Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Inicident of January 5

2016 isn't off to the best start for me. My cell phone broke and the new unlocked phone I bought is fantastic but doesn't get service in my house (?). In addition to my limited connectivity, I've been nauseous. I thought it was a hangover from New Year's but it just won't go away. On the bright side, the holiday weight is falling off in record time!

Rewind to December when my client called to confirm her cat sitting dates as December 24-January 4. Or, wait. Was that what she said? She called while I was walking a dog in the rain and I didn't mean to answer the phone. It was my stupid back up phone (which I am back on now) that somehow answered her call when all I wanted to do was see who it was. I just said yes without looking at my calendar, which is pretty impossible while walking a Boston Terrible in the rain.

On January 4, I did their final visit, left a thank you note for their generous holiday tip, and went on about my life. Looking at my calendar that night, I saw they were on it through January 6. Huh. I rechecked their initial email which also stated they would be out of town through the 6th.

OK. My bad. I'll go in the morning. So I did.

I walked in and immediately saw I was wrong. There was a pair of shoes that wasn't there before. The burglar alarm started beeping so I entered my code to turn it off. I saw luggage.

"Honey, what's that noise?" I heard.


"I didn't hear anything." Honey replied. Hmmm.... here's my chance to run. No, better not.

"It's your pet sitter!" I called up to Honey.

I tucked my tail between my legs and made my way upstairs. I apologized and explained to them the email dilemma.

"Well you should have called!" Fair point, but I have this strange aversion to talking on the phone. And they were supposedly out of the country or on a plane and well ... I screwed up. Apparently walking in on someone in their bathrobe is just as embarrassing as a phone call to me.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Knotty Dog Walker Gets Soaking Wet

I have the best job ever ... until it rains. Although it is impossible to stay completely dry, I can keep from getting saturated on most rainy days. Like many important life lessons, I had to learn the hard way. Here are my top 5 tips for surviving rainy days.

1: Keep at least one pair of dry socks in your car.

My first summer of dog walking, I would hop out the door and go play without putting any thought into the weather forecast and what it might mean for my day. One fateful summer day, I was walking Tucker and the heavens decided to open up on us. Tucker was my first walk, so I spent the rest of the day with soaking wet shoes and socks even after the rain had stopped. I came home with painful, nasty blisters.

I'm an idiot and deleted this picture
2: Get waterproof shoes.
Large amounts of rain cause great big puddles, which sometimes are impossible to navigate around. Or, even worse, they look shallow and -- surprise! -- they're really ankle deep. I tried to solve the wet feet problem on the cheap by applying a $6 can of waterproofing spray to my sneakers. That was an improvement, but not a solution. Then I purchased a pair of those really cute galoshes that the trendiest of us put on for even partly cloudy days because, if it rains, we will look friggin adorable. No go. Those galoshes were not designed for 5 to 10 half-hour walks in one day. The frequent, repetitive foot motions cause creases which turn into cracks that let frigid rain splash into your hipster footwear.

I'll find and replace the pictures 

Almost as cute, but much more effective, are these "garden shoes" which I found on sale at JoAnn Fabrics for $14.99. They still get the dreaded crease and crack, but because they're ankle high they allow for more foot movement. And they have ribbons! Keep these in the car with your dry socks.

 3: You can never have too many rain coats.
Rain coats are proof that God loves dog walkers and wants them to be happy. Again, go for function before fashion here. And be sure to have more than one because the rain can still go up your sleeve when you're holding a leash at an angle or perpendicular to your body. Plus, raincoats make good cat beds.

4: Ditch the umbrella.
Have you ever tried to hold a used poopy bag, umbrella, and a leash or two all at the same time while in motion? Don't. Because your cell phone will ring.

5: Have FUN!
Once you are properly dressed, don't forget the whole point of walking a dog: to have fun! Start a water fight, splash in the puddles like a little kid, and don't forget the towel dry doggie spa treatment.