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[tweetmeme] This is a blog I wrote for Kristi Gustafson’s On The Edge Blog back in July when she was on vacation.

Blog Post by: Rose A. Winters

I don’t have children, so I consider my dog my child….

In 2007 my boyfriend Michael and I were at my realtor Terri and her husband Bob’s house and met their adorable little Chi-a-poo named Molly. We spent most of the evening playing with little Molly. Up until this point Michael always used the argument that little dogs weren’t manly and the long-haired ones should have a broom handle shoved up their butts and be used as mops. Just the idea I liked little dogs surprised many because I’m originally a Doberman gal…. By the end of the night Molly had Michael wrapped around her little paw.

A couple of months later when I was getting ready to close on my house Michael fessed up that he wanted to buy me a puppy as a surprise for my housewarming gift. I’m glad he told me because a pet is a life changing, long-term commitment. He told me he’d already been speaking to a breeder and there was a litter being born that week and we could pick her out soon. Since he’d already done so much work finding her I figured I’d at least check it out.

Isabella - 2 Weeks Old

It took me all of about 10 seconds to pick her out of the 5 in her litter and to know I’d love her forever! She looked like a tiny little guinea pig! To give you an idea of the demand – the pictures were posted online and in 8 minutes Isabella’s entire litter was spoken for. As the weeks passed until we could pick her up in Buffalo, KY, the breeder posted a new picture of her every week until she was 7 weeks old.

Isabella - The Day We Met

The first time I held Isabella it was love at first sight. We spent hours at the breeder’s house getting to know her and getting her to feel comfortable with us. We flew home with her and she became our daughter.

We feed her, dress her, cuddle with her, and give her the best care that we’re able to give. We chronicle her life like most parents chronicle their children’s lives. We measured her to track her height and weight. We wrote down the date when she lost her 1st tooth, and had her 1st haircut. We taught her all kinds of commands – sit, stay, down, paw, and roll over. She’s so well-behaved! She’s our little darling 🙂

Do you have a pet that you treat like a child?

Please comment and subscribe.

Click some of the links in the blog to see more pictures of Miss Isabella….
All Photos by Michael T. Henry except 2 week old picture courtesy of Sunset’s Toy Breed Puppies

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I haven’t posted rants on here in the past, but I had a situation happen last week that still annoys the hell out of me when I think about it.

I was visiting Colonie Center in Albany, NY.  I went to the customer service desk.  At this desk you can purchase lottery tickets, gift cards, and get general information about the mall.

In my experiences throughout my life I was led to believe that people at customer service desks should be courteous to the patrons of the business they’re working for.  I have worked with the public for years, and though I’d never say the words “the customer is always right” I do subscribe to the idea that you ALWAYS treat the customer with respect and you always say “Thank you.”

I approached the customer service desk.  I moved slightly to the side to fill out a form.  While I was doing this two additional customers walked up.  They were immediately assisted.  (She had a snotty attitude, but she answered their questions.)  While she was helping the second woman I finished up my form, and put my money with it on the counter.  It was quite obvious I was finished.  As she finished with the second, I incorrectly assumed she would move on to helping me.  She looked right at me and moved 3 feet to her right and started typing on her computer.  It was obvious she was playing on Farmville (or some similar online game) and logged out to proceed to log in to another website.  After about a minute, she walked back to the counter and took my form and money, processed it and laid my receipt on the counter.  While she was processing it, a security guard walked up to the counter and started shooting the breeze with her.  She commented to him that she needed to log into an online customer service training that she was required to complete.  At this point I picked up my receipt and I couldn’t resist commenting.  “Since you’re going to be taking your required customer service training, let’s pray that it teaches you to acknowledge your customers in front of you and how to say “Hello” and “Thank you” since you didn’t say a single word to me during my entire transaction.” As I was walking away she screamed after me “Thank you Ma’am, please come again.” In an extremely snotty tone.

When I told a friend of mine about the situation he immediately physically described the girl and knew exactly who I was talking about because he’s dealt with her in the past and agreed that she needs a serious attitude adjustment.

From now on – I’ll take my business of that sort to Crossgates.  They may not be a ray of sunshine over there, but at least they’ll acknowledge my presence…..

What kind of bad customer service have you had to deal with?
Do you still do business with the establishment?
If yes, explain why.

Customer Service Graphic from: http://www.whalecottage.com/blog/tag/whale-cottage-camps-bay/

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[tweetmeme]
Someone emailed me this around the 4th of July and the story really touched my heart.  Please read it and remember the sacrifices the members of our military make for us every day.

I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat.  It was going to be a long flight.  I’m glad I have a good book to read.  Perhaps I will get a short nap, I thought.

Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me.  I decided to start a conversation.

“Where are you headed?” I asked the soldier seated nearest to me.
“Petawawa. We’ll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we’re being deployed to Afghanistan.”

After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we reached the east, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time…

As I reached for my wallet, I overheard a soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch.  “No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. Probably wouldn’t be worth five bucks.  I’ll wait till we get to base.”

His friend agreed.

I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch.  I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty  dollar bill.   “Take a lunch to all those soldiers.”  She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly.  Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me.  “My son was a soldier in  Iraq; it’s almost like you are doing it for him.”

Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated.  She stopped at my seat and asked, “Which do you like best – beef or chicken?”
“Chicken,” I replied, wondering why she asked.  She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class.

“This is your thanks…”

After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room.
A man stopped me.  “I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this.”  He handed me twenty-five dollars.

Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand and said, “I want to shake your hand.”  Quickly unfastening my seat belt I stood and took the Captain’s hand.  With a booming voice he said, “I was a soldier and I was a military pilot.  Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot.”   I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.

Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs.  A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine.  He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.

When we landed I gathered my belongings and started to deplane.  Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word.  Another twenty-five dollars!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base.
I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars  “It will take you some time to reach the base…. It will be about time for a sandwich.
God Bless You.”

Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers.

As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return.  These soldiers were giving their all for our country….   I could only give them a couple of meals.    It seemed so little….

A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to ‘The United States of America ‘ for an amount of ‘up to and including my life.’

That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.

Prayer:

Lord, hold the troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need.   Amen.

Photo by Michael T. Henry Photography

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