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Friday, October 23, 2015

Look into my....eye....

Picture it.  I was in an apartment feeding cats.  It is very nice building on a very nice block with about 6 units in it.  I bent down for a cat head scratch (her head, not mine) and there is a very sturdy knock at the door - slightly less aggressive than a police officer.  I am confused as I was on the 2nd floor of a locked building.  I opened the door only to find an older gentleman with greasy white hair, greasy leathery skin, 1 good eye and 1 white eye, and he was wearing dirty jeans and a dirty flannel.

He said, "I need to come in and change the air filter!"    I was taken aback because I was not expecting anyone to just show up, let alone to maintenance. I told him that this was not my apartment, I was just cat sitting and that no one told me that this was ok.  He repeated, "I need to change the air filters, it will just be a minute."  And again, told him that I need to talk to my client, I'm not ok with just letting them in.  Then another guy yells from upstairs, "It will just take a minute to change the filters, we will be right down."  I shut the door, call the client, she didn't pick up, and then a minute later they just come in stating that it will take a minute. I kept saying that I understand that, but I don't have the authority to just let people in.  It's not my apartment.  They basically brushed by me with a ladder and changed the filters and walked out.  Got a hold of the client later and luckily she was ok with it (happy that I happen to have been there for this fiasco).  But seriously, any other place that I have been where someone was there to do work and I was unaware of it, they understood why I wouldn't let them in.  These guys couldn't care less.  

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Dog Park Policy

I felt the need to write this because I spoke to a potential new client today that wanted me to take his dog to the dog park right off the bat.  I told him no and explained why.  I find that I explain this quite often so I just wanted to put it out there in the open so that everyone understands my stance on dog parks and why I have very specific rules for myself and my clients.

I come from a medical background.  I worked in a vet office for 13 years.  I saw the aftermath of "dog park fun".  There were ears ripped off, brutal bite wounds that required drains to be surgically placed, lacerations that needed sutures, damages teeth, nails ripped out of the nail bed, even death from an attack..... you name it, I've seen it.  That is not including the many frantic phone calls that I answered that began with me words,  "My dog just got attacked at the dog park."   I have all of these things that lay dormant in my brain until someone says, "Can you bring my dog to the park so he can run off some of his energy?"

I will always say no.

Here is why:
* Your dog is not my dog.  I will not be liable for something awful happening on my watch when it could have been avoided.  I do not want to rush your dog to the emergency room.  I do not want to have to make that phone call to you, telling you to rush to the ER because we don't know if your dog is going to be ok.   Or that you have a huge vet bill because some other dog attacked your dog.

*  I am not the owner.  I am not the parent.  I am not the alpha.  I am the babysitter buddy that asserts authority when necessary.  That dog will never listen to me like they would listen to their owner. If something happens (another dog fight, thunder, crazy child taunting, crazy dog taunting, loud truck sounds, etc) and I have to get that dog outta there ASAP and I call for him/her to come,  they BETTER listen and come.  I will take a dog to the park if I know that that dog WILL listen to me and come when called.  This does not happen right away. ( Out of all of my clients, there are 2 dogs that I am completely comfortable with at the park.  That is it. )  Once we develop a relationship and the park is close by and the dog and I have mutual trust (and I know that the dog goes with the owner all of the time), then I will consider it.  It is just too risky otherwise.  I have insurance, but i don't want to have to use it.

* My main goal is safety.  When I come to walk your dog, I want that kiddo to stay SAFE!  You are trusting me with your kid, and that kid needs to be on a leash, away from cars, away from aggressive dogs, away from harmful things on the street to eat and walk on (chicken bones, glass, gum, dead rodents, mouse poison)  We jump, we play, we greet other people and dogs if we are all comfortable with it - but in the back of my mind I am assessing every situation.

* I know every dog that I walk like the back of my hand.  They all have their quirks.
Some hate the mailman that's on 8th street
Some hate UPS guys
Some hate Fedex guys
Some hate both
Some hate kids
Some pick up tissues and paper towels
Some try to walk on glass
Some try to get out of their gentle leader or harness a certain way
Some hate other dogs (some small, some big, or just all dogs)
Some hate skateboards or anything on wheels
Some hate homeless people
The list goes on and on - but I know them and treat them as if they were my own dogs.  I care just as much, and that is why I don't want to unnecessarily jeopardize their health and safety in any way if I can avoid it.  I am there for a potty break, some love, some treats, and a safe walk.
I urge you to not be upset that I don't feel comfortable taking your dog to the park, but know that I am making that judgement based on experience and love for the animal.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Diamonds Too Will Pass


                         A few weeks ago, this face allegedly ate 2 diamond wedding bands.

With every poop, we are picking it up in clear plastic and smushing it to see if diamonds appear.  Thus far, nothing has come out.  The owner tore her house apart  - so either this kiddo is living with precious gems in his intestines OR they are lost forever.  Until then, we will continue to have a close relationship with the poo.


Also, while I was walking Darius I passed by a guy that looked like a human version of him! Short, stocky, dark skinned, round head.... and as we passed him he goes,  "Hey, is that Darius?!" And I said, "Yes, are you two friends?"  And he replied, "Nah, I met him last week when I was walking with my kid.  Really funny because my name is Da-rye-us.  (I imagine it's spelled the same way and just pronounced differently)  How weird is that ?  Man looks like dog and has the same name?  Sometimes the universe just makes me smile.


Update : The rings have been recovered (not ingested by the dog)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Notes Are My Best Friend

Sometimes I will meet a new client a month or 2 before I actually have to go there and watch their cat.  Although I write everything down during our meeting, when I get to their house it is still sometimes a little fuzzy.  Sometimes people go above and beyond with notes all over the house and I LOVE it!  So helpful.
This was especially helpful over the Pope weekend when I was losing my mind to start with.  I went into her apartment and found this










So helpful!  In every room on every floor :)