(moved from previous blog)
Even though Hannah and Fritz bring me deer legs, dead moles and bird talons, they are far from the worst dogs I’ve watched. In fact, despite their poor taste in presents, I’ve very much enjoyed spending time with them.
This is the worst dog-sitting experience I’ve ever had:
Word was quickly spreading of my booming house-sitting career, and I was rapidly gaining popularity among vacationing families. After hearing talk of an East-End Dog Whisperer, a woman looked me up and asked if I could house-sit/dog-sit for her. She said she had two young golden-mix pups and a cat. I was thrilled; what’s not to love about golden retrievers, even if they might be mixed with another questionable breed?
I went over to her house for a meet and greet. When I arrived, she took me to meet the dogs. After I saw them, it was obvious to me that she had lured me in under false pretenses. In all fairness, they were “golden-mixes,” but they were about 10% golden retriever and 90% wolf. Before I could come to terms with the fact that this woman had probably found these “dogs” in the woods behind her house, feeding on domestic cats and toxic waste, they lunged at me.
I instinctively crouched down into the attack position I had been closely studying in the Twilight films. “They’re a little hyper!” she managed, as the dogs leaped on me. “Hyper” is not the word I would have used. The dogs were insane. Utterly insane. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve since developed a drug habit.
They rubbed their werewolf fur all over me, ruining my freshly pressed yoga pants. “They’re still shedding their puppy fur,” she explained. I could see that, but I didn’t think that was the case. It looked like their bodies were rejecting whatever small bit of golden retriever still pulsed through their veins. Their dark, wiry fur was bespeckled with small yellow tufts that poked up from underneath their top coats. The dogs shed the golden tufts all over the house, small reminders of their looming werewolf fate.
The woman then introduced me to the cat, who, I’m pleased to report, was the famous diabetic cat. I was instantly charmed by his woolly coat and beefy physique, and I decided to accept the job solely to protect him from certain death.
And then my job began. I arrived at the house with mace and a freshly strung garlic necklace. The wolves were relentless. The only thing I could do was sequester them in the backyard where they could run off some of their insanity. I couldn’t leave them unsupervised because they used their super-werewolf strength to dig huge holes all over the yard. I assumed these were the beginnings of nests in which they planned to lay their eggs.
I lost all interest in them the day they actually made me throw up:
I prepared my usual weapon: Kongs stuffed with treats and peanut butter, which I would launch like grenades as far from my body as possible. Kongs in hand, I led the dogs to the deck. Their thirst for my blood mixed with peanut butter was so strong that they began to attack. They jumped on me and chased me around and around in circles. Unfortunately, I was suffering from the dizzying aftereffects of the night before. They sensed my weakness and continued to circle me, making me so dizzy that I had no choice but to blindly launch the grenades and stagger to safety. That is when I threw up.
The last thing I will discuss from this experience is the cat. He was a great companion, and we got along fabulously. However, when it came time for his insulin shots, he showered me with dirty looks and slithered around the house trying to evade me. I developed a technique to deal with his resistance: I would slowly approach him, maintaining friendly but firm eye contact. As with Hippogryphs, I had to wait to bend down until he fully accepted my presence (this I learned from Harry Potter). Needle behind my back, I’d sit next to him and begin to run my fingers through his unkempt mane. At the first sign of a purr, I’d strike.
Just writing about him makes me a little misty-eyed, so I will have to stop here.