Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas morning for pet sitters


Very few people are in a hurry to leave the house this early on Christmas morning. As it begins to get light, families sit around the Christmas tree opening gifts and snuggling in their bathrobes, while I make my way down the quiet streets. Rush hour is suspended this morning, ladies and gentlemen, because the only people rushing are pet sitters.

After I drag myself out of bed at dawn to feed the 10 dogs staying at my house, (plus my four), two horses and two cats, I pour some strong coffee and head for the car to start my morning rounds. Each house I enter is quiet and kind of eerie- the Christmas tree is dark, the gifts have been taken to Grandma’s, and the pets are lonely and hungry for both attention and food.

As I make my rounds, I try to find a store where I can get my latte. It’s a treat I give myself to make up for having to work on Christmas. After a few stops, I will sometimes take a short nap on someone’s couch, usually with a lonely kitty perched on my hip. Each pet gets an extra holiday biscuit or treat.

Later in the day, a merciful friend has invited me to dinner. It’s a nice break on a dog-tiring day. I can’t drive 100 miles to see my brother and his family, so I enjoy my friends and their families, and head out after an hour or two stuffing myself with delicious food.

Once I have gone home and fed the animals, it’s out again for the evening pet sits. I’m lucky I don’t have to cope with snow here in San Diego. Isabella the baby puppy will need a late night potty break, and other dogs need to go out as late as possible, so it will be 9 pm or later when I get home on Christmas night.

But it’s not over. The holidays don’t end for me until January 5th when the last dog goes home, everyone’s kids are back in school, and 2009 is well under way. Then I will spend some time with my brother and his family, and take a good long winter’s nap.

Happy holidays, pet sitters! 

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