Tuesday, December 29, 2009
The best to dog on earth is now at rest.
I know that grieving is a process and feelings of guilt, for not having the money to get him back surgery 6 months ago or otherwise do better or euthanize him a day earlier, may not be rational but they are real.
Salt on my wound is that I had ordered a cart for him on the 14th and called them on the 15th to confirm, they said it would ship on the 29th, which I feared might be to late. I told them I had no money and this was painful. While they advertise that they accept old carts back to give to charity or sell to the needy at discount they made no such offer to save me money. The terms are 1/3 deposit and the balance on shipping. The first harness I got to lift him proved ineffective as it was a hip lift and not a belly sling. On the 28th I called to cancel the cart and they said that he could use the full 4 wheel cart for another $1,000 since the criteria for using the two wheel cart with center balance to reduce weight on the front legs and outrigger (like training) wheels is the ability to sit upright and walk with rear lifted. A few hours later he did sit up and scrambled a dozen feet back to his pillow. It was foolish but I called back and said ship the upgraded cart 2 wheel counter-balanced cart which they said would ship Wednesday and arrive Monday. Upon DJ's death I immediately, well almost since it took two hours until rigor set in and I was convinced he was gone, emailed them. It turns out that after all the talk that the cart was not built, just the frame and it would take two more days to finish it they had shipped it a few hours earlier on the 29th. They said I had to accept the cart and I was being charged in full. I called USAA and they said that I should refuse delivery and send them any documentation and statements I can. Given that it is a brand new and unused cart in a very standard size, they even changed my measurements to what made sense to them they said, there is no reason they cannot sell this as new to someone and just keep my deposit and a nominal restocking fee. Shipping early to an animal they knew, better than I did, was not long for the world, to collect the additional money is wrong and even worse to me is insisting that I accept delivery of what would have been a very painful object to see in my house. These are not bad people but they are acting badly in this. If these carts are ordered long in advance and used over a period of months then they can be very helpful I am sure but when an animal is already in terminal decline there becomes a conflict between a business need to sell custom built carts at $500 - $750 each, more for the full 4 wheel versions, and the fact that given the short period that the cart may be used there is a stock of used carts out there. On their web site they list used carts available but they will not guide a prospect to that page as a cheaper, and faster if time is important, alternative.
I posted an announcement on a Belmont Club thread of DJ's passing and received many fine replies. I will copy those and other statements to here.
The date and time of this post are that of his actual passing.