Sunday, July 18, 2004

Nine-Dog Day

I survived Friday's Nine-Dog Day - and had a great time doing it!

I was anxious about this day all week.
  It was challenging enough having two extra dogs every day last week but Friday's challenge had me spinning before I even got out the door.  A fellow dogwalker was on vacation for her wedding last week.  And another dogwalker took Friday off to attend the wedding.  So I had two dogs from one group and two from another - plus my own rambunctious group.

They all know each other from the park,
but until this week, they had never shared a ride together.  And truly, I had the biggest dog I've ever met.  His face is the size of Otis' entire body.  And his heart is the size of the universe.  He weighs more than I've ever weighed soaking wet, in a snowsuit, carrying luggage!  But still, my bark is bigger than his.

I considered splitting Friday's group
into two separate runs.  And at the last minute, I decided to wing it and see if I could handle the entire pack at one time.  It's one thing if these dogs were already part of our group.  There's a dynamic set up between them.  They communicate and work all that out in the first week.  Friday, they had to do it in the first few minutes!  And you know what?  They totally did.  It was amazing.  Guess who got to ride shotgun!

I knew it was going to be a raging hot day.  I rinsed my hair in cold water and put it up in ponytails so it would lift off my neck.  I left the house with my hat on.  And it stayed there all day.

On my way, I stopped for my favorite coffee.
  And for the first time, everyone who works there - the same people I've seen for a year - discovered I'm a dogwalker.  Suddenly, for some reason, this made them all friendlier to me.  It wasn't just, "Oh, that's nice."  They practically threw a ticker-tape parade.  I've never been greeted with such excitement and enthusiasm about being a dogwalker.  One guy could hardly believe it.  "You're a dogwalker?  That's what you do?  For a living?  Oh wow.  That's awesome.  I love dogs.  I wanna be a dogwalker."  [Now I know where to find extra help when I need it.]  He was still talking as I said my goodbyes, practically waving and blowing kisses.  As if I was being sent off to the Peace Corps.

Aside from the great fun we had,
it's also the most dirty I've gotten in a while.  Then again, I don't always wear shorts.  Maybe my long pants get just as dirty on other days as my bare legs did on Friday. 
Before you freak out, that's only mud and dirt on my legs.

One thing I didn't consider
when I put my hair in ponytails Friday morning was the amount of sun my open back would receive.  Hellooooo sunburn!  I didn't notice it till I hit the shower - or rather, till the shower hit me.  It's been so overcast that I haven't had to wear sunblock for two months.  But last week it got into the 90s.  I hope it cools off.  Otherwise, it's just too hot to give the dogs exercise - other than a stroll to the waterhole and back to the resting spot under the shade.

I certainly earned my pay last week.
  And I'll do it again and again.  I still say, bring it on!


coffeesheavenly said...

I love animals so much . That has to be a really fun job :) but I could imagine you need to stay very fit and active for it , too . You must be a very patient person and I'm sure the dogs love you for it ;)
Take Care and God Bless

babyshark28 said...

great pics!!  LOVE all of them.  they tell a story on their own. :)

9 dogs! wow.  your a brave soul freee, and strong too. :)

hempenhomespun said...

Your job sounds like so much fun.  Awesome.

geminiwilder said...

for surviving this 'feet', you deserve a nine-dog saW00t!  

well, that sounded better inside my head...

nice crowd you've got there.  xo phin.

viarbooba said...

i loved your last sentence........that you'd do it again and again...bring it much spirit and determination!  you rock!

danielled1 said...

Just to let you know, you've got my vote.


hestiahomeschool said...

Dogwalking IS cool...people know that if dogs love you,then you must be a good person. Animals are impeccable judges of character.  We cause a stir when we take the four greyhounds out when the cousins are visiting--I can't imagine nine!

onmiownnow2 said...

I just wanted to stop by and congratulate you on your nominations and wish you the best of luck!  Lisa (The Occupant)

indigosunmoon said...

Hunny always looks so happy!  Shes precious!
Sorry about the sunburn!  I say, Noxzema!

krobbie67 said...

This looks like a tale from the trenches kind of story. I was wondering why you were sporting your legs in these photos. I thought you were trying to make the rest of us jealous but upon closer look I see the grime. You definitely earn your pay! :-) ---Robbie

s0ngbird1962 said...

WOW! What a group you had, nine.  I can't imagine, can barely control my ONE on a leash, lol.   The little dog peering out in the middle looks like such a sweet dog.  The eyes just beg, "pet me".... Hunny looks soooo proud to be riding shotgun, but it's only fair.  She has to share you with so many....

musenla said...

When I read your entry about it, I was wondering to myself aloud how in the world you can manage all those dogs.  You are so petite and tiny I was concerned their collective strength would either drag you or exhaust you to the limit.

Glad to see you had a great time and the dogs cooperated.  

Btw, congrats on the nomination in the journal awards.  I'm devoting tonight to catching up with everybody.  I've been around but I've had trouble catching up and by golly, I'll do that tonight even if it kills me!

clarity4today said...

Oh dear, sorry you have a sunburn.

But I'm not surprised by people thinking it's so cool to be a dogwalker.  Not to mention all the great stories you've told in relation to it.  I hope you shared some with your new fans. :-)

slowmotionlife said...

Holy Crap, you look thin!!  We definitely have to get you shopping.  Those shorts are about to fall off!  You've definitely gotten your energy back.  I can't believe how many entries you've written since I've been gone.  I don't know if I'll be able to comment in all of them - but rest assured, I know what's going on with you.  ::smile::  Aloe Vera, hon!  And lots of it!!  :D

miarenee24 said...

Great photos! Love'em all! Even the ones with the dirt on your legs :) After having 9 [NINE!] dogs with you, I'm just happy that we don't see any scrapes on the knees! I'd rather see dirt than blood :P

Hunny's so adorable. LOL-I love the way she poses so pretty for the camera. What a ham!
Tell her that Stephen was happy with his gift and also happy that she coated it with hunny kisses for him!

ps~It makes me happy to see someone who LOVES their job! There is no better feeling in the world, than to have to wake up and do something that you love to do! Makes it all the more better, dont'cha think?