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This Ain’t It, Chief

, , , , | Romantic | March 2, 2020

(As a pet-sitter and dog-walker, I’m used to strange hours around the holidays to accommodate all the dogs and cats that need care while their families are out of town. I’m used to getting up as early as 5:30 am to go feed cats their breakfast or to walk a dog, even if I’m grumpy about being up before dawn, though I make a point to stay aware of my surroundings as a safety measure. So, when I end up with two weeks’ worth of twelve-hour days starting with pre-dawn driving, I don’t think much of it except to mourn the loss of sleep. On that first day, I don’t notice anything amiss; traffic is light — who else is crazy enough to be awake before 6:00 am during winter break? — so I get to my first stop in a fairly nice neighborhood pretty quickly. I pull into the deep driveway and get out of my car when I hear a sudden honking. At the other end of the driveway, a small four-door car has pulled up, going at the horn on this residential street before the sun has even come up. I figure they must be seriously lost; nothing else in my mind makes sense for how urgently this person is trying to get my attention. So, I walk back up the driveway, stopping a few feet away, and the driver, a youngish guy, leans over to talk out of the open passenger-side window.)

Guy: “I’ve been trying to get your attention for twenty blocks!”

Me: “What?”

Guy: “Yeah, I’ve been honking and everything.”

Me: “Oh, uh, sorry? I didn’t notice. Are you lost or something?”

Guy: “No, no, I’m fine. What’s your name?”

(As a woman in her mid-twenties, I’ve heard too many horror stories and watched too much “Investigation Discovery” to not become a little nervous about where this is going.)

Me: “Uh, [My First Name]. Look, I’ve gotta go; I’m super busy…”

Guy: “Oh, did you just get home?”

Me: “No, no, I’m just helping out a friend, but I’ve got a lot of stuff to do…”

(I start backing away back down the driveway, social anxiety keeping me from just turning around and booking it towards the house, but he doesn’t get the hint.)

Guy: “It’s all right; we can still talk! Are you seeing anyone?”

Me: “Yeah, I am actually, so I’ll just…”

(That nice Fight or Flight instinct kicked into Flight and I speed-walked to the house and waited until he drove off to start feeding the cats. I almost immediately ordered pepper spray and a taser, and I haven’t spotted him or his car since. I don’t know why he thought it wouldn’t be creepy to follow someone to what they thought was that person’s house IN THE DARK to try and chat them up for a date, but I can assure you, it gave me Serial Killer Murder Mystery vibes! DON’T DO THIS!)

A Bona-Fido Idiot

| Right | November 15, 2012

(I am a dog walker. I’ve focused on an apartment complex near me, and get to know everyone’s dogs very well. The one I have the most trouble with is an Airedale Terrier. He is a biter, and the owner does not allow a muzzle on her dog. Unfortunately, not everyone would heed my warnings about not touching the dog.)

Man: “Hey, that’s a cute terrier. Can I pet your dog?”

(In anticipation, I wind the terrier’s leash tighter while keeping an eye on the second dog, which is a mastiff.)

Me: “Well, sir, he’s not my dog, and I wouldn’t advise petting him as he bites.”

Man: *stretches his arm towards the dog* “Nonsense, young lady. Terriers are the sweetest things, not like that pit you have there. You really shouldn’t own pits, you know. Crazy dangerous they are.”

Me: *pulls the dog back* “Sir, that’s a mastiff and neither of these are my dogs. I’m just their walker. Please do not touch the Airedale. He bites.”

Man: *still tries to pet the dog* “He’s so cute! Look at those little ears and that tail just wagging away!”

Me: “Sir, for the third time, please do not put your hand near the dog.”

Man: “Let’s give you a little pat eh-YRROUCH! He bit me!”

Me: *exasperated* “Yes, sir. He did. Did he break the skin?”

Man: “Your dog is crazy! You should be arrested for bring a dangerous animal in public!”

Me: “Sir, I did warn you and for the last time it is not my dog.”

Man: “What if I was a child?!”

Me: “You certainly have the logic of one.”