Love at first sight???


It is hard not to fall in love with one of your clients especially when they are as cute as the photo above.  I have been taking care of Zola when her family is out-of-town for 2 years now and every time we get together, I find out something new about her.  She is so sweet; I think maybe a bit lonely with the hectic lifestyle of her owners, but nice enough.  She loves people and loves having you over to her place, but don’t try to take her anywhere other than walks/runs in her neighborhood.

Our first meeting…..

When I take on a new client or pet I like to spend time with the animal, find out what time they like to eat and things they like to play with.  I find out about their favorite toys and locate the all-important snacks or treats.  My four-legged buddies have the same screening as their human parents.  After getting all the pertinent information, (or so I thought) our adventure began the following Sunday.

Sunday started off kinda shaky, I believe it was because her mom left a little earlier than expect for her trip to the Dominican Republic and it literally through her in a tailspin with a little separation anxiety.  I went over mid-day hung out with her for a couple of hours and then went on to an event that I had scheduled for that evening.  Fast forward to Wednesday of the same week….Zola and I have established a good schedule and it is working well for the both of us….She and her human family live about six miles away from me so I get up at 5 am; I am over at their house by 6-6:30, a one hour walk while drinking my coffee, feeding, playing a bit, and I am out the door and on my way to my next appointment by 8 am.


During the time of our first meeting, the weather is a little iffy in the southern part of the United States.  It can be warm one day and really cool the next like Indian summer in the northeast.  So Wednesday afternoon when I went over at the end of the day, it was so nice out that Zola and I decided to stay outside a little longer  than usual basically until it became dark.  We went inside, for the evening meal and I stayed until about 8 or 8:30 pm.  Now this time of year when it gets to the time I mentioned on the clock, it is completely dark outside.  Tonight, instead of going out front door where we have a sidewalk and all of the street lights for our last stroll of the evening, we go out back – to our own back yard.  We gingerly step out on the small patio and we have not been outside more than two minutes when out from the left side of the yard comes this big ball of blonde fur.  He looks at me and immediately pounces on Zola who is a pit mix.  Trying to remain calm, I try to get my dog away from this hair ball.  I see no eyes or mouth, just fur.

Man down….Man down

I quickly notice that Max is on a chain and begin to walk in a direction away from him, as I say “No” in the firmest voice I can muster thinking that his chain would eventually run out and yank him back into his own backyard.  No such luck…Max the giant fur ball actually trips me by walking in between my legs to get at Zola and causes me do a full face plant, first base slide like I was am playing for the Braves baseball team into the backyard.  I felt dirt in my mouth, on my forehead and literally under the cream-colored cashmere sweater that I was wearing.  I scream, run Zola run as she is dragging me along the side of the house by her leash.  I get up and Zola and I take off running around to the front of the house.

Oh Yes, this can get worse……

Hmmm…  Now I have a problem.  The front door is locked; the keys and my phone are on the dining table in the kitchen.  UHHHH….I bang my head on the front door as I try not to think of all the disgusting things I have crawling on my person from the back yard.  Thinking quickly, I tie the dog’s leash to the handle of the front door of the house and go around back again only to find that Mr. Fur ball is gone…nowhere to be found.  Just as quickly as he appeared, he was gone.  Maybe this was a bad dream…maybe I did not just eat a mouthful of dirt from the backyard and I am just tired and hungry.  I walk through the house to the front door and catch a glimpse of my sweater covered in red clay in the hall mirror.  Nope, this is definitely not a dream.  I bring Zola in and immediately text her mother about the incident.  She tells me about the fur ball “Oh that is Max from next door.”  “He loves humans but he can’t stand Zola.”  “What…how can you not like your own kind?” Then I think to myself…do you think you should have told me about this before you left?  What did you think all the questions and note taking was about?  Oh, but it gets better…once she figures out that I have gone out into the backyard, Zola’s moms tells me not to out there at night as she has seen wolves roaming around.  In my mind, I shout “ARE YOU FRIGGIN KIDDING ME!”  “We are in the suburbs on the north side of ATLANTA not in the countryside…there are too many lights to have wolves here.”  Apparently not because there have been coyote and bat sightings as well.  Great, just great….if I felt icky before, I am disgusted and scared now.

I settle Zola in for the night and assure her mother we are both fine, just dirty, and head home.  Luckily I didn’t make a stop anywhere on the way home, because when I get to my own bathroom I find that I am covered from head to toe in red Georgia clay.  I looked a hot mess…..and all I could do it laugh and think about all the disgusting things that were lurking in that yard.  YUCK!   I jump in the bath clothes and all and I then proceed to text all of my close friends and share this story with them so they can have a good laugh as well.  This was too good to keep to myself.


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