July 24, 2009 by Marj Hatzell
After having a few weeks off from Doggies, I’m back to dog sitting from now until the end of the summer. And beyond. It seems August is a hot time for vacations (as evidenced by the fact that our little corner of the world is a ghost town) and I’m booked solid. Kinda funny, considering this is a side job of sorts, I only get clients by word-of-mouth and only do it for friends and family members. Still, it is becoming quite the little lucrative business. Of course, I found that I charge an insanely cheap amount (three people were all, “WHAT DO YOU CHARGE? IS THAT ALL?”). The thing is, I’m not licensed. I don’t have kennels. I just spoil happy doggies rotten, let them sleep in my bed, take them for tons of walks and play with them in the yard for hours. Best Doggy camp EVER. At least the doggies think so, when they come back again and again they are thrilled to be here. So are their owners. I’m not tooting my own horn or anything (I TOTALLY AM. MY SELF-ESTEEM NEEDS IT) but I’m good at this dog stuff.
Who knows? Maybe this is what I’ve been looking for. I have been mulling job prospects over for months because Bugaboo is finally going to be in school full-time (albeit with funky breaks still, but at least they are only a week at a time) and I need to do something during the day. I do the occasional babysitting job for friends (again, word-of-mouth only. I’m a certified teacher but not a licensed daycare.) but need a little something more to keep me busy. We can kinda/sorta afford for me to continue staying home but the extra funds sure would be nice. I mean, in case we want to cover that DIRT PIT IN OUR YARD that used to be a deck. I dunno, perhaps we’d wanna get a PATIO or a PORCH or something. You know, just for the sake of argument.
This also quells my desire to have a bunch of dogs running around all day. I’m thinking I might get certified to be a dog trainer or something. I dunno. Maybe I can volunteer to foster doggies. All I know is I’m having fun. And I have dog slobber on my pants (note to self: Stop wearing black pants.). And dog hair. And dog breath. And…
I’m no closer to making a decision on service dog vs. home companion animal. I do know that when the time comes and the time is right and the Moon is in line with Jupiter and I do the solstice dance around the fire while throwing salt over my shoulder we will get a dog from a shelter, rescue or other group committed to helping to control the animal population. It just breaks my heart to see the conditions that some of these puppy mill animals live in. Pennsylvania is one of the WORST places in the US for puppy mills. It’s embarassing. We’re second behind Kentucky, imagine that. If you drive west of here about an hour, suburbs disappear and farms crop up and “breeders” are everywhere with signs. And yet our shelters are so crowded they are turning away dogs, or worse, euthanizing them.
Please, for the love of Pete, spay and neuter your freaking animals.
GEORGE! the labradoodle is here to stay for a week. I totally want to keep him. This is part of the problem with this particular job. See, I have this teensy problem with coveting. It’s totally a sin. Like, I wanna keep other people’s babies and dogs. And they keep picking them up for some reason. It’s not fair. Do you think that if I hide GEORGE! in a closet or something when they return to get him that they will notice he’s not here and maybe just forget about him and be all, “OH WELL. IF YOU FIND HIM, LET US KNOW?”
I didn’t think so.