Friday, June 13, 2008

Will work for (dog) food

So during Dirtman’s and my continuing quest for better pay without increased fuel expense we try in every way to mitigate our living expenses which, honestly, means we eat a lot of beans and work it off by hanging clothes on the line. If anyone asks I say we’re eating healthy and caring for the environment.

But – go ahead and say it: “Sisiggy, you’ve got six dogs.”

Mmm-hmm. And two kids. What’s your point?

Okay, okay. I get it, even if that is the reaction of non-dog people only.

Anyway, I was lamenting about my guilt in hanging on to my dogs to someone I knew would understand – another dog person. Only this wasn’t just any dog person. This dog person was Topper’s breeder, the owner of the stud of the litter we whelped last year and owner of Bayshore Kennel and Farm.

Frank is a major, major personae in the dog show world (though he will deny this and tell you he hates dog shows and dog people and, on some days, dogs themselves) and it is a mere stroke of good luck that our move places us about a mile from his farm.

Before I go on, let me describe what is on Frank’s farm. Frank likes rare breeds of everything: fainting goats (that do), Longhorn European Cattle, various breeds of chicken, geese and sheep, and one emu. Then there are the dogs and cats: Chinese Cresteds, Aussies (of course), Border Collies, Parson Russells, a rescued Greyhound and blind Longhaired Dachshund, and Munchkin cats.

It is a little known fact that in my younger days, in order to put myself through school, I worked as a dog groomer – even went to school for it through some complicated plan of my parents to ultimately have their own kennel that was supposed to put me through school after I got the kennel up and running (this plan lasted exactly seven months, by which time I had graduated from grooming school and was already finding out that getting paid as a groomer is a dicey thing).

So I’m explaining to Frank about my dogs and how lucky we were to find a place to rent and how I knew that non-dog people were judging us because we are keeping them. Two days later Frank called to ask if we could spare a few hours a day to help out at the farm: me in the grooming room and Chuck around the farm.

If I thought we were going to be “the hired help” and treated like the lowly scum that may very well steal the lawn ornaments, I was mistaken. Frank and his partner Chris treat us like we’re visitors who happen to be kicking in some help with the chores. And then they sell us Eukanuba dog food – Eukanuba – at cost.

I know this can’t last. Sooner or later one of the millions of people who have received my resume in the past month are bound to call me, if not for the job I applied for, at least to clean their toilets.

Meanwhile, I write for a pittance and groom for food.


Gwynne said...

I must be a dog person because the thought of NOT keeping the 6 dogs never crossed my mind. They are part of your family. Now, the teenagers might have been given away by now (to a good home, of course), unless they are also willing to work for dogfood.

Sisiggy said...

gwynne: You carried your elderly dog down into the cellar during a tornado watch and then stayed down there in the basement -- with the dogs -- extra time to make sure. You qualified as a dog person looooong ago. Sorry. You are one of us. Embrace your dog personism. Resistance is futile.

Leslie Shelor said...

It never occurred to me, either, that you might not keep the dogs, except in the circumstances that 'Pode might make himself unpopular with the landlord.