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perhaps the best client i’ve ever had

I was dreading the moment when Mona Chica’s parents would come to collect their other fantabulous pooches. Two others, to be exact. If you read my post, she died in my arms last night, you know we’ve had a really rough week. Since Mona Chica passed, we’ve been dealing with the emotions of it all. It’s rough. Not just for me, but for my whole family. And since then, we’ve been caring for Mona Chica’s older brother and sister.

Until today.

As a professional pet sitter…I’m thinking that’s now an oxymoron. Because there is nothing professional about crying on the phone when you tell your client that their pet has passed. The professional part was that I downgraded from all-out bawling, which I reserved for my family. But, then, a week later (they were on a cruise, don’t judge)–today–when they came to collect their other animals, once they started to cry, so did I. And we hugged, which is also not considered professional in the professional sense. Mona Chica’s mom remembered that Campbell (my 4-year-old daughter) was over the moon to take care of a Chihuahua, her dream doggie. So she brought this for Cam:

20131008-200422.jpgUnbelievable, right?

Let me break it down for you if you haven’t heard: I was taking care of these dogs for the first time. Though the clients knew their Chihuahua was sick, they didn’t know how sick. Mona Chica’s death, though not unexpected, was shocking. Then, when returning from their stay away, immediately after dealing with her beloved’s remains, upon collecting their other dogs, they presented my daughter with a toy Chihuahua (Mona Chica look-alike), simply because they knew Campbell had been excited to help me care for Mona Chica.

I think these brand-new clients touched something in me, and in Campbell, that we didn’t realize before, and probably won’t fully realize for some time. I didn’t think as much about my own daughter’s feelings of failure as I did about my own, the professional pet sitter, or as I did about my clients, who had suffered the ultimate loss. Sure, our family went through the emotions of loss and talked it out, but I never even conceived that my girl might feel a bit of failure that the dog who she most likely felt ultimately responsible for died in our care.

We now have a new Mona Chica in our lives. And though she can’t truly compete with the original Mona Chica, she’s something special, and she lets my daughter–and me–know that we’re something special. And that we did the best we could. And that loss sometimes just happens anyway.

9 Comments on “perhaps the best client i’ve ever had”

  1. At least Mona Chica’s owners were so understanding about it!
    Yes, you were a professional to cry with them. You’re a pet sitter, not a cop. 😉

  2. BoingyDog says:

    I’m speechless. What a touching gesture.

  3. What a beautiful gesture. Reading that gave me a little lump in my throat. It’s not unprofessional to cry, my vet cried with me after we had to put a very special piggy she had been helping me care for, for a long time, to sleep. And for some reason, I needed that. Needed to know that I wasn’t the only one feeling the loss of a beloved pet.

    ~ Amy

  4. I had already read your other post about Mona Chica, and I am thoroughly touched reading about her owners’ gesture. I can only imagine how some people might have reacted to the whole situation, and these people are at the far end of the spectrum of grace. They were understanding, even gracious that you were with Mona Chica at the time of her passing; and on top of that had the insight to realize that it might be weighing especially heavy on your daughter.
    Best clients ever? Yes. And clearly just really, really wonderful people.

    • well minded says:

      Thanks for all of your support, Pam, and thanks for keeping up with us. They had more insight about my daughter than I did! All I can call this whole thing is an “experience.” Heart-wrenching, educational, insightful…I like to think something positive comes out of everything negative.

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