A few months ago, a customer came to me with dog food questions. Itchy skin, chronic ear infections and overall discomfort were making her dog miserable. After discussing the current food she was feeding, I made some suggestions and sent her home with a free bag of food to try. When she returned a few weeks later, there had been some improvement, but I explained that it can take longer for the skin to calm down and the toxins to leave the system. We added some fish oils to the diet and a medicated shampoo to apply weekly to help remove dead skin and yeast. One large bag of food later, and following my suggestions, her dog was thriving! I LOVE it when what we suggest works!!
Fast forward to yesterday. Same customer comes in and picks up some treats for her pup. I ask if she also needs food, and she replies, "I can actually get it cheaper online, but I appreciate everything you've done."
So, I live in this world. I know people buy everything from toilet paper to computers to dog food online, but I have to speak my heart. Behind 47 years of pet care in this building there are families. My family, my groomers' families, my daycare families and my front room families. I also understand that there are families behind the warehouse workers somewhere else, in some other state, that depend on online sales of dog food, but they are not the people that love these pets. They are not the staff that watches over these pets. They are not us. Their kids are not in the local schools. They are not sending their kids to the local daycare, or eating at local restaurants. Their parents don't go to the local salons, and they don't frequent any local businesses whatsoever. We do.
When you make a decision to buy something, I simply ask you to consider the community. Small businesses are closing up at an alarming rate all over the country, and much of that's business has gone online. Another large chunk has gone to huge box stores where you might save a buck, although we are often LESS expensive than PetCo and PetSmart, but there is no knowledge, no education, and no connectivity to you and certainly not to the your pet. Small, independent business still builds the character of small towns and they still feed the community tax base. Call me crazy, but I still shop smaller, local businesses whenever and wherever possible because I want to support families. I know I might find a better 'deal' but I also know how my heart breaks every time I see a small business roll up their welcome mat and shut the lights off for the last time.
Business at The Village Groomer is strong, don't get me wrong, but every time someone decides to go online, the fiber of the local business and the strength of the local community dies just a little bit. This life and this world we live in is about more than the almighty dollar. It's about families, and communities, and kids, and familiar places to go to be taken care of and be appreciated. We appreciate you all and your business, as do the other family-owned shops and services in the Walpole area. Some of us have been here for 2 and 3 generations. If we lose that fabric in our communities, so much more than a store is gone.
Please, shop local when you can. Support local business. Support local families. Keep money IN our communities where the taxes are useful to US. And, lastly, don't tell us you found it cheaper online. We know what is happening and we work everyday, every minute to keep you coming back. We like to think we still make a difference. We love. You can't get that online.