If my blog were a dog…

10 09 2013

If my blog were a dog I would be charged with neglect and have it taken away from me. I really am quite terrible at keeping up with any sort of consistent posting. And for that, readers, I am heartily sorry. It has been crazy around here as usual but I’m still doing much the same old same old… except for one thing…

since around May I have hardly lived at my own house. I have been dogsitting at other people’s homes for the entire summer. Granted you’ll notice my moniker is eclecticnomad (emphasis on nomad) and  while I love to roam around and live other people’s lives there is something to be said for sleeping in one’s own bed. I did have many adventures along the way. Just this past week alone has been super crazy. But I’ll get to that in a minute…

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Lazy butt Levi, so spoiled

So dogsitting… for those of you that don’t know,  I use to work at both an animal shelter and a vet’s office. As such, I have a lot of experience with animals of all kinds and this makes me an excellent candidate for taking care of people’s pets. Not only that, but I presently work at a country club. This gives me excellent exposure among clients who are on the “more privileged” end of the fiscal scale. With this comes a certain amount of special treatment they expect for their animals. A lot of my client’s children are grown and moved away from home. So their dogs are their furry babies. This results in self-proclaimed spoiled rotten pups (and I’m not one to judge, Levi my own Labra-dane is about as spoiled as they come.)

Everyone knows that pets tend to visually take after their owners (if you don’t believe me just Google it. You’ll be stunned by the results.) When I translate this to my own life, I’m ok with this. I mean come on… Levi is a gorgeous specimen. But  beyond this, much like children, pets’ personalities are largely determined by their owner’s training style. I can tell a lot about a person just from the way their animals behave. Sometimes you’ll get the unexplained abnormality. And when I say this I’m thinking chiefly of Bandit.

Bandit  is an otherwise sweet pitbull mix. We get along fairly well, except for the fact that he doesn’t like me taking showers. I have no idea why this dog has a problem with my personal hygiene but he flips every time I go to bathe. I first noticed his compulsion when I forgot to bring my clothes into the bathroom to change after my shower. Wrapping myself in a towel I opened the door to bandit waiting anxiously in the hall. This was odd but I paid him no mind and took a step forward. That set him off. He began to viciously bark at me.

Now I’m not the kind of person who fears a barking dog. Usually if you just let them be and ignore them they realize that you’re the master and in control and will settle down. So I went to go step past Bandit and imagine my surprise when he jumped up and tried to rip the towel from my body. Ever since then I cannot walk through a door way without him barking at me towel or not.

Or how about the dog I’m watching that’s actually a cat.

yup

I don’t understand it either. But the cat thinks she’s a dog. She eats from my plate, crouches down and hisses to “protect” me from the dog and sleeps with me all night long. It’s crazy.

The strangest thing I have encountered while dogsitting though came one fine July day….

I had finished with my “real job” for the day and it was about 3 in the afternoon. I was upstairs catching up with some summer reading when I heard a commotion coming from downstairs. I could have sworn I heard a voice and unless on of the three dogs had magically learned to speak there was someone in the house with me.

Sure enough as I rounded the corner to the living room, some elderly woman was standing in the middle of the kitchen.

“Um can I help you?” I asked slightly taken aback.

“Oh my goodness,” she whirled around. “Did I wake you up?” She seemed very concerned. I looked at my watch. It was three in the afternoon, long past sleep time.

“No, I was awake.” I replied, pausing for her to explain her presence.

“Well, I didn’t know you were here. I’m sorry. I’m Miss Betty from next door.” She waved over to the window where her house was visible on the other side of my car. Looking past her shoulder I noticed the back door open behind her. She would have had to have walked past my car to enter in through the house. How hard is it to put one and two together? By this time I was also wondering how she got into the house to begin with. Whenever I dogsit I always make sure to double check that I lock all the doors behind me. And the owners told me there was no hide-a-key. Maybe she had a set of her own?

“Ok…. well do you need something?” I still didn’t know why she was there.

“Well I looked under the fridge and cleaned that out, so that’s clean now. And then I looked under the stove and had to clean that too…. so my house is clean but I cannot find my keys.”

…..do what now? I thought to myself. There were a set of keys sitting on the counter that had been there since I started sitting two days ago. They were a spare set of house-we’re-standing-in keys. But if her set of keys to the house were sitting on the table, there was no hide-a-key and I had locked the doors (which I KNOW I did, there is no question in my mind about that one) there remains but one problem…

HOW DID SHE GET IN TO BEGIN WITH?!

She however offered no explanation, gathered up the keys and went about her merry way. To this day I have yet to figure it out. Someone has suggested that maybe she was already in the house when I had come home from work and maybe I had locked her in WITH me. But that thought disturbs me so much I prefer to just write her off as an otherworldly creature with the ability to walk through walls.

There is one more notable experience that I would like to share with y’all before I sign off. So I’ve already stated that I watch homes for people who are fairly wealthy. Well I recently had the chance to stay in what I like to call “the millionaire’s subdivision.” It’s a gated community filled with McMansions, perfectly manicured lawns and a sports car in ever garage. They take their commune so seriously that the community (not the police but the community, mind you) will write you a ticket for speeding or not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign…..  and then they’ll publish it in their community new’s letter naming names of who hasn’t been following the rules. Fortunately, I didn’t learn this from experience but was informed of it during my grand tour.

The house I was watching is massive. It has so many amenities that I decided to go around and count them. I had to restart my count three different times because I kept losing track of my tally. So this house had:

  • 5 bathrooms
  • 4 bedrooms
  • 11 sinks
  • 5 toilets
  • 4 showers
  • 14 tvs (even in the bathrooms)
  • 4 refrigerators
  • 2 microwaves
  • 12 closets
  • 2 dishwashers
  • 2 attic spaces
  • 2 offices
  • 2 kitchens
  • 2 two car garages
  • and one workshop space.

Wanna guess how many people live there? …..Two. To put in perspective how large this house is, the laundry room was 200sq.ft. which is the size of my bedroom. I am an avid cook and I went to go look for the olive oil so I could make myself some fajitas. You figure that would be an item one would keep near their stove. Well after thirty minutes I gave up my search. Three days later I found pantry #3 which held the olive oil and also all the lovely snacks and cereal I had been searching for. It’s a wonder I didn’t lose myself in that house. I certainly came close to it.

Anyway I hope you guys have had awesome summers. Fall has come to the ‘Ham and the air is tinged with Autumn smells. Hopefully you won’t have to wait as long for my next blog post. But I make no promises. Thanks for being awesome peoples!

Cheers!

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One response

11 09 2013
MarinaSofia

Nice to have you back, in whatever guise or frequency. Had to laugh at your tales of woe! As for the giant house: I remember a few years back, when we were moving abroad and house-hunting (at a distance), we kept seeing those tiny, inadequate but very expensive houses for rent. Finally, exasperated, we said to the estate agent: ‘Why can’t we find a plain house with decent-sized rooms, a bit of a garden and a garage, like we have back home, nothing fancy?’ And she said that our perfect house would probably be the one her boss had. He was divorced, living alone, never home (always travelling on business) and had to have a gardener, a cleaner and a cat-sitter come in to look after it, but he lived in this large, beautifully appointed house… which would have made such a lovely home for a family with kids.

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