Three professional dog walkers share the pet-sitting memories that had them howling in laughter.
"One of the annoying parts of dog walking in a busy city is getting cat-called by random creeps in public, and I tend to always have my guard up, ready to shoot a death glare at anyone who has nothing better to do than harass me. One weekend I was just finishing up a walk with Butters the corgi, who lives near the popular strip of bars downtown. I could sense people were starting to pre-game for the night and get a little rowdy, and sure enough I hear someone yell out of a car at me, 'Work it girl! That's a juicy booty!' I stopped mid step, my middle finger instinctively ready to launch, and turned in the voice's direction.
"In front of me was a Jeep full of mid-20s girls, and as they drove off the ring leader hollered, 'That's one nice corgi booty!' and waved in my dog's direction. I doubled over in laughter and took a break to catch my breath and pet Butters with her happy, panting smile plastered on, clueless to her many admirers. It wasn't the first, nor the last time she's been complimented on her voluptuous assets, but it was easily the most hilarious."
A Ruff Start
"I had just started walking Whiskey, this blind, senior bully mix who was the sweetest boy ever but had a little separation anxiety whenever his mom, Cathy was away. On our very first visit together, we'd made it about 15 minutes into our 30 minute walk with no problems when Whiskey suddenly decided he'd had enough exercise for the day and planted himself down right in the middle of a busy sidewalk. I gave his harness a tug, tried psyching him up for a run, and whipped out my emergency dog treats, but nothing could persuade him to head back home with me.
"In between apologies to the passersby having to step over and around us, I sent his mom a text letting her know what was going on and hoping she had some advice. She responded quickly, saying she had been worried Whiskey would get nervous without her there on his walk and offering to give him a call so she could talk to him.
"When my cell rang a few moments later, I put it on speaker and held it up to Whiskey's ear. 'Whiskeeey, hi baby, it's mommy! Come on, buddy, let's go home!' Cathy whistled and cooed at Whiskey through the phone at maximum volume as people on the sidewalk attempted to muffle laughter behind their hands. But sure enough, with ears perked up and head cocked to the side, Whiskey finally pushed himself up off the sidewalk and began ambling along with me toward home. I got a modest round of applause from several amused onlookers, and continued walking, crouched over, holding the phone in front of Whiskey's unseeing eyes for the next block.
"The next day, Cathy sent me a pre-made recording of her singsongy baby talk chatter for me to use during any future walks where Whiskey felt confused and anxious. It totally worked, and I still laugh when I think back to all those moments I had to play Whiskey's special motivational affirmations aloud in the middle of a bunch of confused strangers."
No Body Around
"My newest pet sitting client had had a late evening flight out of town, so I rolled up to her apartment at about 9:00 pm for my first sleepover night with her pup. I knew from the Meet & Greet that Alfie would be crated in the living room, so I entered the dark house, feeling around for the light switch, and softly calling out his name. The moment I flipped on the light, my gaze landed on the lifeless human body curled up on the floor by the couch, and a terrified, voiceless scream formed at the top of my throat as I fell back against the wall. In his crate, Alfie's tail was furiously wagging with all the excitement, and I dropped to my knees to crawl in his direction, heart in my throat, whispering, 'It's ok, buddy,' (more for my benefit than his).
"Once across the room I had a better angle for viewing the body from safely behind Alfie's crate. It was featureless, with no face, hair, fingers, or toes. I had shrieked bloody murder at a boyfriend-shaped body pillow.
"As my heart rate returned to normal, I unlocked a delighted Alfie from his crate and collapsed in relieved laughter beneath sloppy doggy kisses. My client, who later watched the entire incident recorded from her nanny cam, managed to apologize profusely before letting loose hysterical howls of laughter. These days she can't resist bringing it up when booking her sittings, assuring me that there will be no faceless corpses lying around her house this time."