anymore and he only gets called Hamilton when he is in trouble...today he is my handsome, hunka, Hami Bones houndie love and next to my children and my husband the love of my life.

We are pretty much inseperatable...at home he can be found lying beside my feet while I work or in my lap if I am watching tv. He goes out with me when we are out with the guys on route, we go to the dog park at least once a month, and he has more friends than I do.

I have met so many other really great folks that have bassets in our area though the dailydrool.com which is a basset forum I participate in often and we have met some wonderful people that work for our areas basset hound rescue NTBR. I donate money when I can and would love to one day foster but have always felt like I want to do more.

I see so many cases of animal cruelty and hear about so many animals that need help it just breaks my heart. If I could I would save them all...

That is why I am so excited about our recent decision to change our name. The new name Green Paws Lawn Care will allow me to combine my love of animals with our love of lawn and landscape. It will give me the means to help more animals in need which will satisfy me on a personal level as well as a business level.

I have so many marketing ideas swirling around in my head. Some of the things I have definately decided we will do...

-I want to feature a monthly pet that needs a forever home on our website and myspace.

-I want to donate a percent of our annual earnings *I haven't decided how much* to local rescue but I don't know which one. I would prefer to give to NTBR but then that's not going to go with my all animals theme...so I don't really know of many others. I thought about maybe our local SPCA but I don't know?? Anybody got any ideas on good rescues in the Dallas area that we could choose??

-I definately want to do a pet food drive every year about this time. I will ask our customers to each leave food for us to pick up when we come to do their lawns and will drop off at whatever rescue we have decided...??

-I definately want to figure out an organics program to offer to our pet loving customers...We did do some organics this year but not total. I would like to come up with a complete program.

-I also want to start doing pet waste removal. I think that’s a wonderful idea Steve and have already been considering it, but I am going to have to work a bit more to convince the guys of this

-I want to do a monthly bulletin about pet safety and lawn and landscape care.

-I want to have some t-shirts made and offer them for sale with the proceeds going to animal rescue...

-I still can't figure out which tag line we are going to use. I have thought up a few like... "For a lawn so beautiful you will want to howl about it." or "Sniffing out lawn problems so you don't have too." but I just can't decide on a good one yet. I am still kind of stuck on "Helping animals in need one lawn at a time" but I don't know...

If you have gotten this far I am appreciative and surprised, but I did warn it would be a book http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

For those of you that have though I would love to hear your feedback, thoughts, ideas...is there anything I have wrote about that you would do differently? I am thankful for any and all advice...

Steve
11-17-2007, 05:47 PM
Hi Tara,

WOW that was a fantastic story! You know this is the kind of story that should be on your business website in the section 'about us!' It is a very human story and very touching. It's a story like this that will make others want to reach out and talk with you and want you to service their lawn. This is your 'USP'.

Having trouble figuring out what makes your business different? (http://www.businessknowhow.com/marketing/usp.htm) - One of the keys to successful marketing is identifying what makes your business unique and letting everybody know about it. This helps your prospects to understand why they should buy from you rather than the “other guy”, and when used successfully makes you the obvious choice. This is often called a USP or Unique Selling Proposition.


For a slogan how about this.

"For a lawn that will win applause, call Green Paws."

You can play around with different words by using a site like this http://www.rhymezone.com

It helps you come up with words that rhyme.