This post isn’t about my rough life. There is some truth to that, but I’m not going there right now. This title is more about having fun with words, which many of you may roll your eyes at. Doggone it!
I began a second job this (Sunday) morning. I’m an official employee of Wag! dog walking service. The exclamation mark is their logo, not to be confused with my enthusiasm. However, I did enthusiastically set my alarm early with the hope that I’d be able to pick up a gig (as I affectionately call it) before I went to church and Thrive. I eagerly turned on CBS’s Sunday Morning, always happy to see Jane Pauley. She sat upright with her legs crossed, her hands folded, perfectly articulating this morning’s show topics. I would be flattered if anyone ever compared me to Jane Pauley. I’m built nothing like her, but she inspires me. I like to think I can contribute some attribute I possess to her from the thirty some years I’ve watched her.
In between 30 lunges (exactly) and a couple planks (1 min, 30 seconds), bed making, and other odds and ends, I checked and double checked my new app trying to beat out the other money making mongers who beat me to yesterday’s jobs. On Friday I’d been officially accepted as a Wag! walker. On Saturday (yesterday) I made several attempts to pick up walks but more seasoned walkers who knew the characteristics of the app beat me to it. Today I was going to pounce on those jobs like a dog with a bone, to get those customers and their little doggy too. I’ve got experience in this. In my waitress days, I wasn’t just a conscientious employee eager to serve our patrons, meeting them at the hostess stand, sometimes even before the hostess could. I also wanted those customers to myself, and their tips.
It probably sounds like all I care about is the money. Well, it’s not all I care about. I care about time, flexibility, and convenience. I can care about all these things and also give the pooch a good time and make a pet owner happy that their doggy is being well cared for. If I can possibly do this and keep my sanity as I try to accomplish a sincere effort to write and work in areas of service to others on some level, I will be like a dog on its back with a belly rub.
Arriving at my first gig I grumbled a bit. I’d discovered that the job was for 60 minutes, not the 30 that I’d intended and the location was further than I thought. I was going to miss church. But like a thump on the head I had a reality check. I’m walking a dog! I have an able body where I can do it, and I’m making $18 + tip (but there was no tip) for an hour of my time. I resisted the temptation to factor in travel time and distance, and I’m going to continue to resist that temptation.
Charlie scavenged in ivy and peed and peed and peed. I texted friends and bragged about my new position, complete with photos. A couple were sweet and congratulated me. I was almost embarrassed, but I know they were being nice and just didn’t know what else to say. That’s what I get for being so celebratory.
Charlie and I meandered aimlessly in a neighborhood where lawns look like they’d magically avoided the rains, winds, and debris that come with winter. It was earlyish morning. The sun shined and although my hands froze, it was a good distraction from the coffee that was kicking in.
I assessed the learning curve I’d been through up to this point. For example, before one takes a customer’s dog, one must ensure that one’s bladder is empty. I couldn’t very well return to Charlie’s house and ask to use the bathroom, not if I wanted get a 5 star rating on my first walk, which was essential to keep this job going. Admittedly I did consider finding a spot, more discreet than the spots Charlie was finding to relieve himself. There just wasn’t a good option.
I considered the exercise I was getting, the extra income I was going to accrue, and I justified the brownies I would make that evening, even though I’m working to fit into some pants I haven’t worn in a couple of years. I also considered the teacher in Arizona who has gotten a lot of publicity for posting her salary to Facebook. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/elisabeth-milich-arizona-teacher-posts-pay-stub-salary-nearly-unlivable/
An article I read reported that many of this teacher’s friends work second jobs. I’m in good company I decided and determined I would pick up another gig after my Thrive meeting, which I did. I had some grumbling moments getting to that location as well. But by now the afternoon sun had warmed my hands, my bladder was content, and Whitie was on an adventure outside instead of in an apartment on this beautiful afternoon.
I imagined the money I could earn that would help me maintain my home, and I was beginning to feel like that doggy on his back.
And, I got the 5 star rating.