On Leash Trails Can Be Awesome

On leash trails can be awesome! Only if everyone respects the by-laws though.

We had a run-in with the same woman who I wrote about before. Click here for a recap.

Only this time really rubbed us the wrong way.

As we were visiting the creek bed I hear scampering just a few metres away from the bushes. I assumed correctly that it was going to be some off-leash dogs. This wouldn’t

Dog Leash walking

Nik manages to handle these four dogs on leash at our favourite trail.

really bug me except for the fact that the woman who owns these two German Shepherds has literally no voice control over them. The younger of the two shepherds approach my dog very assertively and went nose to nose with him. Joanne had Vegas on leash and I had my son Miles on my back in a baby backpack and I had one of our boarding guests “Charlie” on leash with me. I shouted up to the woman who was probably 20 metres away, “Please call your dogs off they are making my dogs uncomfortable”.

She tried…. but failed.She was still out of sight from the dogs and therefore had virtually no shot of being able to actually help.

The younger of the two dogs tried to mount Vegas, who as I mentioned earlier was on leash and unable to run from this situation, thus creating a very dangerous circumstance. A fight occurred and Joanne and I  both had to break it up. Still, there was no physical sign of the owner as she was too far away to get there in time.

What occurred next surprised and upset me.

Joanne mentioned to the woman “Please keep your dogs on-leash, this is a leash only trail.”

The woman shouted back bitterly “I will NOT! ”

I assume that this upset Joanne, and I let her address the woman. I simply observed the interaction.

Joanne replied, “We take our dogs here with our son because it’s a leash only trail. That’s why we come here.”

The woman, again very angry and bitter yelled this time “EVERYBODY let’s their dog off-leash. EVERYBODY does! I have lived in this area for 20 years and you JUST moved in a year ago. You can’t change the rules! I will not stop taking my dogs here off-leash!”

Now, here are a few important facts:

#1 She owns two dogs, both of which are under the age of 7 years old.

#2 The park is less than 8 years old.

#3 We take the trail a few times a week and she is the only person who we’ve witnessed letting their dogs run-free.

#4 Although the woman lives a mere 10 minute walk from the trail she chooses to drive them to the park because she cannot handle being pulled or tugged on leash. She cannot walk them off-leash either in public because as I have mentioned, she has literally no control over the two dogs.

The back and forth did last for some time and I couldn’t quote it all because it was repetitive. Joanne soon realised that it was like speaking with a brick wall and not even worth her time.

The woman began to curse under her breath  and tell us off as she left.

 

So here are my questions that I pose to you all out in Dharma Land:

Does it matter if she’s lived in the neighbourhood longer than us? Should that allow her to treat us and the rules differently?

Do you respect leash only signs? If not, do you understand why they’re important to follow?

How do we go about dealing with this situation? Do we call a by-law officer? After all my dog was bitten while he was on leash and her dogs were not.

I was going to use today’s blog as a resource for you all to really understand the importance of respecting on-leash or off-leash parks. However, I already wrote that joanne and Mileblog over a year ago it seems. The fact this is the same woman and it’s been a year shows a complete lack of respect for others and a selfishness that I do not admire. Are we so entitled as dog owners that we don’t actually care anymore that our behaviour or our dog’s behaviour might be affecting others?

I was very proud of Joanne for letting the woman know that her behaviour was affecting us negatively and we would no longer take the harassment.

So please understand that a rule that may inconvenience you ever so slightly may be helping many others.

Thanks for reading,

 

Nik

 

 

 

A Complaint is Music to my Ears

Many times I hear about service complaints at this place or that. I’ve read reviews on-line, through social media, or heard them through word of mouth.

As a business owner I LOVE hearing a complaint from my customers. Why? Because I learn from them!

As a young dude growing up I would often get into trouble. A lot of trouble. I pushed boundaries, broke rules, probably broke the law on occasion. But I learned from those mistakes. I make an effort to avoid repeating the mistakes as often as possible.

It was easy to learn from my mistakes growing up because I would face the consequences directly. They weren’t hidden from me. I would often see the end result of some of my boneheaded ideas.

As a business owner, it is slightly different. I know our shop makes mistakes, and when I catch those mistakes we adjust our protocols and fix them. We make adjustments accordingly and make a very strong effort to avoid repeating them. It helps us leave work knowing that we’ve given the day our very best effort.

When I find out about a customer being unhappy or dissatisfied with the service I make the same effort to listen to the reason and make adjustments to prevent the issue. If a customer is dissatisfied however, and doesn’t let us know, we wont adjust. The end result is not so good for my little Mom and Pop shop.

Dharma Dog Services

Dharma Dog Services loves happy customers!

We probably won’t see the customer again, and they will likely make an effort to prevent others from trying our shop out! 🙁

Here are some tips to ensure satisfaction no matter which business you go to:

1. Ask to speak to the manager. Don’t be afraid, or embarrassed, let them know you were dissatisfied with the service, or product. Chances are they will be empathetic, and understanding as most businesses strive to achieve a certain standard.

2. Choose your language carefully. I heard a saying before that will help you immensely! “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”  Although you may be extremely upset, try not to be mean. If you’re feeling too angry or overwhelmed try to cool down before addressing the issue with the Manager. They’re a conduit to a solution for you. Try to work with them as a team. Don’t be a pushover but definitely make an effort to communicating your problem or needs versus simply being upset.

3.Give them a chance to fix it. Most problems are fairly small, and if they are a complaint about quality, then it’s definitely in your best interest to let the shop know. Chances are you will be heard, and worked with.

4. If your complaint isn’t being respected, or heard, escalate! If you don’t feel that the owner has given your situation the ol’ college try perhaps it’s time to report the business. or, simply never attend again.

 

Well, here’s hoping that I hear your complaint 😉

 

Nik

 

 

Vancouver off leash dog parks

Here are a few awesome off-leash dog parks in Vancouver that you might want to check out!

Vancouver truly offers some of the most beautiful off leash dog parks around. They are abundant!

 

 

Now, before I give you the list you must promise me to be an attentive owner and always pick up after your dog! 😉 No cell phones unless your dog is on-leash!

 

There are many awesome parks in Vancouver, but I’ve chosen to list only the few that are near South Van for now. I will post a downtown Vancouver edition soon!

Please be advised that rules and boundaries do change and it’s best to respected any posted signs in the area.

Here is a complete map of ALL of the off-leash dog parks in Vancouver

Off-leash dog park Vancouver

This is one of Dharma Dog’s favourite places to go play!

 

 

Everett Crowley Park

 

Address: 8200 Kerr Street, Vancouver, on the inner trails

 

Rules:

Off-leash times are all day, all year round.

 

Fraser River Park

Address:

8705 Angus Drive, Vancouver, at West 75th Avenue

 

Rules:

The west side is off-leash all day, all year round. The east side is off-leash all day between October 1st to April 30th; and on-leash from May 1st to September 30th. The river bank area is on-leash only at all times.

 

Fraserview Golf Course Park

 

Address: 8101 Kerr Street; boundaries are from Rosemont Avenue on the north to Kerr Street on the east and from Vivian Drive on the west

 

Rules:

Off-leash times are from 5am to 10am and from 5pm to 10pm all year round.

 

 

 

George Park

 

Address: 500 East 63rd Avenue, west of St. George Street

 

Rules:

Dogs are not allowed within 15 metres of the playground. Off-leash times are from 6am to 10am and from 5pm to 10pm all year round.

 

 John Henry (Trout Lake) Park

 

Address: 3300 Victoria Drive; boundaries are from the north end of the lake, the ball field on the west, the football field on the east, and the lake to the south

Rules:

Dogs can access the water here. Off-leash times are from 5am to 10pm all year round.

 

 

 

Jones Park

 

Address: 5350 Commercial Street

 

Rules:

Dogs are not allowed within 15 metres of the playground. Off-leash times are from 5am to 10am and from 5pm to 10pm all year round.

 

 

 

Killarney Park

 

Address: 6205 Kerr Street; boundaries are from the west side of the park between East 46 th Avenue on the north and East 48th Avenue on the south, Raleigh Street to the west and the walkway along the east at the parking lot

 

Rules:

Off-leash times are Labour Day to June 14th from 5am to 10am and from 5pm to 10pm; and June 15th to Labour Day from 5am to 10pm.

 

 

 

Kingcrest Park

Address: 4150 Knight Street; boundaries are between East 27th Avenue on the south, East King Edward Avenue on the north, and Dumfries Street on the east

 

Rules:

Off-leash times are from 5am to 10am and from 5pm to 10pm all year round.

 

 

Dogs are not allowed on the playground side of the park. Off-leash times are from 6am to 10pm all year round.

 

 

 

Musqueam Park

 

Address: 4000 SW Marine Drive at Crown Street

 

Rules:

Off-leash times are from 6am to 10pm all year round.

 

 

Nat Bailey Stadium Park

Address: 4601 Ontario Street, one block north of East 33rd Avenue on the west side of Ontario Street

Rules:

Off-leash times are from 6am to 10pm all year round.

 

 

 Oak Meadow Park

 

Address: 899 West 37th Avenue at Oak Street

 

Rules:

Off-leash times are from 6am to 10pm all year round.

Queen Elizabeth Park

 

Address: 4600 Cambie Street, off East 37th Avenue and Columbia Street

Rules:

Off-leash times are from 6am to 10pm all year round.

 

 

 

Sunset Park

 

Address: 300 East 53rd Avenue at Prince Edward Street

 

Rules:

Off-leash times are from 6am to 10pm all year round.

 

Tecumseh Park

 

Address: 1751 East 45th Avenue

Rules:

Dogs are not allowed within 15 metres of the playground. Off-leash times are from 5am to 10am and from 5pm to 10pm all year round.

Check out this map of ALL of the off leash dog parks in Vancouver:

 

 

Why We Love the Dog Industry

family

Okay, two blogs in one week! Either I’m feeling productive or our shop is slow. Well it was definitely  a busy day so I guess I have the caffeine pumping.

I open the doors here at Dharma Dog at 7:45am. Usually half asleep and coffee in hand I’ll put out our sandwich board facing 57th Avenue, turn on the lights and neon open sign, and finally  get ready for the day ahead of me.

The job may appear fairly simple to the naked eye; you get to play with dogs all day! Not quite. As my clients already know we offer dog daycare, dog grooming, and boarding services. Our clients entrust us with one of if not their most prized and loved companions. It’s a huge responsibility.

Although the job isn’t simple, our goal at Dharma Dog is. We want to create a welcoming environment, built on the foundation of quality service, top grooming skills, and trust.

It’s funny, as I’m sure many companies will list their philosophy in order to attract new clients and perhaps many truly mean what they say. I can only speak for ourselves, and we really truly want all of our customers to be happy with their experience at Dharma Dog.

When a client is unhappy with our service we really take it to heart. I guess that happens when you’re giving it all you’ve got. I’ve actually lost sleep when a client has been unsatisfied because I literally tried everything to appease the situation. Luckily we resolved the issue and it all came down to a miscommunication… isn’t that often the case?

Now, on the flip side of things, you wouldn’t believe how genuinely happy we are when a client leaves satisfied! There are many high fives behind the scene after a client’s left our premises because they gave us a compliment or left with a smile on their face.

We love getting to know everyone and their dogs. Not only is it essential to get to know and understand each dog and their individual personality in order to create as peaceful a daycare environment as possible, but it is also a pleasure to watch dogs develop socially. We often will see dogs who are initially timid quickly develop into fun-loving playful trouble makers 😉

We love seeing our customers walk away after learning something new about their dog, or learning a new health tip. It feels great being able to really help someone out. Oh yea, I am always available for advice during business hours 🙂

Throughout the work day I am a host, a receptionist, a janitor (ewww), an accountant, a marketing executive, a dog behaviourist, a handy man, a computer technician, a sales rep, a scheduling coordinator, a manager, a troubleshooter, a friend, and ally, a sounding board, and a dog chew toy! I’m sure that I left some of the duties out.

The dogs’ owners will stagger in at the end of their individual work days between 2:00pm and 6:45pm and one by one I’ll say hello and goodbye. After all of this, I begin my breakdown of the shop. Sandwich board in. Shop vacuumed, floors cleaned and disinfected, cash out and counted, and finally turn off all of the electronics.

I will usually do a quality check after all of these stages and if everything looks good I can turn off all of the lights and lock up.

As soon as the door is locked I leave the Dharma Dog world behind me and put on my husband and dad hat.

It’s a long day at our little shop, but I always leave happy. Just not as happy as when I get home to see my wife Joanne and son Miles 😉