Imagine boarding your dog before vacation, then finding out after you leave, the company is going out of business. That's what happened to one North Texas man, but the story doesn't end there.
Rob Johnson said he dropped his best friend Grover off to be boarded late last month. Just six days later Johnson was at the vet to get Grover euthanized.
"He was my road dog. He was there with me through good times, through death of parents, through major transitions in your life," Johnson said.
U.S. & World
Johnson said he dropped off his 12-year-old goldendoodle at The Doggie Oasis in The Colony, a suburb of Dallas Texas, on Aug. 28. The next day, while on business in North Carolina, he got a call saying the company was abruptly closing. He said he was shocked, but was told someone would be there to watch Grover until Johnson returned.
When he went to pick up his dog on Sept. 3, Johnson said the dog was in terrible condition and breathing heavily.
"When I walked in he was laying on the floor and he just looked spent. He didn't even get up to greet me when I walked in," Johnson said. "So I looked at him and I looked at the girl and I said, 'What happened?'"
He said he had counted out daily heart pills for Grover and measured dog food, but much of it was returned.
"Because the medicines are expensive, I counted out the exact amount of meds that he would need for his stay and the amount of food he would need for his stay. When I got back, they gave me meds back and almost half of his food back like he never even received them," Johnson said.
He took him to the vet that same day to get him checked out and said after four hours, he had to make the tough decision to put him down.
"As a pet owner, your dog is always there to protect you and I feel like I let him down because I wasn't there to protect him," Johnson said.
Johnson said he blamed the company for not warning him at dropoff that it was closing. He's also concerned about the care his dog received, but acknowledged with his age and heart condition, it's impossible to know exactly what happened.
NBC 5 spoke with the owner of The Doggie Oasis. She claimed they took care of the dog and gave him the appropriate amount of food and medication.
As for shutting down, she said the decision was made suddenly for financial reasons.
NBC 5 also tracked down the property manager who said he was caught off guard too. He said they put up a lockout notice after they noticed The Doggie Oasis left the space. The property manager said they planned to go after her for future rent money because she abandoned her lease.
Between the cost of boarding and the veterinary bill, he said he spent more than $800. Although he wished he was reimbursed, Johnson said he'd rather the owner never be able to go into the dog boarding business again.