I’ve blogged before about my adventures in house and dog sitting, and have given my laundry list of things that while are in no way a requirement, but are definitely greatly appreciated. Some of these things include a list of anything I might expect during the week, ample supply of pet food (if required), a decent supply of human food (hey…I can’t bring my fridge with me…) and the one geeky thing I crave, an Internet connection. I can’t complain too much, I have all of the above. Plus to be fair, not long after I blogged about house sitting before, I took myself out of the business. I took this job strictly because it's a chance for me to get out of my house, and these are dear friends.
As I write the latest of my mental ramblings, I sit in a dear friend’s house with their less than 1-year-old dog. This dog is ADD on crack. (Self described by my dear friend, the dog’s owner.) I’ve known from many a soiree here at Homestead X that the neighbors to the north of the house don’t like the folks that call this house home. Didn’t realize how much this was really true until this time around. You see, this was the first time I’ve stayed at the X’s since they’ve gotten “Marley”.
Sidenote: I call him Marley not only to protect his identity, but it’s an accurate description. Now, you may conjure up in your brain a lovable ball of yellow fur, and rightly so if you’ve read the book and/or seen the movie “Marley and Me”. However, let me straighten you out a bit…big enough when he jumps on me to almost put his paws at my waist and not exactly a lap dog. Oh and not that color matters, but he’s not yellow or golden. Try ebony with a few splashes of white. Don’t get me wrong, “Marley” is a sweet dog and as I saw earlier this week, he would bark fiercely at anyone trying to talk to me while we are in the house. I digress…
Apparently Marley likes to bark. A lot. I don’t know how accurate this is though because I, like most of the human world, work during the day so I am not home to monitor his barking habits, volume, etc. The crotchety little old man who lives next door however has plenty of retired living time to monitor this for me as well as alert the local authorities as to the amount of barking that has been going on. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, my life has been a LOT more hectic this week with work than has been in the regular past so I’ve gotten home later than normal this week. How nice of him to then come and inform me of his decision to call the police AFTER he has already done so. Thanks dude.
All dogs bark, all dogs chew and all dogs go to heaven. Of these three things I’m sure. I’ve also come to the realization that there are more than just a few fictional dogs (the real Marley) that aren’t big fans of thunder and lightening storms. “Marley” being one of them. I was home for a few good solid hours after work, played around with him, etc. I was informed by the owners (who sadly, I had to call on their vacation to see what to do with him while I was at work because I really didn’t want the neighbor to make good on his threat to call the cops AGAIN and face coming home from work to a noise disturbance (or whatever it would be) ticket on the door and the dog taken to the pound) that they had gotten a hold of a friend to take him to the dog park and wear him out sufficiently for me during the day. A trip to the park that I’m sure “Marley” not only enjoyed, but also needed. My hope was that with the trip to the park, he was worn out enough that if I locked the back door, and was only gone for 2-3 hours (it was 2.75, I timed it) he would be fine. Enter Mother Nature, stage left. Thunder, lightening and torrential rain. I come home…to 3 poops and one pee stain in the carpet. Wheee. I can’t blame him, I technically said "Sorry, you can’t go outside for the next 3 hours, so hold it." He just got too worked up to hold his little insides in anymore. It’s cleaned up, I’m over it, w/e.
The bigger “adventure” so to speak has been hoping that when I got home, the only destruction I would find would be stuffing out of his beloved chew toys. Apparently, “Marley” has an affinity for DVD’s. And not just one movie, like an entire season of a show at a time. Our standing total thus far (and we have 2 days to go) is 7. Yes, all of the DVD’s have been moved. However, the two other stuffed animals that he has found, were on top of a roll top desk. I swear, this dog is part monkey. Oh, and he apparently loves breakfast cereal, I mean come on, what dog doesn’t right? The other thing that Marley has become fond of is firewood. What better than something that splinters to be gnawing on right? Oh well, as long as it's outside, I don't really mind. It's when he brings it INSIDE we run into a problem. Well, I finally discovered his supply of firewood inside and managed to get that put away. I must say that Oreck XL vacuums...totally live up to their hype. This sucker SUCKS! (and I mean that in a good way...it's a vacuum for crying out loud)
I was warned to put my own things up and out of sight if I wanted them to remain intact. Thankfully, that hasn’t been a problem and all of my shoes are still my shoes and have no chewing marks on them. Thank you Jesus for doors the dog can’t open. However, as of last night, I have my first casualty. Now, this wasn't just left lying around either. The dog has chewed through my power cord for my laptop...*sigh* sadly THAT is not going to be cheap for his parents to replace...
As for my affinity for a wireless Internet connection, it’s something that is purely selfish, plain and simple. The ability to use my own computer where I have things where I want/need them, the ability to be anywhere in the house and use my computer instead of in one room. (Okay, that part is probably me just being lazy, plain and simple, but still…it’s me.) I always feel a bit guilty using someone else’s because I never want to accidentally screw something up. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going anywhere I shouldn’t, but some people’s computers are a bit more finicky than others. Yes, I could go somewhere that has free wi-fi, but when I’m watching a house and dog like “Marley” if I’m able to stay home with him, I’d rather…to prevent any other problems, neighbors or chew toys alike. Plus, who doesn’t like surfing the web from the comfort of pjs and sitting on your bed?