Man's best friend

As I lay in the most comfortable bed in the world, I slowly opened up my eyes, stretched, turned to my left and saw my wife lying beside me.

She gave me a huge smile and said, “Wow! What a party!”

I was greeted with a kiss and a huge hug from her as she whispered into my ear, “I can’t believe we are actually married.”

I replied, “I know it’s crazy! The day flew by so fast.”

Only getting a few hours of sleep the night before, I really needed some rest. I then rolled back over and sunk my body into the pillow-top mattress. I could have laid their all day! Unfortunately, that didn’t happen because nature was calling!

As I peeled the four or five layers of sheets and blankets off of me and swung my legs towards the side of the bed, all I saw were hundreds of colored, ripped opened envelopes on the hotel bedroom floor. I began to laugh at the mess in front of me. It looked as if a lion came in and went to town!

“We made out pretty well huh?” I asked my wife, as I rubbed my head that was from too much partying the night before.

“Yeah, everyone who attended gave really nice gifts,” she said.

My wife began to rattle off an amount in which we ended up with. It was music to my ears.

I sat up at the edge of the bed and slowly turned to her, smirked and said, “You know what that means right?”

My wife looked at me with her left eyebrow raised and that confused scared look on her face.

“No. No. No. I am not getting a bulldog right away. I want to enjoy this time we have together, just you and I. No dog yet,” she said.

A week had passed and there we were driving in the car, to Catawissa, Pa., to pick up our puppy! I had one hand on the steering wheel and the other holding my wife’s hand, as I continued to convince her why this was such a great idea. A few hours later, we pulled up to the house and saw two small bulldog puppies out in the yard. The woman let both of the pups out of the enclosed fence in which one pup ran the other way and the other (the smart one) came right up to my wife and sat his wrinkled butt right on her lap. He then looked up at her with that sad puppy face and I knew right away we were adding another member to our little family.

A year passed and our bulldog, Norman, was making himself right at home. We shared so much laughter on his behalf, and still do to this day. We treated Norman as if he was a child of ours, and I know there are many of us out there who do the same with their pets. We brought Norman with us everywhere we went, and he even had his own car seat in the back. I know, it’s bad. Every time we went out and took our walks with Norman we couldn’t move five feet without being stopped by people asking to pet him.

“What’s his name?”
“How old is he?”
“Does he drool a lot?”
“Does he snore?”
“How much does he weigh?”
“Does he suffer from allergies?”

We got stopped so much that I had all the answers down pat. I now know exactly how a celebrity feels when they are constantly being stopped and asked the same questions over and over! There would be times when he would draw crowds of people at once, I couldn’t believe my eyes.

During one of those times, a gentlemen standing to my left jokingly said, “Hey you should charge people for petting your dog. You would make a lot of money!”

And there it was again, that ever so famous light bulb right above my head…

In the past when I would attend the street fairs in my town, I found it very difficult to get people over to my tent and interested in BMC Plumbing. This is where my best friend Norman comes into play. I had an idea and I needed to put the plan into effect at the next street fair.

I got shirts made up for the event that said “TEAM BMC” on each of them. I got one for myself, my wife, my son and, of course, Norman. We eventually made it to our designated area, after of course, being stopped many times with Norman, and began to set up shop. I’m not exaggerating when I say this but our tent was mobbed with people just wanting to see and pet Norm. This is where my strategy paid off!

Every person who asked to pet Norman had to donate $1 towards the Make-A-Wish Foundation. With each donation, my wife handed them a brochure and a business card as well as got them to sign our mailing list. People were more than willing to help out a good cause, and, on top of that, they became very interested in our company. People were glad to see a local company supporting a great charity and they got to talk about their own pets and share some of their own stories with us. It was a homerun! We were able to raise close to $300 for the charity, and we gained some new customers while doing so. Now, wherever Norman and I go, I make sure I have business cards right in my back pocket to hand out!

The moral of the story here, guys, is to be creative with your company. The first couple of times I attended these street fairs, I wasn’t getting many people to our tent. No one was interested in a plumbing company. You have to add spice, excitement and creativity in order to attract people to your business. Whether that be a pet, charity, raffles or giveaways, you should find something that works and start growing your business!

Not much has changed since we made the decision to bring Norman into our family. I still sleep in a very comfortable bed, however, when I turn to my left, I no longer see my wife first. Between her and I, there lays a drooling, snoring bulldog named Norman, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Be creative and have fun promoting your business!

Sean McCormack is co-owner of BMC Plumbing and Heating Inc. He can be reached at, or (845) 596-7770. Visit Sean’s website,

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