When faced with a terrible accident that occurred at a client’s home a few years ago, Gill Landscaping Nursery in Corpus Christi, Texas, faced the consequences. In this video, co-owner Sally Gill recounts what happened that day, and how her husband, James, and the landscape crew reacted. Their actions earned the loyalty of a client who, under other circumstances, would have associated them with anger and pain.
Sally Gill: Our landscape company back in 2011 was doing an installation of a landscape job for a client in the back yard, and the client made it very clear that the dogs were going to be in the backyard and that we needed to keep the gate closed.
We kept the gate closed through the building of the garden, and on the last day the owner took the dogs with her in her car. So we felt like it was an opportunity for us to leave the gate open and do a lot of last minute work.
She came back home and didn’t tell us that she was there with her dogs. She let her dogs into the house, and the dogs ran out through the house and into the backyard and went immediately through the gate and ran out into Ocean Drive in Corpus Christi, Texas, and both dogs were hit by a car.
My husband immediately went over to her home and listened to her frustration. She was sobbing about her dogs — they were like her children.
The good news about the story is the dogs are OK today.
We took the dogs to the vet, and each person in our crew wrote a letter to the homeowner, apologizing for what happened. And James [Gill’s husband] sat with her and consoled her. We also sent flowers to her and paid the vet bill.
We offered to not charge her for the landscaping, but she felt like we had gone above and beyond.
It was partially her fault, she recognized that, and she really appreciated our willingness to jump in and do everything we could to make a bad situation a little bit better.
And so today, she’ll come into the garden center and say, “I’m the woman who had her dogs run out in Ocean Drive, and I shop here. I’m committed to Gill’s, and I appreciate what you guys did for me when the accident happened.”