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Saturday, March 31, 2012

I'm sick and pet sitting.  Luckily I have had a few cancel on me for their own reasons (god bless them).  I'm sniffly and loopy on cold medicine, but am still trying to get the job done.  Sigh..

I also just found out that one of my senior dog clients had to be put to sleep last night :(  So sad, I have such a soft spot for older dogs.  The downside is that with all of their chronic problems, I don't usually get to care for them too long.  My heart goes out to her mom, who I'm sure is a wreck, but it was for the best.  After hardcore pain meds, acupuncture, physical therapy, she was still deteriorating :(   I hate this, because even though they are not my animals, I still get so attached to them as if they were extended family.

R.I.P. Sasha, you will be missed terribly.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I have had 2 guinea pig houseguests for nearly a week now.  George and Eli are super cute - getting used to having the cats around them and being very inquisitive.  They are sampling new veggies and fruits here and they seem to be enjoying them (kiwi, red pepper, etc..) They were delivered last Friday by a lovely family who's 2 kids made themselves at home in my home within 5 minutes. :)

Yes, I admit it's like a petting zoo here, most children are amused for a while, however these kids were exploring the house, finding my laser pointer that I couldn't find, picking up Mikes 40 lb kettle bell, reading the contents of my bulletin board on the wall over my computer... (I don't have anything to hide, however after the fact I realized that there were some things on that board a young boy under the age of 12 shouldn't be looking at)  Great kids who LOVE their piggies, I can only have respect for that :)

There is definitely something to having small pets board at our house.  Less traveling, more quality time, etc.  I used to have rats that I watched - they ate my ex boyfriends favorite flannel shirt. But they kissed my nose!

I also watched the best bearded dragon EVER named Tio!  He was a reptile who thought he was a dog.  He loved rasberries and attention.  I miss him every time I see a beardie at a pet store.  R.I.P. Tio

Spent my last night with Neuman.  Oh those eyes.... this morning he made a small white poodle friend and didn't want to leave him!  He is being treated like a king, I bought him an organic chicken and stars baby food from whole foods yesterday, he wouldn't eat it.  Only Gerber.  Sigh... 

His place is gorgeous!  Loft space is picturesque and elegant.  The older wood is paper thin though.  I could hear EVERYTHING going on above me.  The last 2 days I woke up to an alarm in the condo upstairs!  And it was Coldplay (ugh)  I could hear coughing, burping, walking.... and this was all over the sound of the TV!  Of course I found it humorous, however I had to be careful about my phone conversations that I had while in the place.  If I can hear them.... they surely can hear me.

I will miss waking up to this face      

Oh, and while walking yesterday, I am seeing signs all over the city that people should invest in, instead of yelling at those of us with 4 legged friends.

Monday, March 26, 2012

So post cats this morning, I actually caught the bus on Lombard!  Well, I saw it pull up on 2nd St and I know they wait there for a little bit.  I see the driver headed into the parking garage (to pee?) and ask how long he will be there.  He tells me ten minutes, I ask if I can wait on the bus, he says ok.  I get on the bus, which is empty (no driver either), and I just sit without paying.  maybe it was wrong, but whatever.  Septa has screwed me many a time over the years, so I don't feel too bad, plus he didn't ask when he got back in.

I take the bus from 2nd to 19th (so worth it) and head to the cats over there.  Trying to get a prozac into a cat that hates you is quite a feat!  She looks so innocent....but she is not.  I startled the cleaning lady (I startle every cleaning lady) and finished up weighing the options for the immediate future.  Do I walk to South and catch the bus to my next client or do I go to Metropolitan Bakery, then walk to Chestnut, go to the GAP outlet, and take the bus on Chestnut?  In an effort to save money, I went to South St. for the bus.  I am standing at the bus stop, all by myself, and the bus is coming right away!  Yay!  I step out in the street a bit as if to say "I want to get on the bus" and he drives right by me!!!!  I throw my hands up and yell, "REALLY?!"  There were passers by who saw what happened and felt my pain.  I chased the bus down (Thank god for traffic and a red light), stand in front of the door, and he doesn't open it!  I'm yelling through the door and he is ignoring me! I knock, he finally opened it and goes "What?" I said "I was at the bus stop on the corner and you drove right by me!" In a monotone voice with no emotion he goes, "I didn't see you."   Um, I was the girl standing at the bus stop!!! You drive THE BUS!  You just weren't looking!!  Ugh, no apology, I finally get on the bus and head back to my hood to check on my lunchtime dogs.  I guess it was my Septa Karma for not paying on the way down.  I accept that.

Strange things have been happening lately while I am outside.  Today I was headed into a building and the same crazy Asian man who hugged me last week spotted me in front of Starbucks, stopped his bike, gave me a HUGE grin and held his arms out!  I kind of smiled and went inside, pretending like I didn't know who he was....   I hear that he hangs out in Starbucks and preaches to the patrons.

A few days ago while getting a turkey bacon, egg, and cheese at the truck at 9th and Walnut, a bearded man (homeless? mentally insane?) comes up behind me and another guy in scrubs and starts belting out a song as if he is on a Broadway stage.  Arms out to either side so we couldn't go anywhere until he was finished.  In his defense, he didn't sound half bad.  He finished his ballad, promptly walked away to his "pile-o-stuff" and milk crate and acted as though it never happened.  I felt like I was in a Mel Brooks movie!

I am watching 2 new cats in a condo building nearby, and they are doing construction in the EXACT and ONLY pathway to these cats.  They stop doing demolition every morning when I walk through, and today I cut my foot on debris laying all over the floor.  Pain for me AND pain for them.  Doesn't help that they barely speak English.  The cats are super cute though, exploring my bag, eating well, hiding under furniture... :)

Also, my old friend Arlo has been having some trouble eating lately and has been picky about his water intake, so I have adhered to his needs.  Apparently 3rd floor shower water tastes the best!


OK!  Here we go!  First of all, I have been spending overnight times with my new pal Neuman.  His eyes make me melt, I have a hard time leaving, and when he gets his happy dance to go out I get quite happy as well!  He is an elderly gentleman with many chronic organ issues, but he is still hanging in and loving life.  Last night he got quite cuddly on the couch with me and it was definitely appreciated!! :)  The morning before, I was out walking him at 7:30 am (Sunday) in front of his building and being half asleep, I wasn't paying attention to where he was going.  He jumped in the flower bed and peed a bit.  I heard a knock on the window behind me and saw a very angry man with a cup of coffee in one hand and an exasperated gesture in the other hand.  I am usually quite good about keeping dogs out of flower beds, but here is my defense:

He is 14 years old with failing kidneys.  His urine is so dilute it is almost water.
He is 14 years old and should be able to do whatever makes him happy.
It is 7:30 am on a Sunday and I was out late the night before - give me a break!
There are hundreds of dogs peeing everywhere in this neighborhood and you have no barrier around the flowers, no sign saying to keep dogs out, and it's only March!

Tonight it is supposed to go down to 28 degrees and the flowers will probably die anyway.  I hate to say it, but folks were a bit overzealous with the planting this year just because we had a hot week.

ANYWAY, Neuman has been great about taking all of his meds, but his eating habits are off.  He was eating roasted chicken from Whole Foods, today he changed his mind.  He has been eating baby food mixed with some kidney food, I hope that continues!  I have grown to love him so much over these past few days and hope he hangs in there for as long as possible!!

Those eyes!
Morning flower smell

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I can't believe I have been so busy this week I couldn't even write anything down!  I'm so tired right now I can't even gather my thoughts.  I will post something new hopefully tomorrow...  Need some rest time

Monday, March 19, 2012

Onto solid food and walking like a normal human being (as normal as I get) and getting tasks accomplished.  I still find it odd that on such a nice day I am in a tank, shorts to the knee, and flip flops, yet I see others in sweaters and heavy coats.  I know I'm always hot, but it was quite warm today!  Strange things were happening everywhere!

While walking down 9th st, a random middle aged Asian man on a bike stops on the sidewalk, smiles at me, and holds out his hand for me to shake.  He seems friendly, so I do.  THEN, he envelops me in a hug!  In my right ear I hear him going "Mmmm"  - you would think it was creepy (ok it kinda was) but more just friendly,...I hope.  Really I thought he was going to grab something out of my backpack.  We let go, I felt for my phone and my iPod and was on my way. 

I was headed to a new dog who I agreed to walk last minute without meeting him or the clients.  I was told that he was an older dog, but very sweet.  This was all true.  I get into the apartment, and I don't see him.  He blended right in with the couch (with no lights on).  I start calling his name and he doesn't move, just snoring away...   I don't want to wake him because I may scare him, and he doesn't know me, and that's just not a good first impression.  My screaming his name didn't get him to stir, but filling up his water bowl got him to wake immediately! Go figure!

Oh, I would like to put a thought out there to those of you with black front doors.  When the sun beats on your house, your door becomes VERY hot, and actually radiates heat.  If it is wood with no storm door, it actually will expand during the day making it near impossible to leave the house!  I had to push with all my might and reset the alarm because I couldn't get the door open! Enough to cause an anxiety attack!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I'm like a zombie today - my stomach has not been cooperating for days!  I am empty, dehydrated, starving, and lacking energy.  I actually had to decline 2 jobs today.  I never do that, and what sucks is the timing.  It's St. Paddys weekend, and although it looks like I was out drinking all night and shirking my responsibilities for a hangover, I was actually in my bedroom all night.  Bed to bathroom to chair to bathroom, to bed.... god I miss food.  I am trying to rest as much as possible so that I can heal and have a great week that is full of energy! Right now I feel like someone took my battery out.

Friday, March 16, 2012

UGH! Today! Today is the day where I have the most to do and feel the worst.  Once a month I seem to have some "upper GI" issues and can't keep much down for a day or two.  Today is one of those days.  Lucky there were no morning visits today, so I just sat around and rested for my afternoon.  In this time, I had to take a nausea pill for I could not keep my Trader Joes toaster pastry down :( And let me tell you, it is extremely difficult to walk dogs with no food in you and completely dehydrated.  So I ate a banana and had some water, felt ok, and went out to start my  lunch dogs. 

My first one was a neighbor.  We go to the same place every time because they seem to like to "go" there. It is about a block away, 2 empty lots next to each other.  One side is slightly overgrown grass and the other side is more "garden-y" for lack of a better work.  Wood mulch, stones, some plants, etc.  I always just let dogs on the grass side, but lately since the other side has been COVERED in trash, I figured it was fine if the pooped over there.  It's not like I wouldn't pick it up.  So today, we head over there, and while they are sniffing around I get a call from a potential new client.  A lovely, sweet, elderly woman was telling me about her sniffly cat and thought I could come over to do an exam.  I told her that I am not a vet, nor authorized to do such things, but discussed the symptoms, etc. 

In the middle of my conversation, this man starts yelling at me about keeping the dogs out of the garden.  Not a trashy man, not a stupid man, just an inconsiderate man.  I move the 2 dogs over with one hand, still on the phone with the other, and he continues to talk to me!  I do the ever popular point to the phone while mouthing "I'm on the phone" and he says, "I know! But you....." and rambles again while this poor woman is trying to talk to me about her sick cat!  She hears a commotion and asks if everything is ok, I told her someone was yelling at me about dogs on grass, and then we get cut off.  I look up at the man and say, "Thanks, I was on the phone with a client, you could have waited to talk to me."  He starts bitching about keeping the dogs out of that area and how he does work in here and sticks his hands in dog poo, etc.  And he is right, there is a TON of dog poo over in that whole area.  No one seems to understand the concept of a plastic bag on that street.  I told him that I completely understood where he was coming from, but that I ALWAYS pick up the poop as this is my job. 

I am armed with poop bags at all times, sometimes picking up stray poop!  AND there are cats that live and poop in that garden too!! Anyway, we reached a civil understanding, and I understand that he does not want to kneel down in a garden and interact with feces.  Who would?  My whole point of this is that I WAS ON THE PHONE WITH A CLIENT!  Fuck!  Just wait until I get off the phone and THEN talk to me if it's that important to you!!! 

Luckily the woman called back and we talked for another 10 min or so about her cat.  She was as sweet as could be and will call me over the summer for pet sitting. 

A word to the wise for those out there not wanting dogs in a certain area - Put up a sign!  There are TONS of signs up all over the city, and I respect them!  Do not have an empty lot with no fence and stray cats, trash, and other dog poo and yell at a dog walker for walking a dog there!    Deep breath.......

Here is a cute pic to now make us all smile

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

So the task at hand was to get a hard e-collar off of a recently spayed cat and put a soft e-collar on her so that she could be more comfortable.  This cat was adopted a few months ago from a friend actually who had a litter born in his backyard.  I met her at 6 weeks old, but haven't seen her since.  The last time I was there, the original cat greeted me at the door and upstairs I just heard feet running away.  Apparently she is super affectionate with them, but still a bit skittish with strangers.  Thankfully the owners shut her in 1 room so that I could see and handle her.  The poor girl "Orangina" was so scared! :( She was literally trembling and shaking (and hissing), so I hung out and played with her sister for a bit before trying anything.  After about a half hour, I successfully completed my goal!

Before and after shots
Another hot day in March!  Crazy!  One of my lunchtime dogs was hiding from me and I had to search him out!  I walked in the house and called for him.  At this point, I usually hear his feet pounding away down the steps.  I'm calling and calling... and calling... shaking the leash.... nothing.  This house was converted from 2 houses to 1 house, so there are 2 sets of steps.  I go up the one side and find the illusive cat that I never see and a very lovely breeze coming through the french doors.

The dog is nowhere to be found!  So I go up the steps on the other side. Second floor, no one, 3rd floor, this is what I find.

Just lounging around wanting a belly rub, completely ignoring me.  Of course with that face and request, I couldn't resist.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

It was like summer today!!  I didn't have a ton of things to do, but found myself sauntering around enjoying this beautiful weather.  I'm hoping this doesn't mean that this summer is going to be filled with 100+ degree days again.  That was a huge pain in the ass last year.  I consumed more watermelon than any normal human should just to stay hydrated. 

At the moment I am mentally preparing for all of the overnights I am doing the last week in March and the first week in April.  I will miss my bed.. but I get to have good dog company...

Here is a great roof deck view from today:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Oh yeah, and at the crack of dawn this morning, I passed this on 6th st and laughed all by myself....

First of all, I had TERRIBLE dreams, then woke up unsure of what time it was, but knew that I had to get out and give insulin to a cat.  I literally rolled out of bed, threw clothes, a hat, and a scarf on and ran out the door.  It was 7:30 am ish, I think?  Before or after daylight savings... I don't know.  No makeup was applied, no teeth were brushed, I was on a mission and figured I could do my errand and come back and shower.

 I get around the corner from my house and head down a side street and see a woman and a dog.  In a sleepy haze, I think nothing of it.  They get closer and the dog is staring at me with these eyes, and i think "What a cute lab, looks familiar" and then I hear someone say "Deb?"  I look up and it's a client!  I get Leo hugs and kisses and of course feel embarrassed for not recognizing anything this early.  Strike 1 for me.

Then I start heading towards my destination to my diabetic cat and as soon as I get to her door I see ANOTHER client who I haven't seen in ages!  The dog recognized me first and then I waived, got hugs and kisses again, and we got to catch up a bit.  Why is it that you always run into people when you have morning breath and look like crap??  I get to the cat, pick up the stray poo in the house, feed, poke with a needle, etc... and head home (thankfully running into no one) Time to get myself together and look like a human being! :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Today was interesting - post full moon I was expecting anything.  I was headed from 12th St over to Whole Foods for lunch via Rodman St.  You get to pass the dog park, and most importantly bypass South St.  I got halfway down and a giant 18 wheeler was trying to back up into Superfresh's loading dock to make a delivery.  It reminded me of the scene from the first Austin Powers movie, when he was trying to get the tiny car out of the tiny space with no room?  Attempting to "un-parallel park it" inch by inch?  Picture that - and one one side unable to cross was me, an elderly woman with a granny cart and portable oxygen to breathe, and an elderly man, also with a granny cart. The other side was a jogger, a guy with a very excited pitbull trying to get to the dog park, and a 3rd guy just trying to pass.  We ALL stood on with side of this truck watching in disbelief for about 10 min or so, and the elderly guy turns around to me and says, "One time I got stuck waiting here for a half hour!!"  The driver FINALLY saw how many pedestrians he was holding up and let us pass.

My last dog walk the unthinkable happened!  Simultaneous pooping!  Well... it amazed me....

While I had Stanley out for a walk yesterday in the sunshine and breeze, the cleaners were hard at work in the kitchen.  We walked through the park, said hello to some other dog friends, watched toddlers play on the swings, and then headed back.  They still needed about 5-10 more minutes dog free, so I said we would hang out on the front steps.  I got the best hugs and cuddles out there that I felt compelled to do a small photo shoot :)  This dog seriously brightens my day.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Another lovely day outside, and I have to save the house cleaners from big ferocious Stanley!  Grrr.....  You can see how threatening he is with his um... hugs...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I haven't head a foster kitten in a while, I have had so many!!  Here are some pics... some I have kept, a few didn't make it, many I have adopted out :)

Gorgeous day!  Happy, smiling dogs! Delightful!  I met so many random dogs on the street today it was incredible.  EVERYONE was out, dog parks were full, craziness!

When the weather gets nice like this  I want to go out and advertise more with flyers and cards, but I have to say that this neighborhood is SO cutthroat when it comes to pet sitters and dog walkers.  My flyers always get taken down and I can only assume that it is my competition.  Am I stopping other people from advertising?? No!  What no one understands is that I am not out to steal clients or take over neighborhoods. There are enough animals in this area for all of us, but it gets extremely frustrating when you want to inform people of your services and you can't.  When you have a community bulletin board in a park or store, you should let people post on it.  Some places are great, some places like Cianfrani park are not.  If you will notice, their board is EMPTY.  Why even have one if you just take all of the postings off?

 Over the summer I got a nasty phone call from some "anonymous" bitchy lady who stated that she SAW me take down someone else's flyer in the park so that I could put mine up.  And that "they didn't like that in their neighborhood"  There were some other empty threats about calling all of my previous jobs to tell them about what I did and what kind of person I am. 

WELL.... the cowardly caller didn't leave a name or phone number so that we could discuss this like human beings.  Her neighborhood is MY neighborhood, and no matter who's hood it was, I would NEVER take down someone else's advertisement to put up my own!  That is just in poor taste.  And yes, please call my old job, the busiest vet ever who still refers me to clients, and tell them that you saw me take down a piece of paper in the city.  I'm sure they will want to take time out of your day to listen to you.  Ugh!  Yes, it still gets to me.  I typed a letter that day and put it up in the "park in question" stating my side and for this woman to please call me.  I never got a response, but that letter stayed up on that community bulletin board longer than my pet sitting flyer ever did.  Figures.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Why???  So my storm door was falling off my house and I needed to get a new one.  They said they would be here btwn 9am and 12 pm Tuesday - so of course I started my day early, but I thought I would receive a call as to when they were on their way.  Seems I was just being optimistic. They showed up at 9:30, I was out feeding cats, had to rush home, and now i am trapped in my "office" because cats are locked in the bathroom and my bedroom.  Ugh, AND they needed an outlet, so I am forced to be here even though the whole job is external!  I hope they finish early so I can get started on my dog walking at lunch!  In their defense, they are super sweet teddy bear like men who I just want to hug. 

In other news, I am spending my week with Brylie.  She is a super cute Welsh Terrier who HATES the mail and/or the mail slot.  Yesterday afternoon I was napping on the couch and I am awoken by incessant barking!  I get up and see that the mail has come and she is standing at the door barking at it.  This morning there was a little kid on the street that opened up their mail slot and was talking into it, again, Brylie became fixated.  Poor kid, I had to distract her with her Michael Vick toy!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

I started my morning walking down 6th st.  Very lazy Sunday for the city, not very many folks out and about at 9am. I noticed a girl walking a Westie in front of me and a few other dogs in the distance.  There was an ambulance with sirens wailing past us and this dog stops dead in his tracks and starts howling with the siren!  It finally passes, and the dog with his nose up in the air is still shouting, "Aaaoooooooooo"  Then he sees me and looks quite proud of himself, so I go up to him and say, "Are you a siren too?!!" I got some morning doggie kisses and we went on our way.

In other news, I am spending the week with my friend Brylie :)