Tag Archives: Summer

Lawn-mowing Developments and Tennis Team Stardom

I realize that I’ve been noticeably absent from blogging. However, with another promising dog-sitting season on the horizon, I’ve decided to get back into the swing of things.

Allow me to recap the last few weeks of my life:

For starters, my dad claims to have submitted a personal ad for me, the contents of which list my dowry and immediate availability. His goal is to get me out of the house by February, and due to my lack of job offers, he considers marrying me off as the only option. My sister moved out a few weeks ago, leaving me the sole subject of my father’s antics. I’ve migrated my things into her old room, and while it’s a nice change from my former home-office setup, Buster is very resistant to the move.

Buster putting his foot down.

Buster putting his foot down.

My dad has already me locked into a May – July landscaping contract with him. My first task is to remove all rocks from the backyard. He also recently purchased a new lawn mower in anticipation of my continuing unemployment this summer. One night last week, he flung open the garage door and began yelling for me.

“Jo! Come here! Quick!” I pretended not to hear, as “Jo, come here quick” usually indicates in an incredibly non-time-sensitive emergency, such as a dish-washing demonstration. But he continued on. “Jo! Come here, I got something cool for you!”

It turned out that his “something cool” for me was the new lawnmower. I’ll admit — it is a pretty powerful piece of equipment. My dad “allowed me” to take it on its “maiden voyage” last week and I nearly dislocated both of my shoulders. The new mower is so fast that I spent the entire time jogging behind it. I finished the lawn in record time but with a few casualties — because I was  flung around the yard like an anemic child on an inner tube, the lawn is scattered with un-mowed tufts of grass that I was unable to tame.

I’ve also taken up tennis. Somehow, my sister talked me into joining her tennis league last November. It’s been both educational and embarrassing. I’ve been described as an “awkwardly lanky” tennis player with “crazy feet” and “flailing” limbs. I try not to take offense to the fact that I seem to have been described as a growing boy in the midst of puberty. While our season consists of 15-or-so matches, I’ve only been asked to participate in 3 of them.

Since I am clearly not the most athletic asset to my tennis team, I have resolved to become the most stylish member of the team. For Christmas, I asked my father for a tennis bag. I told him that I wanted something Serena would carry. Preferably something wild and glittery. The result is a black and gold tennis bag large enough to double as Buster’s traveling quarters. It’s huge. People have asked me to climb inside of it on more than one occasion. My goal for next season is to find things to put in it. Since I only have one racket, I’ll have to designate a few of the compartments for other important accessories, such as snacks or reading materials for when I am warming the bench.

In other news, Buster has developed a new habit of walking around the house with socks in his mouth. My hypothesis is that he’s pretending to starve on the brink of insanity so that we’ll give him more snacks.

And that’s about all for now.


The Dogsitting Saga

(moved from previous blog)

Since lawn mowing turned out to be a financial bust, I am spending the summer dog sitting. I usually pet sit during the summers so this is nothing new to me. One of my favorite clients was a diabetic cat who I had to shoot up with insulin twice a day. I grew to love that cat, mostly because he was a great lump of an animal and I enjoyed looking at him.

Right now, I’m watching two young dogs who I will call Fritz and Hannah to protect their privacy. Of the two, I’d have to say Fritz is my favorite, although I know I’m not supposed to pick. I think I like Fritz better because she looks like my old dog Koty, whereas Hannah looks like Falkour from the Neverending Story. (Devinne -shout-out to Mugsy)

So far, the dogs have showered me with gifts. And by gifts I mean dead animals.

The first gift came in the form of a hoof. A couple of weeks ago, I let Fritz and Hannah run around in the backyard by themselves. I opened the door and called the dogs in. Hannah came up to me with wistful eyes (she knows I favor Fritz), and Fritz ran past me into the mudroom with a stick in her mouth. As I got closer to Fritz, I realized that her stick did not look like a stick; in fact, it had a hoof. My first thought was that Feeder Supply was now selling fake deer legs to reach a more rugged animal demographic. This was not the case, I decided, as I inspected Fritz’s mouthful of bones and fur. I made my mom throw the leg into the trash bin outside and immediately felt sorry for the garbage man who would soon open the lid – the hoof had strategically landed in a way that made the bin strongly resemble a crime scene.

A few days later, I was greeted with another gruesome treat. I let the dogs out by themselves again for a few minutes (which I’ve yet to do since). When I came outside to get them, I found them in the garage looking very muddy and very proud. On the mat beside them lay a dead mole the size of a squirrel. I couldn’t be mad at them because I knew sometimes pets mean this as a gift. In his younger days, my cat Buster was notorious for leaving his signature decapitated chipmunks on our front porch. Always the gentleman.

I turned around for 5 seconds to look for a way to dispose of the body. When I turned back around, the mole was gone. I glared at Hannah (obviously I suspected her first), and then I turned to my darling Fritz, who unfortunately looked like she’d tried to swallow the diabetic cat. I started screaming and pulled her jaws open, but she threw back her head and tossed the mole into her throat.

I couldn’t decide if fur and bones were digestible, so I did the unthinkable and pulled it out with my fingers. For the record, I’m a huge germaphobe; in grade school I once threw away a brand new pair of Sketchers after accidentally stepping on a dead bird.

After giving Fritz the heimlich, I dragged both dogs to the deck, all while making sure not to let their carnivorous mouths get anywhere near my skin (I’m a vegetarian, except for one night in college when my roommates ordered a Goodfella’s pizza and I unsuccessfully tried to eat around the pepperonis).

I gave them both baths and am still trying to figure out what to do with their mouths.

And that is my summer so far.