Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Do Not Trust Me With Your Pets

Last weekend was exhausting, to say the least. Being the token single person in my group of friends, I was double-booked as a pet-sitter. I was staying at Lezlie's house to watch her boxer, Rosie; and also was stopping in at Ryan & Erin's house to feed Chuck.

This is the third time I've dog-sat for Lezlie, who is convinced that I don't actually stay at her house because she can find no evidence of human hair on the bathroom floor or in the shower when she comes back. (In my own defense, I cannot stand the sight or feel of stray hairs on the bathroom floor, so I take care to clean up after myself.) I warned her that next time I'm going to leave a Dreaded Double Dookie floating in her toilet just to prove that I was there.

I love staying with Rosie. She is sweet and cuddly and adorable, and really easy to watch. Lez and Mike only give me two rules to follow: 1. No looking at porn on Mike's computer, and 2. No stealing cowboy hats. Easy enough. But every time I've dog-sat, something has happened, and each time, I feel like Lez will never trust me again to be with her dog. For example, last time Rosie got all these weird cuts and scratches on her muzzle. I swore to them that I wasn't scraping Rosie's face with a fork, but deep down, I think they weren't quite sure...

I thought this time I'd get away clean with no mishaps, but then on Sunday, I noticed that Rosie's eye looked a little swollen. She was rubbing her face on the carpet and scratching a lot, and I figured she'd just gotten stung by something - no big deal, right? I even put an ice pack on her eye to help with the swelling. Lez was coming back the next day, so I really didn't think too much of it.

In the meantime, later that day I went to check on Chuck, but Chuck was nowhere to be found. I walked through the house calling him in a high-pitched "Mow mow!!! Mister Chuckles! Mister Chuckney! Mow mow moowwwwww!" but he never came out. Just then, the neighbors upstairs kindly informed me that they had seen Chuck OUTSIDE on Saturday and that he'd run into the woods. Great. Apparently, the door to the garage had been left open and that's how Chuck had escaped. So he'd been living in the wild for 2 days before I knew that he was gone.

For those of you who don't realize the seriousness of my situation at this point, let me elaborate. Chuck is like a child to Ryan and Erin. Any time they go out of town, I'm Chuck sitting. He is more pampered and needy than most small children that I know, but I love Chuck. Even more than that, Erin and Ryan LOVE Chuck, and if anything happened to him on my watch, I'd probably have to give them my first born son, and even that wouldn't come close to making up for the loss of Chuck. Even if my first born was named Chuck and then given to them, it wouldn't come close.

After a painful phone call to Erin (who didn't belive me that Chuck was gone, and actually started to get mad because "Do you think this is funny?!?!?") I dragged myself home, feeling like a failure. Actually, I drove myself home and stopped for a Slurpee on the way, proving once again that I have no soul. I fell onto Lez's luxurious new chaise lounge and finished watching the Eagles game, feeling crappier and crappier by the second.

So I did what I always do when I screw up - I called my level headed, always-rational sister and cried to her while I simultaneously drowned my sorrows in a Burger King milkshake. But before you shed a tear for poor Chuck, rest assured that he did come home that night after Erin & Ryan came back. When I told my level headed, always-rational sister the good news, she said, "I told you so. Chuck's too spoiled to ever become feral." Thanks, Bone Senior.

On Monday, I scoured Lez's house for any rogue hairs and packed up my stuff to leave. They weren't going to be home until 7pm, but I figured that Rosie would be OK while I was at work, and I wouldn't need to go back over. Her eye still looked a little swollen, but she wasn't acting weird or anything, so I wrote a note telling Lez that I'd spent all weekend looking at porn on Mike's computer and also that I'd stolen some hole-y socks. In the note, I also mentioned Rosie's swollen eye, and that it might be an allergic reaction to the corn dogs I'd fed her. And I always sign my notes, "Seacrest out."

Lez called me on their way back from the airport, and I, being the responsible pet-sitter that I am, informed her of the eye situation, but told her that I didn't think it was a big deal. She said she'd call me after they got home and let me know how Rosie looked.

An episode of Prison Break, and two episodes of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia later, I was listening to a somber voicemail message from Lez: "Sair" (we have cool, one-syllable nicknames for eachother) "It's Lez....we're at the vet with Rosie now, the vet says she was bitten by a black widow spider. She's going to be OK, we're just lucky we got her here in time."

While I tried to swallow my tremendous guilt, I called and texted Lez but she never answered. I was panicked and texted that I would pay for the vet bill, and I was so so sorry, etc. So I called Erin and cried to her about what a terrible pet-sitter I was because I lost Chuck and I almost killed Rosie, and where was I going to find another hair stylist because surely Lezlie wouldn't do my hair anymore after I almost killed her dog, and on and on and on. Many sniffles and snot bubbles later, I had cried myself to sleep on my Elvis pillow. Because I was responsible for the near-death of a dog and I had to find a new hair stylist.

Before you shed a tear for poor me, rest assured that there is a happy ending to this sad tale. I woke up at 6:30 the next morning to a text message from Lezlie: "We didn't think you would believe us, Mike thought it would be funny to play a joke on you."


How do you like them apples?? I blame it all on Mike.

Sure we laugh about it now, and we spent a good few hours hanging out that night with Mike and Lez, laughing about it. More like laughing at me for being such a sensitive crybaby about it. They said they felt really bad, and when I told Lez that I had cried myself to sleep, she said, "Awwwww! You cried because you love Rosie and you were worried about her!"

You'd cry too if you thought you had to find a new hair stylist.


Anonymous said...

I swear, Sarah, you need to get published. This is way funnier than any of the funny columns on the coveted back page of magazines. Keep it up!

g said...

I totally agree!!! Thank you "The Rules" for validating what I have been saying all along. This blog needs to be famous! Bone Junior- I also i, just this moment, realized that i forgot to email my friend from New York about you like I promised!- I AM A FLAKE! ok I am doing it right now. I am sorry! It will totally be my fault if you never get discovered and become famous like you deserve. I take the blame totally!

Andi Mae said...

Thanks for being so entertaining! (Sometimes Adam's toe-pointing just doesn't cut it!) On that note, when are you coming back to eat sushi with me??

Bone Junior said...

But every time I blog, I point my toe and pose like Adam. Does that make me doubly entertaining?