Tuesday, July 2, 2019

1002. It's a Dog Dog Dog World

I have always been a cat person.  I love fluffy cats, short-haired cats, black cats, orange cats, calico cats, tiny kittens, overweight cats, you name it.  So it should come as somewhat of a surprise that my latest job is:

Dog Walker.  

I like to tell people that this is because no one will pay me to walk their cats (that's right, cats are smart enough to walk themselves). 

Paint the scene:  I found myself in a job situation with a co-worker that I could no longer tolerate.  She truly made every day miserable, and I knew things were bad when I would secretly hope she would call in sick, go on a vacation, or just flat-out die. 

Yep, I needed to quit. 

I endured three long years there, while things continued to get worse.  I would come home from working with this awful co-worker, and every day my family would say Find another job!  

I randomly saw a sign near our house that said the three little words I needed to hear: 


I applied, passed the background check, and now people I have never met happily give me their keys to go into their home while they are gone and take their most valued possession (their dog). 

I am terrified of Pit Bulls.  Did I mention that?  Why yes I did, right there on the job application.  I said I would walk any type of dog (especially a cat) but staunchly refused to walk a Pit Bull. 

You know where this is going, right?  The very first dog they assigned me was a Pit Bull.  It (he? she? who knows, as I have tried to block it out) bit me on the ankle the moment it saw me. 

Somehow I lived through the ordeal, and continued to walk dogs.  Now we will briefly pause so that I can show you pictures of dogs I may have walked, or you can just think I got these photos off the internet: 

Oh my goodness, is that a cute dog or what?

Another favorite. 

Be still my heart.  Look at those eyes! 

Oh how I adore you, you gorgeous thing!  (And what a smart owner to color coordinate with the yummy orange leash to really set off those spots.)

Reasons why I love my job:  The dogs never complain.  They never say, You are 5 minutes late, again, MOV!  They never criticize my choice of outfit.  Or the fact that I didn't brush my hair.  They genuinely seem happy to see me, and sad when I leave (which is more than I can say for my teenagers).  They usually do what I say (Sit!  Shake! Let's cross the street here now!), and if the worst part of the job is picking up poop, well, what job doesn't have some metaphorical poop you have to deal with? 

Sometimes the owners are home.  This always shocks me.  I feel like I am breaking and entering and they might call the police at any moment.  That never happens.  Instead they mumble something about how they forgot that I was coming, but sure please take Scout for a walk. 

Scout and I go. 

We feel the fresh air.  We squint into the sunlight.  We notice that squirrel dart up that tree trunk.  We hear the birds chirp, sometimes at us.  We smell the freshly cut grass.  We smile at other people walking by, and we stop and chat when those people have dogs too.   

But mostly we walk.

I LOVE MY JOB.       


Friday, June 28, 2019

1001. It's Just A Sunflower

Yep.  I’m back.  It’s really me.  Had to think about it for five years, but then I decided to write something.  Here goes:  

The Husband has always planted vegetables:  corn, squash, 
zucchini (is that the same as squash, or just sort of a distant 
cousin? Who knows), pumpkins, lettuce, tomatoes.  
His garden is green and leafy and full of nutritious things; 
it makes my friends swoon with jealousy (“MOV, did you 
personally grow all that?” Me, without hesitation:  “Yes.”)  

So it should some as somewhat of a surprise when 
The Husband one day woke up and told me:  
“This year, I’m planting sunflowers.”  

Naturally, I was thrilled.  Sunflowers are one of my favorite 
kinds of flowers, next to tulips.  They are big and bold, and
 basically look like if children’s laughter was made of flowers.  
Yep, I love them.  

Now, in the five years I have not been writing my blog 
(and who knows, the next post might take me five more 
years to compose, so don’t get your hopes up), I have 
gotten into photography.  Not Ansel Adams or 
Irving Penn-level photography, but (ahem) I have won … 
let me just say … I have won EVERY SINGLE 
PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST that I have entered.  

That sounds impressive, doesn’t it?

So anyway, like I was saying, I like to take pictures.  

Pictures of my kids, pictures of the beach if we go on 
vacation, pictures of the dog (we got a dog in the past 
five years- who knew I was a dog person?!? Oh and 
now I have a part-time job as a dog-walker, so I guess 
I need to get you up to speed on a couple things 
sometime soon.)  

Standard deviation:  here is a pic of the dog:  

(Cute, right?  He only weighs about 105 pounds- 
same as me, I like to say.)

Enough rambling, MOV!  Get to the point of the 
story already!  Gah, writing is harder than I thought, 
and I guess I am really rusty.  

So.  The Husband. The sunflowers.  The newfound 
interest in photography.  (Maybe you know where 
this is going because I sure don’t?)  One morning I 
innocently glance out the window and notice that 
the light is what can only be described as magical.  
I have to grab my camera RIGHT NOW THIS SECOND.  

I walk outside in my jammies and approach the sunflowers.  
They are easily three feet taller than I am 
(hard to believe, as I am somewhat tallish in real life, 
but they dwarf me).  I hold my good camera  
(as opposed to my phone camera) to my eyeball 
and start clicking away.  

Unfortunately, due to the inconsiderate shade of a 
nearby tree, the sunflowers are turned the wrong 
way and do not look good in my pictures.  Instead 
of being sunny, they are dark.  They stubbornly do 
not respond to coaxing or bribery like my sons 
(“Please please look this way!  If you just cooperate 
for two pictures, I promise I will take you to the pool 
later and we can get ice-cream!”).  Nope.  
They stay firmly in place (think rooted).  

I take matters into my own hands.  I walk over and 
gently try to adjust the flower.  I attempt to turn the 
stalk where I need it to be.  

No sooner do I touch it, then it snaps off in my hand.  
The Husband will not be happy later, I already know.  

Not having learned my lesson (gah!  The cliches. 
Writing really is harder than I remember), I gently 
bend another flower to get it into the acceptable 
photographic range. 


Did I mention his garden only has about three 
sunflowers at this early date?  

I have destroyed ⅔ of his bounty.  

Unfazed (probably due to all that flight attendant 
emergency training of what to do in a crisis situation), 
I prop the now-dead sunflowers into the general area 
of where I need them to be for my picture.  Perfect.  
Then I start snapping away.  

I check my camera, and I am satisfied.  

Now I take the remnants of the sunflowers and 
internally debate my choices.  Leave them 
propped up and pretend to be shocked when they 
“suddenly” wilt in the next day or two, ultimatley 
saying “a fox must have chewed through them”?  
Throw them over the fence into the neighbor’s 
yard and blame it on a “strong gust of wind”?  
In the end, I (stupidly) decide that honesty is the 
best policy (more cliches.  And spellcheck does 
not even know to add and accent to cliche.  
I’m sorry). I cut the flowers down even more 
and stick them in a vase.  

Predictably, The Husband was not pleased upon 
his arrival home (“MOV, those are MY flowers!!! 
What gives you the right to cut them!!! I can’t 
believe you did this!!!”).  

By the next day (who am I kidding, month), he 
forgot all about my selfish ways, and yes, I got a 
pretty good photo out of the deal:  

(Thank you for being here, and I will try to write again 
if I have anything remotely entertaining to say.)  

Ps- first blog back, I had major formatting issues, so if 
anyone has advice on that let me know