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Old 09-13-2004, 06:26 AM   #1
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Default Workshops and Pets

When opening up your home (as a hostess or as a demo), do you warn attendees about your pets in case of allergies?

I am considering having a Stamp Camp in my home, and have 3 cats. Most communication about this event will be via e-mail. Should I put something on the flyer about the cats? How do I word it?

I appreciate feedback from BOTH demos and hostesses, so please leave in General Discussion.

Thanks!
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Old 09-13-2004, 06:33 AM   #2
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I would absolutely say something about it. You could say something really cute and funny--make it light-hearted.

Also, I would want to know if the pets will be roaming gree or not. I absolutely respect everyone and their loving pets, but I really can't stand being around cats myself.
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Old 09-13-2004, 06:38 AM   #3
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Chris,

Thanks for the feedback. Would it deter you from going to an event because of the cats? One of mine is DEATHLY afraid of people and wouldn't show her face if her life depended on it. The other two keep to themselves, and don't usually come around groups of people. They are more for one-on-one interaction. So, I hadn't thought about whether they would be roaming free or not. We would be stamping in the basement, and I imagine they would stay upstairs. Of course, if there were an issue I would close them off upstairs.

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Old 09-13-2004, 06:39 AM   #4
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OMG...I had a somewhat funny incident 2 weeks ago at my first WS as a demo.

I was cutting out an incentive stamp with the craft scissors and telling everyone that eventhough they are a bit pricey, once you try they to cut out stamps you'll HAVE to have them. The hostess's dog sat on my feet the whole time. I didn't mind.

I put the scissors in a case I had sitting on the floor, which I left open. While no one, including me, was looking. The dog got a hold of the scissors and completely chewed off the rubber handles, after I had just got done saying how expensive they are. I didn't know what to do but laugh. The hostess was so embarrassed! She offered to replace them, and she did. I gave her a $5 credit on her order because I also felt partly responsible for leaving them on the floor. Of course I don't have any pets. So I never think about what they might get into.

So I'd just like to caution everyone about pets being around during a demo.
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Old 09-13-2004, 06:47 AM   #5
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Michelle,

I guess I would want to know that the pets would not be around me. As a guest, I would probably pretend that it didn't bother me, but I would find it creepy to have pets around.

Funny story about the dog.....At my first workshop, the hostess's dog kept running off with my incentive stamps and every one else thought it was "so cute." I just about died!

Thanks for listening, Michelle. I know it is a stretch for most pet owners to understand people who don't prefer pets.
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Old 09-13-2004, 06:52 AM   #6
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I have 2 cats of my own and have held stamp camps in my home for my customers to come to. I ALWAYS lock my cats in a special room (still comfortable for them and with their food and water!) until the stamp camp is over. I do it out of respect for my customers----I may love my cats to death and not mind them around me, but I do understand others don't.

I do also warn them about the allergy thing. I have one lady who is very allergic but she always takes her Reactine before she comes and then she is fine.

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Old 09-13-2004, 06:55 AM   #7
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Quote:

Originally Posted by mdbarton
We would be stamping in the basement, and I imagine they would stay upstairs. Of course, if there were an issue I would close them off upstairs.
If it wouldn't be a problem for you to close them off upstairs, why don't you just go ahead and do that so that none of your guests feel like they have to be in the uncomfortable position of saying, "Yes, please keep them upstairs."
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Old 09-13-2004, 07:37 AM   #8
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Another thing you might do is vac. really well before the guests arrive. My mil has asthma and altho she loves cats, she is allergic to them. I always vac. and dust before she gets here (after getting my cats comfy in a room that is). This way, those that do have allergies may not have any problems and would come to your home again w/out having to worry about allergies.
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Old 09-13-2004, 07:47 AM   #9
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As a demo with LOTS of pets, I don't make that announcement, but I ALWAYS lock them all in our bedroom & only let them out after we are done stamping. I only let them out if all the guests are comfortable with them. Most of my stamp campers are my coworkers (I'm a veterinary nurse) so they have pets as well. Stress levels of my furries increase when we have company, especially one of my cat's & one of my dog's. They do much better when secluded from the action.

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Old 09-13-2004, 07:58 AM   #10
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I have 2 cats and hold workshops in my home twice a month. I put the cats in the basement if a customer is allergic or they are a new customer and I'm not sure how they feel about cats. I also vacuum/dust really well. I have some customers who love cats and want to see mine so I will leave them out if those people are there. It just depends on the crowd. Even if I leave them out they usually stay in the other room and the customer would have to go look for them if they want to see them.

I have one customer who is very allergic and she takes medication before coming over. I've never put anything in a flyer/announcement about the cats. I have found that if a customer is very allergic they will ask me if I have cats before coming over just to make sure. My husband is very allergic to dogs so we ask before going to people homes if they have a dog. He has to do an inhaler plus medication beforehand.
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Old 09-13-2004, 08:06 AM   #11
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I think you should mention it for those who have allergies. I am allergic to cats but don't always remember to ask ppl if they have them before going to someone's house the first time. (Blame it on Mom-brain!) Don't assume they would ask - as a hostess, it's your job to see that your guests are comfortable - and if you want repeat business, this is wise!

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Old 09-13-2004, 08:19 AM   #12
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I just learned a lesson about that this weekend!

I have never thought to ask if someone has pets! Most of the workshops I do I don't even know if they have pets or not because when they do, they keep them in another room or whetever.

Well, this one this weekend was CRAZY!!!!! One of my customers rode with me since she wanted to come to this workshop. I had never been to the gals house who was having it. When we were walking up to the porch I could smell somehting gross, but didn't say anything.....didn't want to be rude. Anyway, when the hostess opened the door we about fell over from the stench!! She has 3 cats and 2 dogs who must have made it a habbit of urinating on the floor.

About half way through the workshop, my customer who came with me was looking really bad. She has asthmah and emphzyema.....have no clue how to spell those ...and was puffing on her inhaler like crazy. It was bout 100 degrees with no air. Ther cats were jumping on the tables during the demo......and on the kitchen counter where the food was! I had to cut the workshop short and leave since my customer was so sick.

I think next time she wants to have a ws I will hold it at my house.

I felt really bad for my long time customer, and I felt bad for my hostess for a lot of peolpe leaving early.

But, from now on I am going to ask about pets!

And Consuela, I got a big kick out of your post about the dog sitting on your feet. If I left my pup in the house she would probably do that to someone too....or chew up thier shoes when no one was looking!

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Old 09-13-2004, 08:40 AM   #13
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Michelle I think that would be great for you to mention that pet's will be there (hopefully not to stamp ).

I have terrible allergies to cats, I went to a stamp party and the hostess had 3 cats. I sneezed the whole time, and had to leave early.

Now that I know she has cats I take my benedryl before I go over and it works out great
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Old 09-13-2004, 08:54 AM   #14
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Being a person who is allergic to anything with fur, I definitely prefer to know when someone has pets. It allows me to take additional meds. Unfortunately, for people with severe allergies, even vacuuming and dusting really well often just doesn't do the trick.
My demo has an AirSource air purifier from Shaklee that really helps with the dog she has. I rarely have any reaction.
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Old 09-13-2004, 09:02 AM   #15
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Definately mention that you have animals, and also mention where they will be when you have your event. At my open house, if it was someone who had never been to my house before, I would tell them to not be surprised by my birds. I have a cockatiel, and a Blue & Gold Macaw in my living room. It's no big deal to move the cockatiel, but the B&G cage is HUGE and the only way to move it out of the living room would be to deconstruct the cage - not gonna happen! Both birds stayed right where they were and since the majority of the people were either in my stamping room or the kitchen - it worked out fine. In fact, our B&G felt so negleted by all the people, and none were paying attention to him, he felt it necessary to start yelling "mamma". After we were done, the people that were still at the house, asked if he could come out and play and he we so happy! But definately say something. ~Pam
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Old 09-13-2004, 09:04 AM   #16
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My SIL is deathly allergic to cats......and vacuuming before hand actually makes it worse for those who's allergies are as bad as hers is (stirs up the dander and hair - making it worse than if it had been left alone apparently!). You should absolutely warn/let people know you have cats in your home!!


Good luck!
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Old 09-13-2004, 09:26 AM   #17
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Quote:

Originally Posted by dncbanks
Quote:

Originally Posted by mdbarton
We would be stamping in the basement, and I imagine they would stay upstairs. Of course, if there were an issue I would close them off upstairs.
If it wouldn't be a problem for you to close them off upstairs, why don't you just go ahead and do that so that none of your guests feel like they have to be in the uncomfortable position of saying, "Yes, please keep them upstairs."
The only reason to not go ahead and close them off is that their litter box is in the laundry room in the basement. I would close them in there, but my craft room with all my supplies is through the laundry room. I have a feeling I'll end up traipsing through there during the stamp camp and that's just torturous for the kitties to see the door opening, thinking it's freedom time, only to have it closed in their faces again. I'm sure they could cross their little paws for a few hours without the litter box, but I'd rather not have to make them. Plus, guests will all have to walk through the upstairs in order to get downstairs, anyway. I suppose I'll wait and see who the attendees are before worrying too much about it. I love my cats, but am not the type of person who insists that everyone love them, also.

I was more interested in whether or not to publicize their existence in the flyer, than about what to do with them during the camp. I think the majority vote is definitely publicize. So, now the question is... how? Any poetic stampers out there wanna come up with a cute little verse I can include on the flyer???
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Old 09-13-2004, 09:27 AM   #18
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Having been owned previously by a couple of fur persons, and now having to do without due to my DH's allergies, I can understand attachment to pets. But I also have known people who are so petrified of cats that they can barely move in their presence. One of them is my middle child, Emily, who is so worried that dogs or cats will LICK her that she refuses to go places where she will be around a dog or cat. She was unfortunate enough to have been chased by a dog when she was little and it has stuck. She has managed to get used to just a few animals, but they have to be very well behaved for her to tolerate them.

I also know a lady in her 70's who has the same problem. SO both for the sake of those that have allergies and those who have phobias, I would mention that you do have pets, but they will be provided with their own area of the house during the stamp camp away from the guests. People will appreciate both your warning and your sequestering your animals during workshops.

The one workshop I did in a home with cats was pretty interesting. The cats wanted to sit on top of everything I left on the floor; unfortunately, it was kind of tight where we were stamping and there weren't many other places to put things! When I got home, I found cat hair all over my ink pads....gick!
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Old 09-13-2004, 09:51 AM   #19
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I have to laugh along with this post...I am currently owned by 2 four legged fuzzies...Marshmellow is an avid stamper....He thinks that my desk is his domain...

I am currently thinking of housing some camps in my home and I never ever thought about this issue...but I can definately see how someone would react to him jumping up on the table to see what is going on...hmmm...I am sure everyone would be ohhh how cute and in their mind thinking other things...

I have attended other demo's camps and I have had to deal with dogs that would steal anything at seat level...mostly food and they got annoying with their begging...hmmm...again...

As one gal said you don't think how it would be for others that don't own an animal let alone a pet lover....

How about on the bottom of your flyer in the footer margin put something like:
FYI for everyone...I am currently owned by 2 four legged fuzzys (Mitzy and Bitsy)...They won't be able to visit at the camp but they are in residence....
or
FYI: We currently have four legged fuzzies in residence for those with allergies...

Sorry my brain is not working well today....
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Old 09-13-2004, 10:27 AM   #20
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I have a dog and he LOVES to greet people. He will settle down once he meets and greets you.
I'm not an animal lover (and yet I have a cat and a dog.)
So, I know how it is with people who don't want to be bothered by pets.

I ask my husband to control our dog when people arrive. Once he settles down he is ok at my workshops.
My cat ends up hiding the whole time so she is not a problem

As for allegies, I haven't mentioned it to "new" campers but now that you bring the subject up I think that would be a considerate thing to do.

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Old 09-13-2004, 10:27 AM   #21
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I would definitely let your guests know in advance....just FYI! I went to a stamp camp once where the home was very clean and if I had not seen the cat I would not have ever known it was there. However, at one point the cat jumped up in my lap (unprompted). I don't dislike cats but I don't want to hold them or want them to jump on me because I don't like to have animal hair on my clothes. Luckily the owner came and retrieved the cat before I had hair in my crystal effects!!! Ha!
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Old 09-13-2004, 10:37 AM   #22
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I would definitely appreciate knowing in advance. I am allergic to cats and it might affect my decision to attend. I am usually okay with one, but 3 would be a problem. If you have guests with similar allergies, they will be grateful. Sometimes just premedicating with Benadryl will allow them to come and stamp their little hearts out!

And remember....even if you keep a pet in another room, their dander is still throughout the house and that is what causes the allergy.
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Old 09-13-2004, 11:15 AM   #23
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Hmmm. I've been having Stamp Camps at my house all year and it never even occurred to me to say anything about our critters. We have a cat who is an interested on-looker, but usually a non-participant in my workshops. Our St. Bernard isn't generally allowed in the house (for obvious reasons!), but she usually manages to jam her nose into the cat door to say Hello and we will let her in for a brief visit if people seem interested, or they are welcome to go outside and see her (she loves the kids and vice versa - usually!). I suppose I should drop a mention to any new guests just in case of allergies.
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Old 09-13-2004, 12:00 PM   #24
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Wow! This is really a very interesting conversation. Quite honestly I have never even thought about it! So you've all opened my mind to this issue. I have stamp camps in my home every month and haven't thought to mention that to new people attending. My regular customers were mostly friends and/or co-workers in the beginning, so they all knew that I am a dog person and have two, so they weren't surprised. The dogs are usually outside when I have stamp camp going on, but since the are both getting on in years they have stayed in a couple of times this summer when it's been really hot (my camps are in the afternoon and I live in Tucson, AZ and 100+ is common temp). Anyway, you all have certainly made me more aware of those who have allergies and issues with pets and I will let people know who haven't been to my house what to expect. Thanks much!
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Old 09-16-2004, 07:28 PM   #25
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Quote:

Originally Posted by "mdbarton
I was more interested in whether or not to publicize their existence in the flyer, than about what to do with them during the camp. I think the majority vote is definitely publicize. So, now the question is... how? Any poetic stampers out there wanna come up with a cute little verse I can include on the flyer???
Maybe you could say, "There will be a few cats in attendance as well, but they will be stamping in a seperate room for the day! "
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Old 09-16-2004, 07:40 PM   #26
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I have been doing stamp camps in my home for over a year and I have only had one complaint. She came uninvited to my open house this year. She stamped all 3 make in takes, looked at the catty, then my kitty came out to visit. She flipped out and was practically hysterical about my cat. Her husband is allergic. She gave me money for the catalog and said she wouldn't be coming to any camps!

I have several customers who have said after they got to my place that they were allergic but they keep coming! Allergy medicine works wonders!!

I am DEATHLY afraid of dogs (attacked by a pit bull 20 years ago). I would be more worried about a BIG dog jumping on me than a kitty.

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Old 09-16-2004, 08:33 PM   #27
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Yeah well, In August I demoed a workshop where one of the guest brought her 3 little dogs in a baby stroller! Each dog had thier own sweater. Apparently the lady does not go anywhere with out her dogs.

At first, I thought....ok, how are these dogs going to do at the workshop?

But they behaved perfectly...didn't even peep. They just happily sat in their stroller buggy and watched us stamp! I was amazed. The guest bought quite a bit of SU product and is gong to scrapbook her dogs pictures! Of course she bought the Puppy Love stamp set. And she has bought 2 more times from me since!

So what do you do when pets come to your workshop???? You let 'em stamp!
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Old 09-16-2004, 08:37 PM   #28
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This is an interesting thread. We have two pugs and two cats. The cats won't be a problem -- they pretty much prefer their own company.

The pugs, however, truly believe that they are four-legged people (or that people are two-legged pugs ...). They like to be in the center of ANYTHING. So I'll either put them in a room by themselves (which they'll hate, but they'll live, for a couple of hours) OR I'll board them for the afternoon. I don't mind paying for that and knowing that they'll be happy and safe. It would be a good time to get them groomed, etc., anyway.

I am hyper-sensitive to allergies and pet phobias -- I know that not everyone is a pet person. (I used to be one of those people!) And my husband is allergic to cats but uses an inhaler.

When I'm hosting any kind of social event, I mention the pets at some point. For some people, being in a room where the animal has been could cause a deathly asthma attack. I just generally say, "In case anyone has allergies, please be aware that we do have pets, but they will be kept in an upstairs bedroom during the party" or something. Just one simple sentence to let people know the situation AND to let them know that you already have a plan for addressing it.

I think this approach is a good middle-of-the-road one -- people who are DEATHLY allergic won't come (and they shouldn't, since their health is most important), and those who need a boost in their meds can take care of that before the workshop. And people who don't like to be around animals will know that while they're on the premises, they won't be in their faces.

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Old 09-17-2004, 07:52 AM   #29
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Quote:

In August I demoed a workshop where one of the guest brought her 3 little dogs in a baby stroller


OMG!!! I would have died if this happen to me...But since they were so well behaved..I am sure it won't phase you to have them come "stamp" again with mom....

That just blew me away to read that....What kind of snacks do you serve for them??? LOL!!! Sorry but you know they are guests too!!! I love it!!!! I am so happy for you it worked out well and she is a great customer for you!!!!

Encourage the scrapbooks!!!! I bet they are gonna be drop dead beautiful!!! Some people like this lady treat their pets as children...I mean my cats are part of the family but I don't think I would take them with me everywhere...well when I was younger, my cat who just passed away used to go in the car with me everywhere and lay across my shoulders...He used to love driving from Boston to Albany when I came for a visit to see my family....but now at my age I would n't do it....
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Old 09-17-2004, 08:10 AM   #30
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I would mention the cats... my dh is desperately allergic to kitties (which pains this kitty lover) and he takes special meds if he'll be in contact with a house that has them. I also will strip when I come home and wash everything I wore immediately to cut down on his reaction to them.

When we had small groups that met in homes at our church, we referred in our small group leader meetings to those houses as "cat infested" - totally as a joke and several of the leaders used that as warnings
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Old 09-17-2004, 08:16 AM   #31
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I love animals and I think we have a zoo! But usually during a workshop I do put the dog in my bedroom she thinks everyone was made to visit her and she can be lovable and quit annoying at times. I also have 2 cats in the house and they usually end up in someones room for a couple of hours. I think maybe it would be a good thing to ask if anyone is allergic to cats because they may forget to ask. They also make a frebreze for allergies also. I have asthma and allergies and with so much fur in the house I use the frebreze and also I use a pet roller or sometimes I use packing tape to get hair off the furniture and etc that way it is stuck to the roller not the air. Also dont dust furniture dry use some kind of cleaner that will pick up the hair not put it into the air. I have a woman that is allergic to cats and she did fine for a couple of hours at my house. My daughter has two ferrets and I think they are the cutest things but some people think they look like rodents so again just let people know what you have and keep them where they wont bother people.
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Old 09-17-2004, 08:33 AM   #32
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Here is a good story for everyone. One of the first workshops I had at my house our dog must have gotten into something bad, very bad, I am guessing feces of some sort. Soon after everyone was seated he proceeded to vomit about 4 feet from a table full of women. IT was not nice. My Demo just kept on talking as I as quickly as possible cleaned it up and put him in another room.
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Old 09-17-2004, 10:52 AM   #33
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Yes, definitely tell people about your cats. I am highly allergic to cats and have really bad asthma. When I first became a demo I did a workshop at my cousin's mother's house. I didn't know she had cats and she didn't know I couldn't be around them. When she showed me to the room where the party would take place (her formal dining) I noticed the flannel table cloth was completely covered in cat hair! I'm not talking little hairs here and there, I'm talking it looked like a shag carpet! Not even 3 minutes into my presentation I start wheezing. I use my inhaler. Then I start coughing, my chest is super tight! I use the inhaler again, and it's not helping. I can't breathe and my face is starting to itch and my eyes are watering and now I can't even talk! All this not even 5 minutes into the party. I had to get out and I felt horrible I couldn't go on. I ended up in the ER and then in the hospital for the next two days.

So yes, tell your customers. It's just a curtesy and for someone like me, it would be very much appreciated!
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