Sunday, January 7, 2018

(Dog) Cleaning Adventures

Besides taking a break from blogging, I have also taken a "semi-break" from pet-sitting.  As I announced to several clients (who had become very self-centered regarding my time and availability), I am taking "a hiatus" or mini-vacation from working.  I have continued to care for quite a few undemanding owners (or, since I am in Boulder - guardians) at the same time.  I'll start caring for Pip and Squeak, two black DSH sisters, tomorrow evening, and will make two visits to them each day through 4 February.  I feed and water them, clean their potty box, love them, and play with them - not too demanding.  I'll also be walking my friends' Jack Russell terriers at noon at the end of the month - again, not too stressful.
    Our apartment community had a very small get-together in September (tenant turn-out was low), but during it, I met a young man and his dog.  The dog is just so utterly lovable - he came over to where I was sitting, and just placed his chin on my knee, waiting for a loving pat.  I found out the dog's name is Caspar, and his owner is Ben.  I see them frequently every day, going out for walks.  On Christmas afternoon, Ben called me because, he said, the person who was supposed to take care of Caspar had suddenly backed out of their agreement - and, unless I said yes, he'd have to cancel his flights for vacation, and stay home, losing what he'd paid for his tickets. Like a true sucker, I said I'd take care of Caspar. 
  It turned out that Ben was leaving at 1 am on a red-eye flight back to the east coast - that night.  He wouldn't be back until midnight to 2 am on Wednesday the 3rd of January.  I asked him several questions, told him what I charged, went over to his place and saw his set-up for feeding, and saw Caspar's crate.  I was told that Caspar thrived on several walks a day, but two long ones, plus two or three outings to the back commons area to "do his business."  I knew that Caspar was 9 years old, and I had asked in September if he was part English Setter - Ben told me he was a Dalmation and Springer Spaniel cross.  I asked Ben if Caspar had any problems, and he only said that Caspar was very attached to him, and would miss him.   -  I should have asked questions, then and there.
  And so began my great cleaning adventures.  I have since found out that Caspar was a rescue dog, and that he has been with Ben for less than one year...  Ben left at 1 am on Boxing Day.  I went over to check on Caspar and give him an early morning walk at 6 am.  He greeted me from the end of the hall, where Ben had pushed Caspar's crate as a barricade - and the smell made it plain that he had an upset stomach.  In the five hours between Ben and I, he had pooped four times and peed five times, up and down the 20-foot hallway.
   The first time I came home, and left him for 20 minutes, Caspar had a liquid bowel movement  in the living room, spraying stuff all over the front of the television cabinet, and also on top of the coffee table.  The next time I left, I put him in his crate, and was gone for 45 minutes.  He pooped and peed multiple times inside the crate, and covered his blanket with excrement.  He did this each time I went to sleep, each time I stopped physically touching him, each time I left to come home or go shopping.
  In the 8 days Ben was gone, I used  - to clean up - 8 rolls of paper towels, 4 1/2 mega-sized plastic containers of anti-bacterial wipes, 4 bottles of Simple Green cleaner, and ruined a mop...  And I charged Ben my flat fee, only.
   If Ben breaks a leg in the future, I will walk Caspar for him - but I will not stay with him, nor pet-sit him, nor allow him inside my apartment. 

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