Thursday, April 26, 2012

• "W" is for Walkin' the Dog

As a pet sitter, I walk dogs, but it's not as easy as it used to be 'cause of a new man in my life: Mr. Arthur-itis. He's set up shop in my knees. It's a family affliction—many of my aunts and uncles sport titanium knees—exacerbated by my extra weight.

Stairs are the worst. I can walk up and down stairs, but after a day or two I'm in a lot of pain. So. I'm a live-in pet sitter who can no longer stay in a home unless it has a bathroom on the first floor.

The good news is that, for the most part, it has little affect on walking dogs. I walk more slowly than I used to, so small dogs are easier. Large dogs that behave on a leash are no problem.

The thing is, I have to tell pet owners. I hate it. People who have arthritis are old. They are grandparents, ready for the old-folks home. People who have arthritis have canes that they wave and yell, "Get out of my way, sonny!"

I have a cane. I bought it when I pulled something in my knee a couple of years ago. It's in the trunk of my car. Thankfully, I can't remember the last time I needed it.

So, if you're thinking of hiring me, I have arthritis in my knees. But it doesn't keep me from getting down on the floor to play with your dog or cat. I can feed your animals, clean their litter box, pick up poop in the yard, throw a tennis ball or Frisbee, and trundle your trash cans out to the curb. As long as your big dog doesn't pull on the leash, I can walk it.

But as long as I'm being completely honest. . . I can't throw a tennis ball or Frisbee very far.

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