Choosing a business | Pet Sitting | Durham, NC

As a small business owner, I am picky about choosing a company to work with.  Last week though, I was in a hurry and tired, and I fell for a scam company.  Googling, I scrolled down and simply chose a company that appeared local.  The company then turned out to be a predatory online business that takes advantage of consumers, uses deceptive pricing tactics, and bullies unhappy customers.  It was a good reminder that not all businesses are committed to ethical practice.  I’d like to share some tips on how to choose a company to work with.

  1. Think local.  While there are local businesses that fall on the spectrum, local companies have less marketing dollars and know how, and often survive with word of mouth through happy customers.  It’s also great to support a community business.
  2. Check reviews.  Sites like Google, Yelp, and Thumbtack allow customers to leave reviews.  These days, companies can hire blackhat SEO companies to write reviews, so don’t rely on reviews alone.  However, it can be helpful to see what customers are saying.  Are they over the top happy?  Do the reviews sound generic, or are there details that sound like a real customer?  If there were negative reviews, did the company respond and make things right?
  3. Check the BBB.  The Better Business Bureau has been looking after consumers for a long time.  They help customers resolve disputes and track whether companies are committed to customer satisfaction.
  4. Ask Questions.  Don’t be afraid to ask a business questions!  Many of my prospective clients feel they need to be apologetic if they ask questions about my business.  You should absolutely ask the company about relevant hiring practices, insurance, or about references.  A company that dodges your questions or doesn’t answer them fully is not a company you want to hire.

I hope these tips are helpful the next time you choose a business!  Let’s all work to encourage businesses to use good business practices instead of simply being good at search engine optimization.  Savvy consumers help great businesses blossom, and put the hurt on bad businesses with deceptive practices.

Bones Pet Care
Durham, NC



Unusual Friendship | Bones Pet Care | Durham, NC

One night a few years ago I was out pet sitting and I had two pugs out on a walk.  I looked over and saw the most unusual sight.  There was a domestic rabbit, white stripe down the face with white feet, sitting a few yards away.  She didn’t move to run away even though the dogs were right there.  I immediately put the dogs back for a minute so I could try and figure out what to do.  I thought for sure the rabbit would run, but I had to at least try to rescue her.  She looked very small and I didn’t think she could survive long on her own.

I walked right up to her and picked her up.  I was really surprised!  She seemed totally fine with it though, and I carried her around for a few minutes trying to figure out what to do.  I had a carrier in my car, so I pulled it out and placed her gently in the carrier.  I finished up my pet sit wondering what the heck I was going to do with a rabbit.  She came home with me that night, and I kept her in the bathroom with a litter box, food, and water.  Meanwhile, I read everything I could read about rabbits.  We called Carolina Pet Rescue in the morning, and we agreed to foster her while we looked for a placement.

Well, by the time we had her spayed a week later, we were already head over heels in love but we were very nervous about how our cats would react to a rabbit.  We finally got brave and decided to introduce them carefully.  Watch Lulu meet her new best friend, Billie, for the first time.  They are still friends to this day, and in fact Lulu seems to think she is a cat.  She is litter box trained and gets her lettuce and fruit every night when the cats get their wet food.  She brings a lot of joy to our life, but Billie is still convinced Lulu is her bunny.