Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Randy Bull Mastiff

“Randy” was a very excitable and friendly Bull Mastiff.  Upon meeting him for the first time he was more than happy to show me his toy up shoving it in my stomach! “Ah, he likes you.” the owner said.  Thank goodness, because I’d hate to walk a dog whose entire head was nothing but mouth, to dislike me.

My job was to take Randy to the dog park three times a week.  Because of his size, and his large mouth, I could see the caution and wariness on the faces of passersby.  One of those passersby was more than happy to express her fear and trepidation.  

One time Randy wanted to make friends with a German Shepherd whose owner was walking a few steps ahead.  So Randy galloped towards him, in that playful way that dogs do when they want to play.  The owner, upon hearing Randy approaching her dog, turned around and spurted out, “GET YOUR DOG!” with such venom it rendered me speechless.

She repeated her request again which jolted me out of my Medusa-induced trance, and I called for Randy.  Randy couldn’t have cared less whether or not he got to play with the dog…but my feelings were hurt.  How dare she make such a rash judgment against my dog!  I tend to get a little possessive about the pets in my care.  Randy was a happy-go-lucky pup who loved to play, run, romp around and chase me!  He was also quite the ladies-man. 

Randy loved nothing more than to walk along side a cute babe that was hiking, look up at her and with those eyes, demand a head rub.  Or if he spotted one sitting on a bench, he did not hesitate to jump up and sit next to her.  Not wanting these women to have a heart attack, I’d yell out to them way in advance, “He’s friendly!”  Each time, they all warmed up to him very quickly.

Randy was one of my favorites.  His owner had told me a month ahead of time that they were moving to San Francisco.  However, I was still completely caught off guard when after our last visit together as I was saying goodbye, I bawled my eyes out!!  What the hell was that all about?!  Even Randy’s owner was taken aback.  I hope to God she didn’t think I was a wacko and realized that I was just very fond of Randy.   

That’s one of the occupational hazards of this field.  You get attached so quickly and easily to these fuzzy critters.  They burrow themselves into your heart and curl up in a nice warm spot and stay there forever.  Randy said goodbye to me by jumping up and thrusting his front paws into my stomach. Mushy I know.  But true.  The emotion is mushy...not my stomach.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Gregarious Greyhounds

The Greyhound is a graceful, elegant and ancient breed of dog. It is the only dog mentioned in the Bible (Proverbs 30: 29-31). It is depicted on murals of long ago civilizations.

When I opened the door to take one of these majestic creatures on its first greeted me by taking a majestic chunk out of my leg! Ok, not literally. It was just curious to know what my jeans tasted like.

The client had been struggling to keep a pet sitter that wouldn't leave after getting bit. The poor fella was a racing rescue and was still dealing with some issues. I knew this during the initial interview and that's why I didn't bail after what I call the, "I'm-getting-to-know-you" bite. I also didn't bail after the, "my-mom's-home-sick-and-I'm-confused-as-to-why-you're-here-so-I'm-gonna-bite-you-just-in-case" bite. 

One day when I bent down to show him where his treat was that he dropped, I still stayed after the "I-think-you're-trying-to-take-my-treat-away-so-I'm-gonna-bite-you" bite.

Needless to say, I managed to receive a tetanus shot in the middle of all of that. And the beautiful and graceful Greyhound and I are best buds now and I have been bite free for over a year now. However, I'm not ruling out the "Happy-Labor Day-do-you-taste-like-BBQ-today" bite.