Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Kennel has been christened.

Actually, given the fact we invited people to bring their dogs to the Grand Opening, it was chritened quite a few times yesterday. Guess we really need those plastic fire hydrants that Sarah just ordered for us...

The Grand Opening went very well. We didn't exactly get a lot of sleep leading up to it, and not everything that we wanted done got done. Oh well. Like we never got our retail items displayed. We haven't gotten stands or pegboard on the office walls or anything. We were thinking about just laying things on tables and manually ringing them up since the database hadn't been written yet to handle retail sales... Ah, but we never got to it, and frankly we didn't really have time to be doing sales anyways. Oh, and we quickly ruled the house as off limits to any visitors since, well, it was a disaster area.

Afterall, it wasn't like we didn't have other important things to be doing... like printing out our brochures that somehow we had forgotten to create until the night before. Oh, and in the morning when I went to call Ginger to ask where something was -- we all call each other regularly both on the ranch and off -- but I got a lovely "this call has been redirected because of non-payment on the account." BUGGER. I had paid them, only it seems I paid them the January bill, not February. What disasterously concidental timing that was! So I had to get on the phone with Cingular to get that straightened out. Yeah, important things like making sure we can receive phone calls on the day of our grand opening.

The Chamber had advertised a ribbon cutting at 11:00 so we had quite a crowd between 11 through to about 12:30 or so. Both potential customers as well as other Chamber members.

Not as many dogs showed up as we thought, so several people got to take their dog out to the play yard and play with them off leash. Everyone was impressed with the play yard. (yea us!)

1:30 was pretty much our first lull. Just us and a few friends who were sticking around to chat, when David exclaimed... "Look whos coming up the drive!" It was my parents! They'd gotten up early and driven 8 hours from Albuquerque to come to the grand opening - as a surprise. I couldn't believe it. I was stressed out about getting ready for the event, nervous about socializing with a bunch of folks I don't know and whom I really wanted to impress, and tired... I promptly burst into tears.

Mom said someone asked if she really shouldn't have let us know they were coming, and she said "No - If we told her she'd only stress about having guests." Ha! She's my mom, and she knows me well. As it was at least the guest room did have linens on the bed, and they had no choice but to look past all the clutter that was the house (like the microwave oven that we have to walk around to get in and out the front door. Someday soon we'll carry that out to the Kennel.) So, it was the best of all worlds - It meant a great deal to me that they took the time to come up, and I didn't have to worry about their visit in the least! Thanks Mom and Dad - I love you!

Most the rest of the afternoon was a slow constant trickle of people - new customers and friends mostly. People who didn't have a clue as to what Doggie Daycare is. Even had the owner of a local daycare -- who has been in business for an astonishing 11 years! She really was on the cutting edge of this industry. She was coming to see our place. She doesn't do overnight boarding, and also has a waiting list of people looking for daycare, so she wanted to see if we would be a place she could refer people to. I'm not sure what the answer to that is, but she was very nice. Turns out she's high up with the Longmont Humane Society (director?) as well, so she had a lot of great suggestions for us about marketing, etc. David volunteered with LHS several years ago, and though hadn't worked with her directly they had many of the same contacts.

By the time 4:00 rolled around we were exhausted and thrilled. We packed our last set of friends off, cleaned up the food, and informed Mom and Dad that we would be sleeping for an hour before doing anything else. We didn't get to spend a lot of time with them, but we went out for a leisurely dinner and brunch - both of which seemed like a luxury to us. We then sent them on their way back to NM.

So.... now what?

Seriously, this has been nearly 3 years in coming: "Just get the kennel open" has been a mantra. But somehow I'm confident the 'now what' part will work itself out in the next few weeks.



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