May 23, 2008


I guess one of the reasons I love four-legged animals so much is because I just don't get the two-legged ones. Unfortunately, in dealing with the four-leggers, one must also deal with the two-leggers a good percentage of the time.

My pet sitter/friend, Susan, called me from the ER three days ago to say she'd been in a bad wreck and needed me to find where her car was towed and help with her critter clients. After jumping over, under and through a lot of hoops, our friend Jeanette was able to locate the car in the police impound lot and we got written permission from Susan, the doctor, and the police officer at the scene to take possession of all pet-sitting related items in Susan's car - most importantly, her clients' house keys and pet care instructions. Susan was especially worried about a new client household that consisted of two elderly dogs, both on medications, one of them on insulin that must be administered in 12-hour intervals.

It took a few hours to gather all the paraphernalia, go to Susan's house and get additional records and phone numbers, call clients to prioritize which ones were out of town and needed immediate care and which ones were daily dog walks that could be delayed or postponed. Then, we set out to take care of the fur babies who were dependent on us. In the end, Jeanette and I were able to accomplish more in a day than either of us could have done alone.

OK, all of that to preface the reason I just don't get people. Since I used to own and operate a pet-sitting business, I agreed to take over most of Susan's scheduled visits for the next week or so. Meeting new critters, getting plastered with sloppy kisses, walking in different neighborhoods in this lovely weather, and listening to the various octaves of kitty meows has been a lot of fun. What has not been so fun is trying to figure out the people behind those pets. For example:

...when you asked the pet sitter to feed the dog on her visit, why would you not leave the food bowl in clear view... like say, next to the water bowl, on the kitchen counter, or in the garage beside the food bin?

...why would you have a litter scooper, bags, and a dustpan next to the litterboxes, but no broom anywhere to be found? give the pet sitter the code to your garage door, but no key and no backup plan...what happens if the electricity goes out?

And the one that infuriated me the most, and the inspiration for this post... go out of town and ask your friend to take care of your cat. After a week passes by and you aren't able to get in touch with your friend, you call your pet sitter and ask her to go by and check. The pet sitter gets there and the cat has NO food, NO water, NO sign of a water bowl, and the litterbox looks as if it hasn't been scooped in a month. The poor cat is howling at the top of her lungs. When the pet sitter finds a bowl in the cabinet and begins filling it with water, the cat dives in and drinks, nonstop, for at least 10 minutes. Great friend.

And, if that weren't enough....while driving to another pet visit today, I was passed by a guy in a truck with a sticker that read, "Save an Elk, Kill a Wolf." I immediately thought to myself, "Yeah, right, so you can kill the elk yourself for sport!" Grrrrr.

***By the way, Susan is doing much better but will be out of commission for awhile. She had a shattered femur and had to have surgery to insert a rod into her leg. Not the best news for someone who makes a living walking dogs and scooping litterboxes, but given the circumstances, she's one lucky lady!

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