Warrior Words: Adventures in dogsitting — a crash course
Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to read is true. Their doggy names have been changed to protect the innocent.
Before last week, I had never dog sat before. The task had never even crossed my mind until one day two completely unassociated Wilton residents reached out to me in request of my dog-sitting services. It should be noted that I have never advertised said services as I had no experience in the matter, but in this serendipitous career-launching opportunity, I gladly accepted their offers. Stay in someone’s nice house, play with dogs, get paid: what more could I ask for? I went over a week early to meet Dog A. Dog A was very loveable with a particular affinity for hands. She would rub her entire gigantic golden retriever body on me until she could get a sweet lick of my spindly fingers. The family of Dog A also needed me to watch the house for the weekend, and seeing that I had an SAT on the Saturday of that weekend, I would stay over at their house.
Then onto Dog B. Upon initial introduction to Dog B, we bonded closely. The owner warned that Dog B was a rescue and could be skittish towards new humans, but B and I seemed to get along just fine.
A week passes and now it is time for my dog-sitting powers to shine. I get into Dog A’s house no problem and find her leaping up onto the furniture in overwhelming excitement in response to my arrival. It was all fine and dandy until Dog A, in blissful abandon, peed all over the hardwood floor. I scrambled to let her out while trying to find a mop and cleaning supplies. To my surprise I found a bucket with such items sitting on display on the counter, suggesting that I should expect such accidents to happen again. I was right. Everytime I came in the door, I rushed over to the gate to let her out before her excited bladder beat me to the door. To add to it, I could no longer get the dog to pee outside, so before going to bed I called one of my friends to come stand in the yard to prompt the excited bladder of Dog A to release outside. It became a social game. By the end of the weekend, a plethora of Wilton teens had come to the house to help me contain the mess. The night before my SAT, Dog A and I had a lovely night in in which she consumed the printed instructions for her care and wrestled me while I shoved my tiny arm down her massive gullet to retrieve said paper.
The next night, I had to walk Dog B: a welcome reprieve from the playful chaos of my first client. When I entered the house however, Dog B was cowering in a corner staring deeply and growling into a corner behind the wall that separated us. The house was unlocked and this dog, who before had shown affection, snarled and made unwavering eye contact with an entity behind my line of sight. It turns out, there was no one there and the eye contact was just a symptom of mild neurosis, but it’s safe to say it scared the life out of me. Finally, after about a half-hour of coaxing and chasing Dog B around the unfamiliar home, we finally suited up and walked around the perimeter of the property.
After this canine-filled weekend, I was left with physical soreness and mild emotional trauma, but left the owners with clean houses and dogs with empty bladders. Although it is no longer my dream job, it’s safe to say that I, Alex Myers, am now a qualified Dog Walker.
Alex Myers is a senior at Wilton High School. She shares this column with five classmates.