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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Some days I feel like I lose touch with reality a bit.  I spend all day and night with animals, which I love, but I do miss the human contact.  I am so busy, it's difficult to keep up with friends.  Plus I don't get the added benefit of work friends.  My work friends are dogs.  When I was working at the vet, I wanted nothing more than to get away from dealing with the public all day long.  Sigh, I need to find a happier balance with things.  Or more friends need to join me in the pet sitting so I don't just talk to dogs during the day! :)  Just venting really... one of those days

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Here's hoping for a better week.  I took a cleansing nap today past feeding and walking.  Haven't had a free second to meet a new client that I have been in touch with for over a week!  So frustrating!  It is nice to know I"ll be back to sleeping in my bed again. Oh how I have missed it. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Oh this week!!  So last night I was making my way over to my last 2 stops of the night.  It was dark, chilly, and rainy and I was headed to walk 3 dogs.  Yaaaayyyy.....

I get to the first place, a condo building with 2 dogs and a cat who I absolutely LOVE.  The owners left keys for me in a lock box on the front gate.  We have done this before with  no problem.  SO I get the keys out and see that they are new.  I try to get the gate open, the key doesn't work.  I tried all the keys numerous times and I can't get in.  Sigh...  I call the owner, can't get a hold of her.  Luckily I remember that I watched cats in that same building and could call her to see if she could let me in.  Thank god she was home and able to come retrieve me.  She tried the keys as well, no luck.  She lent me her set so that I could walk the dogs and get back in afterwards.  The only key that worked was the one for their particular apartment.  I remembered that I had a spare set of keys from watching the cats at home, so I walked the dogs back over to my house where Mike was nice enough to find the key that I needed, and then we walked all the way back over to their place (marking every trash bag and pole along the way with pee)  We get back, return the keys to the neighbor, get the dogs settled and I head to my deerhead to sleep on the couch again.  She woke me up at 6 am for a walk outside and I started my day after that.

I missed the bus on 3rd st and a nice older man came up to me with a schedule for the 57, told me when the next bus was coming, and then insisted that I keep the schedule. So cute for 7am on a Saturday.

Friday, February 24, 2012

WHAT A NIGHT!  Night 2 with my deerhead :) She ate like a piggie yesterday which is wonderful, but was quite anxious (I know the feeling).  We did our normal walks, she did her normal business, and then at around 2 am got very restless.  I woke up, gave her a calm down pill and some food, and she was still edgy.  The next time I stood up, she got up to go out.  So we did, at 2 am, in the rain.  She peed and had some loose poo :( Poor kid.  We got back, she got comfy and fell asleep, I was up for another hour and a half.  Sigh... Then at 4am am the house alarm starting beeping and I had to get up and figure out why.  Well, I don't know why... but I got it to stop.  Then another half hour awake.  Fall back asleep to wake up at 7am to take my deer out again for her morning walk and give her meds and breakfast.  I feel like a zombie right now.  I don't know if i should sleep or shower and start my day, I"m all confused.  She is lucky that I love her so much :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ever wake up to someone staring at you?  I did an overnight at my favorite greyhounds house last night. I sleep on the couch, she sleeps on the floor.  The first night at someone else's house I usually wake up every few hours just because it's unfamiliar.  My last wake up was at 6 am and I fell back asleep on my back (apparently with my mouth open and drooling down the left side of my face) I feel someone staring at me and I open my eyes to find Sasha literally making eye contact and her nose just an inch from my face, but not touching.  Startling because she looks like a deer.  I wiped my face and got up to take her out.  7am on the dot.  The phrase "Deer in headlights" must be changed to "Pet Sitter in headlights when awoken by a dog who looks like a deer"

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Locked my keys in my house today.  Had to go to 9th and Walnut to pick up a key just to go home to get MY keys and then walk my lunchtime dogs.  Ugh.  This week needs to get better.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Day from hell.  This was a day from hell.  Let's preface this by saying my phone has been acting up lately.  I started my morning cat visits at about 8 am - I got a few phone calls and texts up until about 10 am - then when I tried to text back, my phone wasn't working.  The touch screen wasn't responding to touch.  I take the battery out, turn the phone off a few times, etc... nothing.  If it rang, I couldn't pick it up.  If I got a text, I couldn't see it.   I am finally able to head home and try to call T-Mobile from my land line and they are closed for Presidents Day!!!  What the hell?? So I start calling T-Mobile stores in the city to see if THEY are open.  Some are, some aren't.  In the meantime I have 2 -4 texts waiting for me that I cannot read, telling me whether or not I need to walk certain dogs today at lunch, and lunchtime is quickly approaching!  At this point, I just need a phone that works!  So I walk to my closest store.  They are closed, but supposed to be open.  The guy with the key is running late.  SO I wait about 30 min for him  to get there, and finally get help.  Long story short, I spend a small fortune on a new phone b/c my upgrade isn't due till May 20th and I need a phone NOW.  My business IS my phone.  I spent a good 45 min trying to rationalize spending that much on this phone and by the time I get out of the store it's 12:45.  So I immediately call the clients who texted me earlier to see if I am walking their dogs.  I am. Sigh....

So I head to Old City, come in to a sad bulldog with a crusty, goopy eye (just had eye surgery) looking miserable and 2 large piles of diarrhea on the carpet.  I get him in the crate and clean up his mess, which was quite stinky.  I let him out again, and then realize the pet spray I used turned my fingers white!  So I wash 3 times with Dawn to try to get this crap off of my fingers.  I catch the bus back, walk the other dogs, get everything taken care of that I need to and have 30 min. to rest before leaving for my Dr. appt.  At my LAST visit of the day, I walk in the house quickly because the cat tries to run out of the door and I knock over her coat rack.  All of her jackets and bags go flying, as does the cat, and it's just the icing on the cake to my day.  Luckily his sweet face and him nosing me made me smile. 

So now that I have a new fancy schmancy expensive phone, I feel the need to take on MORE work to pay for it.  Vicious cycle it is.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What a morning!! I went to bed super early, woke up at 6am, threw up (sorry if it's TMI) but it set the tone for the day.  I have just been worn out with my stomach hurting trying to get everything done.  Cats and Cats and more Cats this morning, and then there was the dog.  The VERY sweet and EXTREMELY playful black lab puppy who is about 7 months old and a ball of energy. He has eyes that make you melt and loves to jump and eat and jump and play and lets just say he was happy to see me.  He ran down the stairs and jumped up on his back feet, and with his 2 front feet (and his mighty force) pushed me by my stomach into the couch.  On a normal day this is tolerable.  On a weak stomach day, I was just hoping to keep my minimal breakfast down while walking him. 

I also made a dinner trip to feed some indoor and outdoor cats and there were pigeons flocking to the roof waiting for me to put the food down!!  I have never seen this here before!  I literally had to shoo them away because the cats were just interested in eating.  I don't understand... I never will.  I hope they put up a fight because those birds do not need to be eating Friskies!! Look at em!  Just waiting to poo on my head to distract me so that they can all eat.  I swear they were calling their friends over.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Holy Crap I'm FINALLY done!  I demanded a high five!  I see all these people going out to dinner and at bars and waiting for cabs... and all I want to do is take a hot shower and lay down. 
These are the days where it is tough to have your own business.  I was up at 7 am , got ready and started my visits, then had a class in NJ from 12-4, then came back to do round 2 of animal visits.  It is now 7:15 pm and I am pooped, but still with 3 more visits to go!! It's tough when you try to have a life sometimes, especially on a holiday weekend.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Holy &@)#&$(!!  17 pet visits/walks on this rainy rainy Thursday.  I'm wiped.  It rained on my head, I got my umbrella.  It stopped raining, I accidentally left my umbrella at someones house.  It started raining again.

I was super excited to start this new cat job for an old friend today and there were 2 codes that I had to have to get in the house.  I was armed with my handy dandy book of instructions in the light drizzle and figured out how to open the keypad on the garage.  Got the garage open, yes!  Found the key, unlocked the door, went in, hit the alarm code....hit it again.... and one more time.... and the alarm goes off!!  And it's loud, getting louder, have to call the owner, hoping the police don't come in the interim...  Ugh.  There are certain parts of certain days where I feel like I just suck. This is not the first time that this has happened to me, and luckily thanks to technology the alarm can be disabled from a phone. I got major cat hugs after this fiasco.  They were completely calm the entire time, meanwhile I'm having heart palpitations.

 About 4-5 years ago I was pet sitting at a house where there was an alarm and 1 skiddish cat, but the owners never set the alarm when I came to feed the cat.  The last time that I was there, they set the alarm and didn't tell me.  This was a very nice older couple, but apparently slightly forgetful.  They were only gone for about 3-4 days, however they left no contact info for me to get a hold of them.  I had no cell #, no email, no hotel info, nothing.  So here I am, on a Saturday night in a small house on a small street with a VERY loud alarm going off and ADT calling to figure out what is going on.  I can't hear them on the house phone because the alarm is so loud.  They refuse to disable the alarm because they cannot get a hold of anybody on the couples "emergency call list." Seems those on the list were deceased, rendering them not helpful in any way.  The police come, the whole street is outside, the police talk to ADT, no one can reason with them!  I'm told that if I come and/or go by opening the front door, the alarm will sound and the police will come.  There is no way around it.  The neighbors are screaming at the alarm company, as am I, and thus it did no good.  The cat freaked out and ran in the basement.  My only option after being there for 2 hours was to leave a ton of food out and a very long note explaining the situation.  I stated that I was there for the amount of time that I would have been there over 4 visits (4   20-30 min visits), plus the massive inconvenience, I was keeping the money if that was ok with them.

When they got back, they called and apologized profusely.  They said of course I should keep the money, they are very sorry, etc...  The kicker is that 4 months later I see the husband, and he asks for $45 back since I only made one visit.  Four months later!!!  I immediately wrote him a check and the following day I mailed them a note with their key stating that they should find a new pet sitter for the future.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Feeling like the more I walk around this city, the more violence I see involving young kids.  Today on a dog walk there were police chasing down a group of kids who beat up some other kid in Queen Village (by the playground I think) and videotaped it.  I saw they caught 2 of them, but seriously!  This was at 1pm.  I'm glad I walk big dogs.  A few years ago on my way to walk 2 small dogs I came across a guy (about 17 yrs old or so) who had his girlfriend by the throat up against a car and her friend was standing there doing nothing!! I stopped him and then he got in MY face and tried to threaten me! I called the cops, they seemed less than enthused to go find this asshole.  I really hope things get better around here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It's Valentines day, and I should be feeling love from everyone, but some animals today were hating me.  I got very little sleep and an early start to my day, my second stop was in the Rittenhouse area for some nail trimming and butt shaving with 2 cats.  One of the cats is ok, the other is um.... "not cooperative" (to say the least)  The uncooperative gal was given Valium 2 hours prior to me coming in hopes that it would make her more accessible to our needs.  By the time I got there, the pill had worn off and we were in for a fight.  I called the vet to double check how much we could give, and we gave yet another pill.  In the interim, we cut nails on all 4 feet on her sister AND did a butt shave.  By that time the Valium should have kicked in.... it didn't.  Lets just say there was hissing, screaming, swatting, striking, biting, and kicking.  It took 2 grown women 45 minutes to hold this cat down, clip her nails on all 4 feet, and shave her butt.  We both had bleeding war wounds when we were through, but we did it!  It was triumphant!  

My next stop was to pill a cat that was giving her owner problems.  As soon as I lifted the bedskirt to coax her out, she hissed and came after me, batting at me with both hands and chasing me out of the bedroom!  Thus far, my morning was a wash.  I was covered in band aids and my ego was shot. 

Such a long day, so many stops to make on very little sleep, and my last one was my poor bulldog friend who just had eye surgery.  His pout while wearing an e-collar broke my heart, but my must heal! 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

About a year ago I was going to watch a cat for the first time.  The only way I know this cat was there was the fact that the litter was spoiled and the food was eaten :)  I never saw him!!  One morning when I reached the house, I saw a young squirrel behind the flower pot looking scared.  I went inside, did my work, came back out, and it was still there!  I tried to give it crackers (usually works), or at least see if it was hurt, friendly, etc.  After about an hour and talking to all the passers by, I decided to try to get the squirrel in a carrier and take it to my back patio to see what it's story was.  Armed with gardening gloves and a cat carrier we tried to get it.  It jumped in and out of my hand, then after a little while took off like the wind!  I sometimes wonder what ever happened to that kid....
Just for the record - there will be NOTHING on here that is negative about my clients.  Nothing about forgetting to leave money, messy rooms, personal names or addresses, etc.  This is strictly just funny animal stories and day to day adventures that happen. 
A weekend of chronic sickies.  I am currently watching on older cat who LOVES love, however she can get it.  She loves to hug and purr and be on you, so while I get her injection, fluids, food, and pill ready, she drapes herself around my neck and purrs.  She is also the only cat I know that purrs WHILE receiving fluids.  Such a sweetie.

Next week I will be without my older golden retriever who knows how to treat me like a lady!  When we go for a walk, he does his business, I find a trashcan, and then he grabs his leash in his mouth and leads me back to his house :) It's very endearing.

Friday, February 10, 2012

On a side note, this cat Sasha looks like the daughter of my 2 cats Max and Gabe!  Weird....

Just some cute pics I felt like adding :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

So if I had the "day of impeccable timing", yesterday would be called "The day of the worst timing ever in the history of timing!"  Post full moon, I know I should expect some setbacks, however yesterday nothing went right.  Started my dogs at 10am with one of my favorites!  Huge fuzzy kid who loves to hug and snuggle and the folks who come to clean the house are scared of him.  The deal is that I take him out so that they can clean the kitchen where he stays, but they didn't end up coming yesterday.  I thought it was serendipitous. I get some more quality hug time, plus an early start!! All was well in my neighborhood... dog walks went smoothly.  Then I go to take the bus down to old city for my bulldog.

I caught the bus at 3rd and Catherine, we make it to Pine and see that there are police cars and the street is blocked off.  We then have to make a huge loop back to Lombard to go to 5th.  We head down 5th and I notice there are "Road Work" signs ALL OVER!  They are making this city like a maze for rats!  So we finally get back down to 3rd st, we make it to Arch, and across Arch is a van parked sideways facing a girl laying in the middle of 3rd st, seemingly unable to move her legs.  I was planning on going another block, but I just got out there.  I have no idea what the bus drivers plan was.  So I cross Arch, pass the girl who has someone by her side making a call to 911.  I wanted to ask if she needed anything, but then didn't because she did have help.  I hate being that nosy person after the fact asking, "Can I do anything??"  She was sitting up and aware, but seemed painful.  Maybe it was the moon, maybe it was hormonal, but I walked past her feeling horrible and started to tear up, especially when I heard the ambulance sirens. It literally took 30 min. to get from #rd and Catherine to 3rd and Arch.

  Deep breath, dog kisses, try to take the bus back on 4th. 

The bus is nowhere in site, so I decide to try to catch the one on 8th since I have to go to 10th st anyway.  There are a TON of people waiting for the bus on 8th (at 12:30 on a Wednesday??!!) and they are all pushing to get on.  I found a seat in the back and had a very tall man standing up next to me.  So tall that his ass was eye level with my face as I was sitting.  I then started to ponder... what could happen in this situation if the bus jerked?  Could he fall on my head ass first? Could he fart on my face?  Could he turn around and put his front "parts" in my face?  None of these options were appealing as I rode on the most claustrophobic bus ever.  When I finally got out at my stop, I was dizzy and nauseous and just trying to walk it off.  I was running late, so I got to the next dogs house, and the next, and then the cats, etc, etc.... then it started snowing.  That beautiful midday flurry that is magical to walk in.  Things were looking up until it was getting dark and then just cold and rainy and I had to go to one more cats house!!! Grrr!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

It's sad when I see clients at the end of my day and I smell like sweat and dog and cat and litterbox and city in general.  I feel obligated to apologize!  I do shower, usually twice a day!!  Sometimes I am just so gross when I get home from a long day and I don't even realize it until I get out of the shower :(  To anyone reading this, my sincere apologies.  I should start carrying around a body spray...
It's been a few days.  A lot has been going on really...  busy weekend of pets, plus the Superbowl.  First let me say that aside from Madonna's magical performance, I would have rather watched the puppy bowl.  I know it was back and forth the whole time, and so close, blah blah blah... I just can't get THAT excited about football.  Before we headed to our "super bowl get-together", I had to give insulin to a new clients diabetic cat.  I met there cats before Christmas, so my memory was a little fuzzy almost 2 months later.  Luckily their wonderful owners left very detailed instructions (sometimes you really need that!!).  So there are 2 female cats, both all black, but only 1 is diabetic.  Considering I only met them once, I of course was nervous about telling them apart.  I remembered that one had some white, and the other didn't.  What I didn't know is that their eyes were different colors as well.  Here I am in their basement kitchen feeding them and picking up the head of the one that is eating to check for gold eyes!  Poor thing, I had to check 3 times and interrupt dinner just to make sure I was giving insulin to the right cat!  Luckily all went well.... but I have to say that before you are used to a certain routine with new animals, it can be quite nerve wracking. 

As for the rest of this week, it has been pretty uneventful.  The full moon is tonight, I am feeling it, the dogs are feeling it, everything is just a bit "off."  Trying to lay low until it passes.

Friday, February 3, 2012

This was the day of impeccable timing!!!  Very crazy how things worked out. 

Let me start off with the cats that stole my money.  I watch 2 adorable young cats, one has calmed down, and one is BAD.  Bad with a capitol B, but he is the sweetest cuddlebug ever.  They have a tendency to climb the walls, knock everything off of flat surfaces, hang of the shower curtain, un-roll toilet paper, scratch everything even though they have fabulous cat trees and scratching posts... etc.
I stopped by today to do a nail trim on them so that they cannot attach themselves to the walls (at least for a week or so)  Their owner said she would leave money for me, but when I got there I didn't see anything.  After she told me where it started out this morning, I realized that they stole it!  And possibly ate it?  It was under a jar of treats and the jar was on the floor.  I searched 3 levels of the house, no money.  I think they are hoarding it to buy more Greenies.

On my way to old city, I passed by the park on 2nd and Market and there were no dogs, but a cell phone in the grass.  I thought to myself, "If that were MY phone, I would want someone to try to find me." So I took a spin through the park, picked it up and the battery was almost dead, but there were 24 missed calls, so I knew someone was looking for it.  I called the number that made most of the calls "Chef Bruce", and this guy answered and seemed less than enthused that I found this phone, but said he lived across the street and would come down.  While I was waiting there, I saw a younger guy searching around the park and said, "Are you looking for a phone?"  He looked so relieved and said, "Yes!! That's my phone!"  Said the guy I spoke to was his roommate and he was sleeping and not going to come down for anything.  Good deed #1, my mitzvah if you will.

Then if was off to 20th and Chestnut to a cat, having to stop by the GAP outlet right next to her apartment.  $1.97 tank tops!!  And nice ones!!  I purchased many.

Then caught the bus, planning on getting out at 9th and Chestnut.  The bus stops at 11th and isn't going anywhere.  There is a protest for something with healthcare.  TONS of people shouting and singing and blocking Chestnut between 10th and 11th.  There is a LINE of bus's, all empty, drivers on the sidewalk looking frustrated, and traffic backing up for blocks.  I get out and just walk to the dog at 9th and South.  Just so happens this is the wedding dog.  I got there earlier than planned, but fed him dinner and took him out anyway.  AS I was putting peanut butter in his KONG, I see the storm door open.  The wedding party came to the house to take pictures with the dog and some by the front door!  I was actually needed to get the harness on the dog and then hold him back while they took other pics. Impeccable timing again!  Plus I got to see the happy bride and groom take super cute pictures and they were both beaming.  I am not one for big weddings and pictures and massive festivities, but I had to say that they looked so cute and so happy!  I got a little choked up and I just met them once this week!  What a Friday!  I'm exhausted!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Oh, it was one of those days....   Thank god for a light schedule today.  Started out with a choppy night of sleep.  Mike went to a post bachelor bachelor party.  I thought I would get to bed early and sleep well.  Woke up at 1:30, saw that he wasn't back yet.  Then woke up at 2:45 when he GOT home, and then was up for an hour while he passed right out.  I was awoken at 6:15 with his usual first alarm, and then each consecutive alarm after that until I had to force him out of bed to go to work at 7:45.  It's tough on 4 hours of sleep, we have all done it.  After he left, I showered and layed down and fell asleep till 10:45. 

My day began with big cuddles from a big dog, then missed a bus to old city.  Walked down there, poor dog there has cherry eye and was super mucousy, dry, and inflamed today.  He just wanted to cuddle too.  I cleaned his eye up and applied ointment.... hoping he is more comfy for the rest of the day.  Then I missed the bus back to South Phila, so I walked again.  Stopped by the pet store to say hello, turns out I just missed someone there that I was looking for to thank!  (Local and wonderful police officer who referred me as a dog walker to a couple who had been robbed by their last 2 dog walkers) Then after one more stop, was running late to my last lunchtime dog who was very patient and excited to see me.  He has a bit of a drooling issue, so the present that he left me with was a slobber string on my pants right before I left.  And now that I am home, it's laundry time.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pet sitter saves wedding day!!!!

I received a call last night from a frantic groom who's dog sitter backed out last minute on the day of his wedding!!  The nerve!  Luckily he was close by so I swooped in to help :)  Met both owner and dog this morning - both very nice.  Now one less thing to worry about before getting hitched.  Crisis averted !

I know this has nothing to do with pets, but since it was so nice out today, people were wearing less layers (myself included).  I noticed more clothes and how it really annoys me when women wear shirts that are nearly the exact same color as their skin!  Regardless of race, there is a shade of shirt that matches any skin tone, and it really makes folks do a double take and think to themselves, "Is she naked??"  I saw an example of this today on 5th st.  It's a menial gripe, but I hate to stare.  I am jaded though.  Many years ago when I worked at Cosi in Old City, there was a very large black woman walking up 4th st in the early afternoon completely naked!  Since I know it does happen in this city, I feel I always have to make sure!