I find it incredible that so many people supposedly intelligent and sophisticated people just are not getting it. I guess I am at fault for giving my fellow human being too much credit. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe this thing is much harder than I am led to believe.

Somebody much wiser than me, long ago, invented a word for a person who was more interested in what you have (or what you provide) than the wrinkled paper adorned with the photographs of a bunch of dead presidents on it. These people were called customers and from all I can tell, these people are good things to have if you are at all interested in eating regularly.

Then why, I ask, do so many business professionals insist on jerking their customers around by the neck positioning them as flashes in the pan? Do not these suppliers of goods and services realize that the shelf life of most customers is longer than a single purchase if implemented properly?

It is time to stop horsing around and smell the coffee. Customers are good things and will continue to be good things if treated properly.

Here is an idea worth thinking about but only if you want to stay in business beyond next Tuesday. Start treating your customers like dogs. Canines entered my world late in life. And in an attempt to be politically correct and to give the species justice, I did not own two dogs, I owned two greyhound retired racers. In my mind, there is a difference. Greyhound owners know exactly what I am talking about.

In any event, Jetta was my little girl greyhound and Eddie was my man. I loved those animals more than even I could understand. Once sizing up the picture, I went out and purchased a Ford Explorer (SUV) to serve as their personal traveling crate. You heard me right. I bought my dogs a car. I would walk em. I had groom em. I made sure their teeth were clean. I bought them toys and made absolutely certain that they were never fed off the table. When guests would enter my home, I immediately greeted them with a warm welcome and then reminded them that feeding my dogs human food was taboo in my home. In fact, my wife Barbara would cook them both up something special once in a while to see them both smile. And at the risk of alienating many of you out there who don’t own dogs, they are great additions to any family.

I will say it again. Customers are good things. If you treat them well they will treat you well in return. But it can not be a once in a lifetime thing. You must administer daily affection and this in and of itself, calls for a great deal of commitment.

Remember, you talk to your dog. You kneel down and work with them eye to eye. You feed them. You make certain they are comfortable. You play with them and you make sure they understand and are capable of playing by the rules. You think about them and you show your affection and appreciation often.

A day without your dog is a lonely day. Now stop horsing around and start treating your customers like dogs.