Monday, March 31, 2014

Long Time No Talk

So, I know it's been forever, and a few people have been kindly hinting, hey, what happened to the blog.  Others have been cattle-prodding.  For those - I don't get paid for this, and caring for the animals and trying to get settled in the house is way more important to me than sitting down to write basically a diary of what I've done all day.  I like doing it, but when I get super mad and upset emails and even, heck, threatening emails about how you won't buy from me anymore if I don't get back to blogging -- wait, you buy from me because I blog?  ooook -- hey, feel free to go elsewhere.  I value my customers, but I also value my free time and this is not top-of-my-list priority.  Sorry, keeping those cages clean and stink-free is higher up on the list.

Anyway, that out of the way now, it's been interesting.  I bought a house and been moving in since Feb. 14th.  Wait, you say, that was over a month and a half ago.  I know.  Problem is, the average person has their crap, but then me, I have all my stuff.  And all the rescue stuff, and rescue animals, and rescue supplies to sell, and... it's a lot of stuff.  Also, I've been putting the stuff in the garage and pulling it out as I can put it away.  Well... there's only so much room.  So it's basically been, load up the garage, unpack some things, take the boxes back, load up some more stuff.  There's not a ton left at my parents' house.  Some things upstairs in my bedroom and some rescue stuff and random my stuff in the basement.  Working on getting that out, but need to organize the garage a bit better first. 

Yesterday was highly productive in terms of chin stuff.  I couldn't sleep very well, so I was up into the early hours of the morning putting away things and organizing.  Some things can't go into their right place until I have a few more pieces of rescue furniture / tables into place, and the one is needing to be painted, so that won't be quite yet.  But one of these days.  But now there's not such a disaster pile of stuff that needs to be organized and sorted.  I do have oodles of stuff that needs to be washed though.  If the light for the basement sink worked, I would totally wash down there, and set up a table to hold the stuff to dry, but naturally, it doesn't, and the electrical guy hasn't called me back yet. So its all being brought up to wash.

So, aside from putting away my stuff in the house, that leaves me with quite a few large cages to clean.  Cause everyone who's been bringing over a chin lately literally has a fridge-sized cage.  Which is great for the chin... but the cages are miserable to sell, because a lot of people, whether they'd like a cage that size or not, don't have room for a cage that large in their house.  Ah well.

So, let me share a pet peeve of mine.  People texting.  If you know me at all, I text all the time.  But that said, chin people texting tend to be a pain and an aggravation.  Let me explain why.  The people that are my customers who text and ask if they can come over to pick up food, and we set a time and they come over -- no problem with this.  My problem is that, this is how the average text goes:

Them: Hi, I saw you have chinchillas for sale, can you tell me more about them?
Me:  Sure, I have quite a few, so let me ask you what you're looking for.  Young/old?  Male/female? 

....and that's it.  I never get a text back.  And that's why I don't type out, "well I have this one female, but she's kinda crabby, more of a non-kid home, but then I have this other one, beige, her birthdate is this, she's sweet, but can bark, so she can be intimidating, but not bad, her adoption fee is this," and so on and so forth.  Because see, I would be super mad if I typed all of that.... and then got no response.

Or for some, they'll ask if I have chins of a certain color.  And I'll say, well, I have one chin that color, he's this old and this is what he's like... and again, never get anything back.  Is a "no thanks, I'm looking for something different" so difficult?

Emails aren't any better lately.  In the past week, I've gotten several emails about the ad I have up for the 3 (well, now 5) month old female.  All of those emails have asked, do you have anything younger.  And I have a 4-ish month old grey rescue female, and so I tell them that.  And she's less expensive than the beige, so its not like the price jump makes them not email back.... but I have heard back from all of 0 of them.  Like really?  And I mean, its not a huge thing, but I did take my time to respond to that email and tell them, this is what I have, this is what it's like, and they can't even say, no, not interested?  I mean, where is common courtesy anymore?

That all said, good news -- Gigi was adopted!  She's probably still on my website so I do need to take her down, but she went home again!  Here's hoping this is her final home, as this is like her fourth.

I have oodles of available chins -- I need to take pictures and list them.  Maybe later today.

As far as the store opening back up, since I know you are all waiting around for that (also have gotten plenty of nasty emails about that -- and again, if you don't like it, I'm not chaining you to my store, you're free to go elsewhere -- telling me how long its been closed and how upset you are doesn't make my contractor go any faster).  See, the thing is, the saws are still at my parents' house.  For them to be moved here, I need a wall put up in the basement.  Sawdust gets everywhere, and I refuse to coat everything I own with it (which is also why moving everything out of my parents' basement is taking so long -- I have to wipe everything off from the inches of sawdust covering it).  So, until the wall's up, saws stay at my parents' house, and I can't cut wood... which makes up a good chunk of my business.  Waiting on an estimate for that now.

What else.  Oh!  People are seemingly more impatient the more time I spend doing this.  I'll return someone's email about a chin and they'll ask for pics, so I take pics the next day, and send them the pics, and I get "oh, I already bought a chin elsewhere."  They couldn't wait a day for pictures? 

It's just been a frustrating few weeks.

Oh another thing -- I finally have chins that for sure are pregnant -- just waiting on babies now...

Winx lost about 100 grams over the course of the move.  I have been horribly bad about giving him his weight gain/appetite supplements so I started giving those to him, and he's held a bit more steady... but I'm watching his food bowl, cause it doesn't appear to be going down.  But he's got a week to make it go down and if it doesn't, trip to the vet.  He's still pooing so he's eating something, but just not doing as well as I'd like.

I found the liners for my runs!  I had, way back when, fleece liners made for runs.  I only have three, and it wouldn't be practical to have enough for all the runs, but the idea was so that if I have a mom with babies, or a sick chin that needed monitoring, I can use the liners.  Well, I had gone through everything under the sun to find them at my parents' house and I never did turn them up, which was so frustrating because I knew I had em.  I kept saying, I'll find em when I move.  And I did.  I had a bag that had some guinea pig fabric tunnel sort of things in it, and beneath the tunnels... run liners!  Yay!! 

Another thing.  I have gotten so many emails about meeting lately.  As in, meeting somewhere to adopt a chin, other than the rescue.  Now, tell me, if you want to adopt a dog from the humane society, can you ask them to meet you in the Walmart parking lot?  No, I don't think so.  Well, you can ask, but they're not going to do it.  The same is true of here.  And naturally, I will get, in response, well, this one picture you have on your "happy customers" is outside.  Yeah, typically, that is when someone who runs another rescue is adopting a critter.  I trust them to not drop it and lose it forever.  I can't say I trust the average person.  Chins get dropped at the rescue ALL THE TIME.  Here, they can be caught.  Outside?  Not so likely.  Sorry, you gotta come here to adopt.  That's all there is to it.

That said, I am not open 24/7.  I don't mind late night texts, as I likely am up if you text at 11 pm... but when you're still texting at 2 am and ask can you com over to see the chins now?  No.  I mean, are you kidding?  Even if I am up, that does not mean the rescue is "open."  Now, I am not my parents, I do not think 8 pm is too late.  But lately everyone's been wanting to come at 10/11 pm or LATER and sorry, it's not happening.

Another thing -- if you are looking for a cage, let's say, and ask what I have.  I will tell you about the cages I have that are clean.  And if, by chance, I have cages that aren't clean, I may mention them depending on how long I think it'll take to clean them.  But here's a hint -- if you want a cage (we are talking used cages here, which are pickup only) and don't care if it's clean or not... there is a discount on the price I would normally charge if I don't have to clean the cage.  Cause it takes me forever to get em nice and sparkling.  If you don't mind that you may have to hose it off or scrub it down or whatever?  I can be flexible.  Because that saves me time and effort and removes a cage from my house.  That said, this is within reason.  I usually do 20% off the normal cage price.  So if the cage is $100, it would be $80.  If it's $15, it's going to be $12.  Granted, it's also a lot smaller of a cage if it's a $15 cage.  But again, emailing to tell me my prices are too high, do I have anything cheaper, and when I don't, going on about how I must be profitting a ton off these cages, does not endear me to you.  And sure, if I get a cage donated and then sell it, the money I make only has to pay for my time and supplies spent cleaning it.  Which can be hours depending on the state of the cage.  But wait... let's not forget the 100-something animals that come through the rescue every year... those cage sales help keep food in those critters.  It's not like I sell a cage and pocket the cash.  But, it will be cheaper if I don't have to scrub it down.  So if you want a cheaper cage, keep that in mind.

Um... that may be it for the moment.