I love dogs. I ordered business cards. I saved up plastic bags from buying produce. I was ready to be a dog walker.
Here’s an example of the kind of Sales and P.R. I did.
Them: Nice to meet you. What do you do?
Me: I teach music, do a little writing, mostly a stay at home mom.
Them: Oh. I just went back to work full time. Too bad we just got a new puppy and it has to stay in its crate all day.
Me: Yeah too bad. Well, have a good day!
Me ten minutes later: Dang it!
Finally, though, I got a dog to walk. She was a sweet lab with sweet owners. On my drive over to the house with my daughter, I thought I hope she still likes me even though I’m coming into her house by myself.
She didn’t. She sniffed us nervously with the door cracked open, and when we came in, she barked and snarled, “Intruder! Intruder!” Then she ran into a back bedroom. I didn’t want to go down the hall and make her feel cornered, so I threw a tennis ball down the hall and called, “Sweetie, want to go for a waaaalk?” Even the ‘W’ word didn’t work.
I took my daughter home and drove back by myself, the whole way wondering just how bad it would be to let the dog pee in the house, and finally praying, “God help me get the dog out to go potty!” I firmly believe that God listens to even little prayers like this. Well, maybe not firmly, because I was still worried.
When I got to the house, I called my mommy. “Mom, could you meet me at the dog’s house in case I need someone to call 911?” She came, and didn’t even call me an idiot, which she has every right to do, considering the brave things she’s done.
But I didn’t end up needing my mom because (cue the angels singing) a neighbor drove up, said she knew the dog, and braved the house, even though the dog barked at her, too. She got the dog to go in the back yard, but couldn’t get her to come back in out of the rain. I even stayed on the front porch in case it was me she didn’t want to see. The neighbor even lured Sweetie with a treat. “No way,” said Sweetie.
My mom said, “Maybe if I go into the back yard through the gate it will scare her into the house.”
“She hates, me – I’ll do it,” I said.
So I did.
In she went. (Maybe I did need my mom after all!)
The neighbor reminded me to lock the front door (did I mention I was the worst dog walker in the world?) and I left. Turns out I only love dogs when the owner is home. Good bye Sweetie. Good bye dog walking.