When the call came in, I thought it was a joke.
“You want me to do what?”
“I think you’ve got the wrong number.”
“Am I on candid camera?”
Sure enough, son Austin and his wife Nicole were asking me to dogsit. Yes, for real and yes without supervision. I was as shocked as you probably are right now.
As I mentioned in this previous post about my relationship with dogs, they have a small cockadoodle poodle whoodle strudel noodle or something like that. Five month old Nala was recently added to April’s inner circle of approved canines, but being left in charge of her was a whole other thing. Was I even capable of said task? I wasn’t sure so I asked for detailed care instructions. My son has a similar sense of humor and fondness for writing as me so he eagerly complied with the request. He created a Google doc with everything I would need to know for the 36 hours I was to be a responsible doggo watcher.
Here’s a delightful excerpt. (I told you he’s like his mama.)
I teared up at the level of detail and the way he incorporated humor into my assignment. It spoke to my heart. At least I was getting a laugh out of this. Also, he knew that if I didn’t have these details, I would surely screw this up. When I read it, I envisioned myself running out of the house with the canine in hand and arms straight out in front for fear poochie poo would pee all over me. I know Austin thought the same and laughed his head off knowing what was to come. His mom, a professed non-dog person, was going to be in charge of a puppy still in the training phase. They must have been really desperate.
For the first shift, I took reinforcements – hubby Eric. I must say though that I did everything myself and I didn’t break the dog nor did I get injured or peed on in the process. Victory. She did try to chew on me a lot. I didn’t like that. All in all, I survived intact. So did Nala.
Shift #2 I completed solo. Armed with my instructions AND VIDEO (told you he is like me), I entered the abode and freed the pooch. We did the things, explored the yard, walked, played, ate, played some more. Then when it was time to return her to the cage I scooped her up and – she licked me. What. The. Heck. She licked me in my face. My face, people. This was a whole new thing for non-canine accepting April. I quickly took stock of any bodily functions that may be shutting down.
Am I still breathing? Check.
Am I still standing? Yep.
Are there hives anywhere on me? Not yet anyway.
We just crossed over a line here doggie. There shall be no licking of my face. I know what you were licking a few minutes ago and this isn’t sanitary. I also don’t want licky licky marks all up in my makeup, K? I will admit that for a brief tiny second it was mildly cute. But only slightly, like in a one-time-occurrence kinda way. Maybe I’m evolving more than I thought as I interpreted the true meaning behind the doggo’s licking of my face. I’m sure she was saying “Thank you for coming Grandma. Thank you for taking care of me even though I know I’m not your thing.” So I let the offense slide. Now don’t go crazy with your dog kisses comments or anything, I ain’t about to encourage more of that nonsense. Ew.
I’m proud to report that I completed all subsequent poochie poo party shifts and awaited my trophy upon Austin’s return home. I’m still waiting. I did earn a new self proclaimed badge of honor – I cared for a dog and lived to tell about it. That’s pretty rewarding.
But, I’m still gonna need that trophy, Austin.
Not everything we do to help others is going to be enjoyable or even tolerable. But sometimes you have to jump in, roll up your sleeves, protect your face and just do it. You never know when you’re going to learn something new or simply do something that blesses someone else more than you’ll ever know. I bet you I got a gold star by my name on heaven’s wall. haha. If nothing else, God laughed at me as I about broke my neck escaping the licking.
Here’s the video I was left. I had to share. Make sure you watch closely at the 1:20 mark. That is my favorite moment of the whole thing.