So, my family is being forced to move at the end of October, due to our house being put up for sale and our lease will be over. We’re now having to raise some money since CANCER (mean, bad, life-changing word!!) dried up our savings, so that we can rent another home — or buy a home if we could get to that point in a few short months.
Enter in me. The crazy mom who thinks we should just start with doing odd jobs for people around the neighborhood! What a brilliant idea, right?! We have kids, let’s put them to work! I get us signed up for several pet-sitting and plant watering jobs. I think we started with 8 on the calendar for the summer, to start with anyway. Some people start with one or two, I start with EIGHT. Why not?!
First job starts, and I have my sweet hubby come with me, as it’s the first time I’ve walked into this house alone and it’s a morning and I just feel more comfortable with him beside me. Driving two separate cars, as he has to head to work after the cute dog is visited, we enter the house. Pet is great! Very happy to see us!! All is well and I send hubby on his way. Pet is outside and as my husband gets in his car, I hear him honking madly! I run out back with the pet and see that the pet — okay, it’s a dog! — I see the dog run right through what was a WIDE OPEN FENCE GATE! Oh no no no!! Luckily the dog liked me and ran right back to me as my husband was now using his car to block the path that the dog was running toward. Got the dog safely inside the gate and locked that baby up for good! Whew! The rest of that visit was uneventful. But don’t think I didn’t check that gate every last single time I visited that pet, to make sure it was still locked!
Next job… I’d done this one a time or two prior, and so I send my son, who also knows the pets well, over to let them out for a few minutes one morning when I wasn’t able to do it myself. He would return to let them back in shortly. I wasn’t home, and I wasn’t planning on being home for awhile, so I was on the phone with him while he went to let them out. “Okay, I got them outside,” he says to me as I instruct him over the phone on what to do. “Now make sure the house behind them has their gate closed because the fence is down and the dogs can get through there and run away,” I tell him. He immediately says, “oops, nope, it’s open, I’ll let them inside and go close it!” So he lets the dogs back inside the house and then goes to close the gate. He closes the gate and then realizes that he’s now locked himself out of the house while the dogs are inside freely roaming the house alone! “Well, you’d better pray that you left the front door open,” mean old mom tells him! Luckily for him, he did. He got inside and let them out back and all was well. Just a little scare for his old momma that time.
Go back to the first dogs — the gate-escaper’s — house later that day, and walk in with my son to find two huge piles of dog puke! If anyone knows me, they know I do NOT do puke well. Like AT ALL. Gag city up in here. My son is the same way. GREAT! So I tell him he has to clean it up or else we’ll have even more puke to clean up. He fought me on it and then we both realized that it needed to be picked up, so we got a broom and lots and lots of paper towels, and gagged and held our breaths through the nasty process of cleaning that mess up. Poor dog — he just wanted to play with us — didn’t understand what all of the sounds and drama was about that was coming from his pet-sitters. Good thing he was cute. 😉
Oh, did I tell you about the cute puppy who wears a diaper that we changed every time we were there to play? Honestly, he was my favorite. No problems with him or his little brother, the hyper one who likes to eat ALL THE BONES. Love those pups.
Oh wait! There’s more!
I wake up early one morning to go do all pet jobs alone, and left my family asleep at home. Lucky them! Go to first house and go outside with the pets and go back inside to fill up water bowl. Or so I just THOUGHT I was going to go back inside to fill up the water bowl. HAHA. This time, the old momma locked herself out of the house!!! With no water for the dogs, no house key, no cell phone, no home keys, and no keys to the other pets homes! They were all locked inside the pets house!!! All the while I’m stuck in the backyard with these two thirsty dogs. I sneak out the gate and while I realized that I’d locked their front door behind me, with all of my things inside, I decide to just walk over to my house and try to get inside somehow. Only, all of my kids and husband were sleeping!!! Lovely! I decide that since my husband sleeps at the back of the house (and I’m not going to go jumping the fence to get back there!), with two fans on full blast in our bedroom, that I should just go for my son’s bedroom window and pray that he heard me knocking on it! Tap-tap-tap-tap-tap!! Again and again, until he finally answered by looking sleepily out his window at his crazy now-sweating, mother. Yes, it’s a thousand degrees in Texas at 7am. I yell at him to let me in the front door. He does, and I tell him that I need his phone so I can get on facebook and find the homeowners phone number. Start frantically researching and then realize that my own laptop was sitting right next to me. I start messaging the owner, the neighbor, the friend/other pet-sitter, trying to find a spare key to their house. Nope, nothing. The one person who had a key wasn’t around to get it to me. I was now reaching out to locksmiths, only, they wouldn’t come help since I wasn’t the homeowner! GREAT! I then realize that I had a spare set of car keys in my house, so I ran to my car and find one of the other pet’s keys, so I was able to go and get them taken care of while we figure out what to do with the pets that are outside with no water while my keys/phone/other keys, are inside the locked house! I send my son over to get the dogs, so that they can come and stay at our house so they won’t sit in the heat of that backyard and die of heat stroke on my watch. These pups are old and big and don’t care a lick about walking across the street to a strangers house, but I made my son drag them anyway (the dogs ended up happily agreeing to the walk and new setting for a few minutes — to them, anything beat having to sit outside in the thousand degree temps!). While I’m walking my other clients, my husband said he’ll figure out how to unlock the house. Um, okay, but honey, don’t break anything! “Don’t worry, I’ll figure something out,” he says. Sure babe. We’ll see about that. Sure enough, as I’m finishing up with one job, he comes to me with his friend (who is also hispanic) in tow, and hands me my keys, phone, etc., that had JUST been locked inside the house. When asked what in the world he did to get my stuff out, “It’s a Mexican secret!” OH BOY. “Babe, this is a cop’s house we’re talking about — I need to know that you didn’t harm their house in any way, while performing your “Mexican secret”!” Doesn’t matter, he didn’t harm the house, he got inside, and we now were set to walk and relieve all of the other pets that were doing the pee-pee dance in their crates while waiting for us to get our act together! Crisis kind of averted! Or not so much actually. HAHA
Did I ever tell you about the puking of my own child in a client’s toilet?! She had an upset tummy but really wanted to go with me to visit the pets. Don’t worry, clients, I cleaned it and disinfected it and everything was fine when we left. Hey, at least she made it to the toilet! I could’ve brought one of my other kids, who always tend to miss!
And the one time I decided to water an extra plant that looked like it really needed watering, but they didn’t tell me to water, but I wanted to do it anyway, and then I ended up getting eaten by fire ants while standing there watering that darn almost-dead plant?! Funny not funny. I should’ve just let it die.
Now, I am almost positive that there’s more that I could add. For as I said, we had 8 jobs lined up and have done even more since. It wasn’t smooth sailing for all of them, but all animals and plants made it out alive and happy, at least from what I could tell anyway. The kids love the animals and love serving (and picking tomatoes!), so it has been a fun learning experience… And a great way to save money for our next home! (And a good way to show my kids how to get yourself out of a sticky situation and to double and triple check all locks and gates when pet-sitting!)
Don’t you want to hire us to take care of your pets now, after reading this?! HAHAHA. (honestly, we’re great pet-sitters/plant waterers/mail retrievers, I promise!!).