Hugging Hearts is What We Do!

It’s Friday, May 2nd and I go to our Villa La PAWS on Shea Resort in the mid-afternoon to check on the construction that is going on there.

I went into the conference room and I find Theresa McQuown, VLP Co-Owner and Elizabeth Hernandez, Corporate Marketing Manager all excited and telling me they had something to show me.

I have been in this situation before, and when these two join forces to “show me something” it usually spells trouble and almost always has something to do with a dog, cat, gerbil or any other 4-legged creature in dire straits.  Well they didn’t disappoint!

The story goes like this; a lady came into the resort at Shea a few hours earlier with this baby cat wrapped in a towel and obviously only a couple of days old, its umbilical cord was still attached.  She found it in a backyard somewhere and they waited for the momma cat to return to get her baby.  They for waited 15 hours and when the momma cat didn’t return and the baby was screaming constantly because of hunger I guess, it was brought it to the resort!


Ok, back to me walking into the conference room.  Before I can even say hello, they tell the story of the lady coming into the resort with……. This is where the smoke and mirrors comes in, magically and I mean magically, a pet travel bag appears.  Before I can utter a protest, they unzip one end of the bag and all I could see was this little ball of fur which I make out as a tiny, and I mean tiny, baby kitten.

They had already fed it now it was completely zonked out because of the traumatic experience it had just endured as relayed to me by the first two surrogate mothers.

This is the time for a rationale person, the voice of reason, me, to ask the obligatory questions about our new guest.  So I say, Yeah But…  That’s as far as I got and the choreographed presentation begins:

  • “We didn’t get the lady’s name but were pretty sure she’s a grooming customer.”  (That gives the dump and run person a whole lot more credibility and it now becomes a customer service issue)
  • “We already went to the store and got the bottles and food we need to feed the baby with.”  ( I know better than to question any of these professional pet people if they know what they are doing)
  • “We have called all of our Rescue Partners and they are all full of kittens and can’t take anymore”.  (I’ll verify this later, betcha these calls were never made)
  • “The baby has to be fed every three (3) hours and we have a schedule created”.  (As if on cue, 6 other surrogate mothers appear, made up of  groomers, bathers, counselors and customer service people converge in the conference room to show solidarity and commitment to this baby.  They also possessed those laser stares the bore into my soul and made me feel that a wrong decision here could put me in some serious danger)
  • “We’ll keep the baby isolated until it can be checked out by our vet, in a couple of weeks, and schedule it for vaccinations and its neuter or spay procedure once we find out what it is”.  (Here comes the $ investment into this baby which is the first step in ownership.)
  • “We need to live our motto. Hugging Hearts is What We Do” as stated by Elizabeth Hernandez and she said she was speaking for the group.  (Nice closing argument, very effective, I’m impressed that you all knew it!)

What simply amazes me is how this group of people can mobilize so quickly into a well oiled machine to take on a challenge like this.  When I have challenge that is business related and I need all of them to focus on a process or a procedure, it’s like herding cats! Maybe I should get a cat outfit with an umbilical cord hanging out?

I appreciate the group making it seem like I had a decision to make, that was kind and thoughtful but it was obvious that there was no decision to be made, the force had spoken.

Its times like this, and we have quite a few, that I am reminded of just how fortunate I am. I’m surrounded every day with people that have huge hearts and that are very compassionate about helping a living creature that can’t help themselves.  This is not only our Villa La PAWS staff but most of our customers as well.

So, the future of this little fur ball, we’ll name “baby” for now, will be secure. I’m sure Baby will be adopted by one of our staff members or one of our customers or maybe take the VLP Staff position of resident resort cat.  “Baby” won’t have to worry anymore.

Oh, by the way, I didn’t want to bust their bubble or diminish their excellent, thoughtful and well rehearsed presentation but they had me when they opened the pet carrier and I saw that little bundle of fur.

My heart knew it had just been hugged by Baby.

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