By Chelsea Bishop
Ah, Week 10. No other week inspires in me such terror-driven motivation. For my Enterprise story, which will focus on the affect of the recession on Friendly pet owners and the businesses that serve them, I have fallen a bit behind on the interviews because it appears that people have much better things to do than return my calls. But I am optimistic, as this week and weekend I will sacrifice most of my life and other grades to get this story done.
Early last week I left voicemails for most of the official sources I want to contact, among them the owner of Animal Health Associates, the founder of Dog & Cat Training & Behavior Modification, the owner of The Healthy Pet who also happens to be a veterinarian, and the president (or vice president – I’ll take what I can get) of Save The Pets. Since all of them have still yet to get back to me, I will now begin to play the part of Really Persistent and Annoying Journalism Student with a Deadline and call again, write emails, and if all else fails just start hanging around in the buildings until someone will talk to me.
As far as interviews with ordinary pet owners go, I’ve found that people with dogs really like to talk about them, so it’s been relatively easy finding people willing to let me interview them. Petting their dog and telling them how cute it is also helps in making the owners warm up to me. A simple walk around the Westmoreland Park on a relatively nice day landed me with two interviews in a row.
So far, I’ve found that owners tend to love their animals too much to consider giving them up or cutting costs, even if caring for them is a financial struggle. Ben Zamojski, who owns a dog named Dante, told me that he and his partner would sooner cut back on their own living expenses than switch Dante to a less healthy kind of food.
Tomorrow I will begin the incessant calling and badgering, which I’m fairly confident will land me with at least a few more interviews. So basically, making progress. Good luck to everyone! 🙂