6/30/2010: UPDATE - Less than 24 hours after posting this blog, the fake review from Helen (referenced below) mysteriously disappeared from my Yelp page...funny how Yelp seems to have responded to my social media blast rather quickly about Helen but is still "unable" to reactivate Christy and Lauer's reviews until they "become more active on Yelp".
Two of my very loyal clients posted 5-star reviews on Yelp, and their reviews were "filtered" off the site because they are apparently not active enough in the Yelp community. To show my appreciation to both Lauer and Christy, I have included their reviews below for you to enjoy. Additionally, at the bottom of this blog you will find the e-mail discussion I had with Yelp's client services team...
To summarize what was discussed in the emails:
There is actually a review on my Yelp page from someone who I do not know at all. I do not have a dog client named Boris and I do not have a client named Helen, but somehow I have a review on my page from a woman named Helen with a dog named Boris who very clearly references my name and Get Pet. If you read the review (pasted below Lauer and Christy's reviews here), you will see that Helen's review almost seems to be a compilation of all the other reviews I have received from actual clients.
Of course, Ms. Helen has 110 reviews on Yelp and Christy and Lauer only have one each - their glowing review of Get Pet :-). From what Yelp is telling me, the only way that Lauer and Christy's reviews will start showing on my Yelp page again is if they each become more active on Yelp by reviewing more businesses and providing more reviews. Hmmmm...what if they don't have any other businesses they think are exciting enough to warrant a review? Should they lie and make up reviews so that their legitimate review can be viewed by the Yelp community? I certainly hope that's not what Yelp is encouraging....
Of course if that is what Yelp recommends, then that might explain why Helen created a fake review of Get Pet. Or maybe Helen doesn't exist at all and it's just a robot at Yelp creating content to entice me to start paying $300/month to be a premium business listing...I do keep getting calls from the advertising department after all....
Whatever the case, THANK YOU so much Lauer and Christy for taking the time to share your love for Get Pet online. I'm so sorry that Yelp thinks it's best for a computer to decide that you are not real people with valued opinions that other consumers might want to read because I definitely value the time you took.
2 Filtered Reviews for Get Pet
Note: The reviews below are not factored into the business's overall star rating.
***** 6/1/2010 We were extremely nervous parents when we brought our puppy home from the breeder. How would we find a good dog walker? One that we could trust in our home and to care for our new, precious family member. Also, how would we find someone in the Streeterville area since parking can be an issue? I found Kyle and Get Pet on Yelp and took a leap of faith. Within minutes of meeting him, I knew we had hit the jackpot. He showed up on time, was VERY professional and spent an hour and a half answering questions and making training recommendations. He provides so much more than just walking your pet. He provides such great tips, is so trustworthy and is extremely thorough! You can tell right from the start that he adores animals and knows a ton about them! I honestly don't know what we would have done without him. I am certain that we will look back on this time and thank Kyle and Get Pet for what a fabulous, well-trained dog we have. Kyle is the BEST! Thank you for making our puppy experience filled with lots of already cherished memories! ;)
I wish they had more stars to give!
***** 5/13/2010 My husband and I were having a difficult time figuring out what to do with our dog, Burnham. We had just finished obedience school and we were in the process of learning to manange our impulses and behave like a gentleman on walks.
We had a dog walker, but when I asked our obedience trainer about it, he indicated that if the dog walker is not reinforcing, on the walks, everything that we are learning, then "Burnie" would lose all we had worked so hard to learn.
It took months of calls and research to find Kyle, Gatsby and Dr. Seuss, but WOW what a blessing when we did. Kyle completely understood the "wait, watch, leave-it" commands as well as the inter "personal" communication that needed to take place between him and the pup (he understood, the "letter" and the "spirit" of what we needed).
We decided to give Kyle a try, and instantly we could see improvement in Burnie's behavior on walks. As the weeks have passed, we have continued to be impressed. We love Kyle almostas much as our puppy does.
Apart from being a wonderful teacher/walker/trainer for our dog, Kyle truly and sincerely loves his clients. He takes the time to discover who your pet is and caters to the personality nuances and needs of your dog. Our dog doesn't like to have his harness put on. So, Kyle will sit with him and give him a belly rub and really take his time and ease Burnie into the harness. He has also offered insights into our dog's personality that we didn't know and offered pointers and advice when we have sought it.
I cannot say enough about Kyle. 5 stars is definitiely not enough!
***** 6/1/2010 For some people who are aversive to the prospect of having children, or need a trial run with Chia-Pets to see if they can keep the plants alive, pets are wonderful substitutes for human babies.
I rescued Boris from an area shelter and found out to my surprise that, yes indeed, I have a nurturing side. As my work schedule and overnight business travel became more frequent, I needed a reliable dog-walker to come into my condo and exercise my little boy. I also wanted a company that would also be able to pet-sit on occasions when none of my friends were available to help me out and I'd be gone for more than a day (i.e. out-of-town weddings, weekend getaways where I could not take Boris with me.)
I am always leery about letting strangers into my home, let alone the prospect of entrusting my little furry pal to someone else. Because of the reviews on Yelp, I reached out to Get Pet for a trial dog walk and to see if Boris would take to the walker.
Enter Kyle. From the moment that I met him, I felt completely at ease. Boris loves Kyle and it is embarrassing almost to see how much PDA Boris gives. I knew I found the right person who would take care of my dog and love him as much as I do. Plus, as an added bonus, the price structure is highly competitive, so I have used GetPet liberally for a multitude of services.
Boris has become a better walker on the leash, and is less "talkative" in the evenings, now that he is getting walked regularly during the day when I'm at the office. It is great that I no longer have to rush home to let him out, if something unexpected pops up and keeps me at work longer or I want to meet up with colleagues for a quick happy hour.
Kyle is the consummate professional and respects animals - he is patient, reliable, and he always picks up after his 4-legged clients. Hands down - hire him. He just may have inspired me to give up the Chia-Pets.
Click "Read More" to see the email chain between Yelp's client services team and me:
The most important first commands to teach your puppy or new dog are:
- Watch me
Most people choose sit and down as the first commands to teach their new puppy, but I recommend you fight tradition and focus your energy on teaching your dog to patiently wait in a designated place and give you her attention when you ask for it.
A dog naturally chooses to sit and lie down, and it will be easy for you to positively reinforce these actions when your dog does them. It is MUCH harder for a dog to control his impulse to run, chase, play and investigate. If you want to help your urban dog be successful, then you need to TEACH him to ignore these basic instincts.
A dog who can watch you is able to ignore a distraction and choose to give you his attention instead. By getting your dog to freeze in place and patiently wait you can help her avoid running into a dangerous situation, and a dog that can patiently sit in one place regardless of environment is ultimately a happier, more confident and less anxious dog. Can you see how these behaviors are critical for a dog who lives in a city?
Stay tuned for detailed instructions of how to teach your dog these critical behaviors. Or if you're anything like your dog and just can't wait, you can always email me at email@example.com :-)
Earlier this week, I had a nasty bike accident that ultimately required me to make a visit to the hospital. It happened at the beginning of my day, and I was in quite a bit of pain. BUT each dog I visited helped to keep me smiling through it all. I feel so blessed to spend the majority of every day with dogs, and I truly am a happier more positive person because of it.
As an example, here's a video of Olly "singing" at a passing ambulance. A few minutes earlier two amublances went by and Olly sang even better, but I didn't have my camera ready. As soon as I saw another ambulance approaching, I knew I had to capture it to share with everyone. I hope it makes you smile as much as it made me smile :)
I think it's pretty safe to say everyone recalls the scene from Dances with Wolves when Kevin Kostner's character is trying to communicate with the Native Americans about buffalo. If you don't, here's the video :-)
Teaching a dog a new command should be communicated in a very similar way - the action must precede the word. I'm not suggesting you get down on all fours to demonstrate something for your dog, but what I am advising is that you wait until your dog completes the desired action before you try word association. Once they perform the action, feel free to start associating any word you like. "Sit" can be "Tatonka" in your house if you prefer.
Let's use "Sit" as an example. If you continue to say the word "sit" while your dog is standing, he will simply learn that "sit" means to stand. BUT if you wait until your dog sits of his own choosing (or you can encourage him to sit by using a treat to shift his weight backward until he has to sit to keep his balance) then you are teaching your dog that the word "sit" means to sit.
Another analogy to consider is: If you encounter someone who does not speak English and you want that person to learn the word for "nose," would it be better to:
a) say "nose" when the person points to her nose and "eye" when she points to her eye?
b) keep saying "nose" even if the other person is pointing to her eye in hopes that eventually she'll point to her nose and you can give her a treat for finally figuring it out?
I hope you chose "a". :-) If you want to teach your dog a command associated with a particular word, then be sure they can perform the command BEFORE you associate the word or else you'll just confuse your dog and frustrate yourself.
Growing up in the country in Pennsylvania gave me tons of experience with animals from a very early age. I later pursued a career in horseback riding and also have experience as a veterinary technician. I have a strong passion for animals and have an uncanny ability to connect with all sorts of furry friends.