i decided yesterday to try my hand at dog walking. I contacted a very nice woman in Alexandria. We chatted on the phone and via text and she asked me to start tomorrow (which would be today…thursday…) and I said thats fine.
What I didnt realize was that Alexandria is like 4,000 miles from Reston. This wouldn’t be a problem if I could only get my rocket fixed.
I had to get up around 9:15, not terribly early but it is when you are still having your “I’m going to stay up late because i dont have a job to go to in the morning” party. So I roll out, throw on some shorts, a t-shirt and naturally, a PE bra.
The night prior to this, Charlie, our weenie had eaten my running shoes. Last week at the gym, Pretty Woman was on in the “cardio cinema room” at the gym and I wore a blister into my right heel to the point where there was blood everywhere. I love pretty woman. So I had my shoes, with the bloody socks tucked in them by the door.
Last night is when he noticed them. Next thing I knew, he was settling in to eat my entire right shoe. I caught him just in time where only part of the heel had been chewed and he got a stern lecture and his allowanced docked for the next month. As i was cleaning up the carnage of my $125 shoes, I notice he also helped himself to my socks. I dont know what his fascination with blood is but he loves it. It weirds me out.
Anyway, I throw on my shoes, google map how to get there. thats when my heart sunk. 37 minutes and $2.00 in tolls. Doesnt sound like much but when you dont have a lot of income coming in, its a lot to deal with. Meanwhile, I was getting an ear full from mom and dad (each had me on speaker phone on a conference call while all three of us were in the car) about how I should be filing for unemployment and i should get a haircut and I need to enroll my dogs in school. so I take off down the highway on the way to Alexandria. I pull into the first house 57 minutes after I left my house. nearly an hour of sitting in traffic and dealing with interstates just to walk dogs for less than minimum wage. BUT! this was an adventure of the new Stephanie, goddamn it.
My new boss was already there, she was walking the first dog, a sweet girl named Coco. thats when the fun started. it was pouring. Neither of us had umbrellas with us because it wasnt looking like rain when we started. So we head in with Coco and took off to the next walk.
We arrive there with no problems. We meet Riley, a beautiful brindle boxer who seems to have a bit of a mule issue (she sits like a mule in the grass and wont walk on a leash). No rain this time which is fine, i was still drying off from the last walk.
Then I was released into the wild on my own. 4 minutes into the drive to the next walk and I was already lost. Luckily my new boss was patient enough to lead me there and she stayed on the phone with me, literally, the rest of the day so I wouldn’t end up in Maryland.
I go to London and Paisleys house, two adorable corgi’s and greet them at the door by screaming “good god what is the security code again for this fucking thing?! WHY ISNT IT TURNING OFF?!” once I got it out of “panic mode” I decided to get their harnesses on so we could go out.
If you have never seen a corgi, they are very fluffy.
I couldnt get their half broken, hot pink harnesses on due to the amount of fluff involved with their bellies. I couldnt tell where the hair ended and where the dog began. I was terrified of being less than 3 inches away from this strange dogs face, laying on the floor trying to get this harness on and pinching her.
I fashioned the harness into a bow around her middle by tying the harness ends together. All I knew is i didn’t want her to jerk and run away because I would be looking for a new job.
Out we went, with the on again/off again rain, there were puddles everywhere. With their short legs and excessively long hair they looked like street sweepers with ears. Of course, there was another dog walker out there in a tie-dye tanktop with arm holes down to her hips and a tropically themed bra underneath. She has an umbrella and a decrepit, white something dog who you could tell had seen better days (he had a harness on but his seemed to fit). She wanted to chat because it was pissing rain and she doesnt have a lot of people to talk to when walking dogs. while she chatted about being retired, the corgi’s decided to take a break and have a seat in the puddle in front of me.
I finally got away from the retiree in the tropical underpants and got them home where they took turns rolling on the white couch.
On to the next house. A maltese whose mom has OCD. I had to wear covers over my shoes. I will have you know they have 14 hardwood steps that go up to where this dog stays. 14 chances for me to slip backwards and crack my head open on her pledge enhanced floors only to be left there until she returned home from getting a perm.
After this nightmare dog who wouldnt go outside “because it was raining and mom says all dirty dogs go to hell” I squished her back in her crate.
I got back in my car, cold, defeated, wet, in need of a bladder elimination and apparently gushing blood.
On to juneau’s house. A gorgeous huskie greeted me at the door, which he isnt supposed to do due to his apparent hatred for all things feline. The cat was nowhere to be seen…
Out we went! It was still raining, we walked around the buildings, up hills and down them. I have never had so much respect for postal workers. I felt a great sense of comradery with my fellow “rain, snow, sleet or shine”‘rs in my life. Here we are, doing our jobs for the good of all in the rain.
Unfortunately there is no union for freelance dog walkers like the postal service which led me to my next decision…
get me the fuck out of here.