I’m pretty cautious when it comes to ordering accessories and clothes online. I check sizing charts for each store and brand, or double-check items against pieces I already have in my closet. But I didn’t realize that that kind of precision was important when shopping for Evie, my dog.
Available online only via PetSmart, I’d picked out an extra small harness from Coastal Pet Products for her. It’s meant for dogs in the seven to ten pounds range. I was worried that while she is a little thing (a Chihuahua/Pom/maybe part Papillion mutt), who does weigh ten pounds, that “extra small” doesn’t really describe her. She’s kind of tall and lanky, quite an adorable girl, albeit a little mutant really. I went ahead with the order, hoping for the best. But when it came, even sized down with the straps as tight as they go, it turned out to be too big. Not as in it’s a bit too loose, it’s drastically too big– it easily slips off of her and she can step through it. I think that with this particular brand she will actually have to wear the teacup style, despite not being nearly a teacup nor even a toy. With something like a harness, I shouldn’t have let my aversion to retail shopping let me choose lazily online. In theory, she should have fit the harness just fine according to their manufacturer’s sizing, but schlepping her to a local store to make sure would have been easier at this point and she’d be outfitted with a harness to make things a little easier on her caregivers while I’m away this weekend.
Though the sizing stunk, when it came time to return the oddly ill-fitting accessory, PetSmart’s customer service was stellar– fast, responsive, and efficient. I emailed the chain’s online customer service immediately, wringing my hands over how to return the harness (which is embroidered with Evie’s name in hot pink stitching, an embarrassing move looking back on it now), and was surprised when they replied that I’d simply be refunded. Without any blustering or bickering on my part, or theirs, I was able to tell them I followed the guide but the sizing was wrong and they said, “okay.” I’ll keep shopping for doggie supplies on PetSmart.com, but when things need to really fit Evie’s funky furry body, we’ll have to visit the pet store. What’s your worse pet shopping flub? Is there anything you can’t buy online for your dog? — Casandra Armour