Consoling the Loss of a Pekingese

March 15, 2015

I get a lot of great letters from our guests and here’s how one letter began:

Oz the Pekingese
Oz at the Henry Hotel

“I am writing to praise your outstanding team at the Henry Hotel in Dearborn, Michigan.”

Attached to this letter was this picture of a beautiful Pekingese sitting in the middle of the hallway like it owned the place. 

The Henry Hotel is part of our Autograph Collection.  As I began reading the letter from one of our frequent guests, I wondered what act of kindness prompted it.  I love dogs.  Not too long ago I lost my golden retriever Murphy.  I read on. 

“Last month, my beloved dog, Oz, passed away while we were staying at your hotel.  Your staff found Oz in my room and this is how I was notified.  The doorman and desk manager showed up at my worksite in tears. I knew that something was very wrong.  They showed such humanity and compassion in sharing the devastating news.

“Oz was my pint-sized Pekingese.  He liked nothing more than to spend hours sitting in the lobby on a luggage cart watching people go by.  He was part of the place.  When I arrived back at the hotel, many members of the staff were in tears as they came out to greet me. Hugs abounded.  Your team was so devastated by the loss that staff members wanted to name a luggage cart after him.

“The Henry Hotel has something that can never be purchased – it has a heart.”

This was a very a touching letter.  In a time of sorrow, this guest took the time to write me a note to say how much the hotel staff consoled her.  That takes heart, too. 

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the Move. 

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Dear Bill

Allow me to tell a customer service story…

Yesterday I arrived at your Cambridge Massachusetts Marriott Courtyard to meet up with teammates prior to heading to an important Client Meeting. When I arrived, it dawned on me that I did not have a tie for the Client Meeting that was to take place in an hour. Frantically, I searched the neighboring stores only to find Trader Joe’s, Starbucks and a massage store…no ties. I went to your front desk, hoping for direction to someplace close. Instead, your front desk associate, Cameron Kline, offered me his tie! In fact, he keeps a couple of them in his personal locker at the hotel, and offered me a choice of ties to match my jacket…..including the one that was around his neck. I gladly accepted the offer, and three hours later was able to return it after a successful client meeting.

I am a Lifetime Platinum Elite member (he didn’t know that), and I wasn’t even staying at your hotel (he didn’t know that either.) He just served.

I run Customer Service Centers for a living, and will be using this as an example of exemplary service to my own service representatives. In fact, I already did with my clients, all of whom were impressed. My story will go viral in our company.

Please thank Cameron for me, and bestow whatever accolades you have upon him. He is a credit to your company, and a prime example why I only stay at Marriott properties when I travel for business or pleasure.

--Christopher W. Myers,
--Vice President of Member Experience, CatamaranRx

I recently lost a Golden Retriever myself, and I was out of the country when it happened. Finding out was a very rough time and experience, as it is anytime someone loses a pet. This Marriott staff knew that, and I am so impressed how they took their responsibility of providing hospitality and comfort to the next level by truly caring about a guest. The level of sincerity shown to this guest no doubt helped them get through a difficult time. This is something you never think to hear from a hotel staff, but it is undeniably impressive how committed they are to providing comfort and care.

I am Oz's mother and thank you so very much for posting my letter. What a surprise! I truly appreciate you honoring the extraordinary staff of the Henry Hotel with this posting. Thanks to the hotel staff, particularly long-time doorman Paul Boguski, Oz had a serene last day. He enjoyed a morning walk and a long ride through the lobby on the hotel’s luggage cart. He then passed away while napping. At the hotel, Oz was primarily known for refusing to believe he was a dog. Case in point: his diet. Oz would not eat dog food. Instead he enjoyed a diet of turkey, string cheese and the occasional Pupperoni. Oz was also very vain. He liked to stare at himself in the mirror. He spent many hours in front of his fan or, when we traveled, on the hotel luggage cart. Oz never met a person or a luxury floor covering that he did not like. He was a complete original, fearless in the face of any obstacle (except fireworks) and a tremendous source of comfort in times of hardship and pain. I will never forget the kindness the Henry Hotel staff showed me on that sad day. Thank you, Mr. Marriott, for honoring the Henry staff and my late, great Oz. With Appreciation, Devon

What a nice touch in such a difficult time! As someone who recently lost not one, but two loving dogs in our family, I can certainly relate to the sense of loss and emptiness a loving pet leaves behind when it is gone. The Henry hotel staff went out of their way to help this guest through this difficult time like members of a family would. Loved the story! Thanks for sharing.

Great to see a hotel act with such compassion. For many our dogs are family and losing them is heartbreaking.

I can think of no better place for your guest to be when his little Oz passed away. The staff there at the Henry Hotel is a prime example of the wonderful staff that Marriott employes. My husband and I have stayed numerous times over the years at the Courtyard Marriott Buena Park when we had our annual Disneyland passes and now when we've made trips up to Anaheim for special occasions. The reservation staff have got to know us, are always wonderful to deal with and you can see they care about the guests. I agree with your guest that Marriott Hotels have a heart. Keep up the good work!

Thank you very much for sharing this beautiful story. We had to say goodbye to Benjamin, our Pekingese of 15 years, in October. Like Oz, Benjamin was part of our family. I'm so glad this guest had people like the associates at the Henry Hotel to console her when she needed it the most. There are very good people in world, and thankfully most of them work at a Marriott. Thank you!

-Melanie Hunt
Boston Marriott Copley Place

I had a pekingese for 15 years. Miss my Ginger more than ever.

If we all could be half the person our dog thinks we are, just think how this world would be today ?

Mr. Marriott,

This brought me to tears as well! Being huge dog love this warmed my heart from several perspectives.

One, from a dog owner that has to put two lovely dogs down (one of mine was too a Golden Retriever who lived a wonderful 15 years!). I would want this same kindness conveyed to me if this happened. Wow.

Two, from the staff at the AC. Kudos to them for having, like you said...heart. These are the types of people that make Marriott, Marriott!

Thank you for sharing this! Blessings on your day!

Mona Mokoff
Operations Manager
Courtyard by Marriott Mankato

Wow, so sweet and heartfelt! Thank you for sharing this story with us!

Dear Mr. Marriott,

What a beautiful story about our associates at the Henry Hotel! As I was reading this, I started to cry too. Our animals are part of our family! When I saw how these associates reacted to this guests loss of his pet, Oz, I now know why I like working for Marriott! Our associates do have a heart for all of our guests.

Thank you for such a sweet story, Mr. Marriott.
I am just finishing my shift at MarriottmyPlace in Pt. Edward, Canada and that beautiful story made me tear up and give my 7 yr. old Sheltie, Shimmer a hug!

I never miss reading your blogs....
Regards, Angelina S. :))

All dogs go to heaven. And God speed, all Henry Hotel associates.