July 12, 2006

adventures in dog-sitting

In a world where there are cat-people and dog-people, I am the latter-people. I love dogs, but my present living situation is not conducive to nurturing a loving canine relationship. So what's a dog-loving girl to do? She loves other people's dogs when they are out of town. No, I am not a dog-stalker. I am a dog-sitter. I don't lie in wait under the backyard deck waiting to hear the garage door open and close, and then rush the backdoor for a glimpse, yeh, a rendez-vous with another families' dog. No (even though that probably sounded creepily possible), people actually pay me to watch, water, and walk their dogs while they skip town to do things like Nascar races, in-law visiting, summer vaca and the such. Be not misinformed, this is not my full-time job. It's not even a hobby. I like to think of it as my personal service to the dogs of the world and their families. I would do it for free, but they keep paying me.
My latest gig was sweet. I got to stay in the couples' beautiful home for the weekend, and play with Sierra (a yellow lab) and Ali (a black cat), water the plants, take out the garbage, and secure Sunday paper back from non-subscribing neighbors. 'Erego the highlights:
Friday night after work I arrive at client's home. The first thing I do is feed Sierra because she is sure to be hungry. I forget how much client told me to feed her, so I ration out three scoops and serve dinner. Next I find the Dog-Sitter-Do list on the kitchen counter. #1 reads: Feed Sierra 1 1/2 scoops in the morning and at night. Great. I have already gotten her off schedule. I have fed her twice as much as she usually gets. So what will naturally follow?? Twice as much.... Anyways, you get it.
Skip-to, later that night I come home from the movies. I immediately take Sierra out back to do you-know-what, at twice-the-you-know-what-quantity. I turn the handle and think, "oops, I must have left the back door unlocked..." Quick turn of the thumb and forefinger, open, shut the door behind us. Five minutes later. Turn the knob, knob won't turn, knob is acting like it's locked, silly knob... stop that! Be serious knob and open the door....um...knob? I think it's LOCKED! What???? Noooo, not possible!!! Ok, so we're locked out of the house...hmm...it's 10:30 pm....what..to..do...? Camp out? No....that's ridiculous. I must make contact with neighbors. Neighbors will help....
10:32, I am at the doorstep of Neighbors Mark & Amy. Mark, whom I've never met, opens the door, sees me with Sierra, and immediately says, "Are you locked out?" I am relieved. "YES! How did you know?"
"Their last babysitter did the same thing."
"No way!"
"Way."
"So...what do we do?" (surely he has a key...)
"I don't have a key."
"oh." (confidence & relief fading)
"I can try to put a credit card through the door!"
"um, ok - will that work?"
"Sure! Let's go!"
10:41, Mark is at the back door, credit card in hand, saying "I don't know if this is going to work."
10:42, "It worked!"
Insert prayer of praise and thanks: God is good, is good all the time.
"No way! Thanks Mark! You are my brand-new hero!"
**Mark blushes**He's a bashful hero**

Other adventures that later ensue:
Saturday, 6:02 am: Sierra must needs to go potty because she is whining like a hyena.
6:10 am, I am back in bed, and Sierra is mad because she thought we were gonna play.
8:30 am, I am back up, ready to play.
10:30 am, Sierra and I set out to conquer the neighborhood on foot. She has already pooped, so I figure "we're good." Sierra proceeds to poop in the common area near the scenic gazebo where all-American family is celebrating child-birthday. "Sierra!!! Nooooo........! ohh...too late. Hmm..let's run away real fast......."

Sunday, 12:45 pm, car battery dies.
2:35 pm, car battery is replaced and all is well. Sierra never even knew...

Monday, 6:04 am, Sierra gets 1 1/2 scoops for breakfast. Un-saavy dog-sitter leaves pantry door open. Un-saavy dog-sitter turns her back to make coffee and hears strange noices coming from dog. I turn around to find Sierra helping herself to more food. She digs her nose up under the lid just enough to get a mouthful of food, and then runs away to the other side of the room to eat it! And then she runs back, and does it again! And again!
Silly Sierra....:)

Oh yeah, there was a cat there too. She is a nice cat, but fairly self-sufficient and didn't really care if I was there or not, just fill my bowl dang-it!

There were some other snafoos involving the garage door opener, but we're not going to go into that.

Not a bad weekend for a couple extra bucks.

Next week is a pending gig. Some sick foster cats. This is unchartered territory. I may need to cancel...don't know if I'm ready for this.

End of July-gig is Candy. She was my first gig. Awwww... memories.

Maybe I'll start my own business.

Maybe not.

Until I decide, I take referrals. Low rates, superior service. Nobody loves your dog like me.
...hey that's good...in that non-stalker kind of way, of course.

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