Unfiltered Story #94385

, | Unfiltered | September 22, 2017

(I work in a popular pet store that sells all sorts. From dog food to fish and other small furry animals. We all have to have thorough training and sit tests before we’re even allowed to sell any animal in the store, so our knowledge is pretty good and we advise customers on any number of pet related things. A customer comes up to me who appears to be in her early twenties asking for advice on buying a rabbit. She says shes never had one before and wants to know everything she’d need for one. I give her a rabbit leaflet and take her around the store talking about the basics.)

Me: “What housing you’d need depends on where you’d be wanting to keep it. Would it be indoors or out?”
Customer: “People keep rabbits outside?! Thats terrible! It would definitely be in the house!”
Me: “No problem. These are the sorts of rabbit cages we have. The minimum size is this *points to a cage* but really the bigger the better. Its best to get the biggest cage that you can and make sure they’re getting out everyday for plenty of socialisation and exorcise.”
Customer: “Yeah thats fine. No one is in the house between 9am and 3pm though, is that ok?
Me: “Rabbits are really social animals. If they’re going to be alone for any length of time we really recommend getting two.”
Customer: “Oh well my dogs will be there to keep it company.”
Me: *A little surprised as I’ve been talking to her for about ten minutes now and this is the first time shes mentioned having dogs* “Dogs? I didn’t realise you have dogs?”
Customer: “Oh yeah, I was just in to buy puppy food today but I saw them and now I really want a rabbit! My dogs are great though, so friendly.”
Me: *Getting a little concerned now* “How many dogs do you have? Are they used to being around rabbits or other small animals such as cats?”
Customer: “I’ve got four dogs. One’s just a puppy but hes so well behaved. I’ve got a Husky, a German Shepard, and a terrier (can’t remember exactly what type of terrier she said). We’ve never had any other animals. But they’re all just so friendly!
Me: *thinking oh great, she has absolutely no clue and just wants to impulse buy a rabbit* If you’re dogs aren’t used to rabbits I really wouldn’t put them together at all, especially not unsupervised. Also, the rabbits we have here are just babies and not at all used to dogs so they’ll most likely be very frightened.”
Customer: “Oh but my dogs are so good! They’re really friendly! I’m sure they’ll all get on great. I can just leave the rabbit in the cage and let my dogs go sniff it and stuff”
Me: “But if they haven’t been socialised with rabbits or any other small furry animal when they’re young, most likely they’ll see a rabbit and just think dinner.”
Customer: “I’m sure they won’t. They’re just so friendly! And they can keep the rabbit company when I’m at work.”
Me: “Even if they are, the rabbit won’t know that. It’ll just see and smell the dogs and think they’re coming to eat it.”
(I know that they can successfully be kept together, but this woman knows absolutely nothing about rabbits. She hadn’t even touched a rabbit before today. She literally came in to buy dog food, saw the rabbit, and went ‘I want one’)
Me: “Why don’t you take a few days to think on it. You should go home and do some research online about rabbits, and about keeping them in the same house as dogs. We have some great books here with loads of information for beginners too. Buying a rabbit really isn’t a decision to take lightly, especially if you have dogs in the house.”
Customer: “Well I’ll go home tonight and think about it, but I’ve already decided that I want one. I’ll come in tomorrow for it”
Me: *now screaming internally* “You really should take some time to properly look in to what it means to own a rabbit. They’re a lot more work than a lot of people realise.”
Customer: “Oh no” *gives me a look like shes five years old and I’ve just told her Santa isn’t real* “Why are you trying to put me off?!”
Me: “I’m not trying to put you off, I’m just making sure you have all the information you need. My first concern is the welfare of the rabbit”
Customer: “Me too though! I wouldn’t want to do anything that could hurt it.”
Me: “Leaving it alone for six hours with four dogs when neither the dogs nor the rabbit are used to each other really isn’t a good idea though.”
Customer: “Well I could just keep it outside then. My dogs don’t go in the garden anyway”
(She told me five minutes ago that she thought keeping a rabbit outside is horrible, but ok)
Me: “As I said, rabbits are very social so keeping them outside by themselves all the time really isn’t a good idea. Also, with out climate, outdoor rabbits need to be taken inside over the winter too.”
Customer: “I know this sounds really selfish. I’m not selfish, honest! But I really want one. So I’m coming in tomorrow to get one.”
(She wanders off. I go up to my colleague who I know will be working tomorrow)
Me: “See that customer? If she comes back tomorrow, don’t sell her a rabbit.” *Explains what happened*
Colleague 1: *look on his face like he can’t believe the stupidity of some people* “Don’t worry, I’ll make sure no one sells her a rabbit. (Name) is the manager tomorrow so I’ll make sure he knows if she comes in too.”
(Not too long later a different colleague comes up to me looking exasperated.)
Colleague 2: “Oh my God, I’m done with customers for today. I can’t believe how stupid she was!”
(Colleague 1 and I realise its the same woman shes talking about.)
Me: “What did she do now?”
Colleague 2: “We were at dog leads, and she just asked me what the difference was between the five metre lead and the eight metre lead…”

(Moral of the story is, don’t impulse buy pets! Especially if its an animal you have zero experience with and know absolutely nothing about! I am so glad our store lets us refuse pets sales.)

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