April 30, 2010

Complications and Complexities

I am a simple dog. Some may disagree, but deep down inside, I have very few wants and needs. Fresh water, good food, a soft bed, friends, time to play, time to sleep, a good massage, and love is what makes me happy. Oh, and a few treats every now and then.

But lately, my life has become a bit more complicated. Actually, Gretchen’s life has become more complicated. For years and years and years, long before I came into the world, Gretchen was a teacher of human children. From what I can tell, she was pretty good at it, but I also know that she likes a challenge in her life. When she told me she was enrolling in massage school, I was excited for her, but I was also nervous. I wasn’t sure if our time together would change and while it has a bit, I am lucky because she practices her massage techniques on me.

Then she informed that she got another part-time job.

“WHAT!?!?!?” I screamed, “Are you crazy?”

“Relax, Rubin,” she said quietly, “It’s going to be okay.”

This was her explanation of okay:

Gretchen’s teaching job (and mine, too) will end in mid-June. At that point she’s officially retiring from teaching (which means I am too). Teaching provides a nice income and since we’re not doing it anymore, we need another source of income (sorry, just walking dogs isn’t enough even with my simple needs).

Gretchen loves working with dogs and has really learned a lot being a dog walker as well as owning a business. She didn’t want to give it up, but she wanted to find another way to work with dogs and still feel challenged.

That’s when she enrolled in small animal massage school (part of yesterday’s post), which as I’ve said, is a mixed blessing. But being in school spends money, it doesn’t earn it, so when a friend of a friend mentioned that a dog spa was looking to hire, Gretchen put her resume in.

What do you know? She got the job! Well, she’s apprenticing for a bit, but as soon as she’s done with her apprenticeship she’ll be a Swim Coach and then when she finishes her courses, she can be a massage therapist at the spa.

I guess I should feel proud of her, but part of me is skeptical. How are we going to do all of these jobs, I wonder? I guess I just need to wait and see what happens. So far, Gretchen’s worked five days at the pool and when she comes home, she is happy and content and she always gives me a short massage showing me what she learned. I’ll admit I love it, so I guess I shouldn’t be too skeptical.

But what I’m really happy about is that she’s not going to give up the dog walking. I love my job and I’m not sure how I could carry on without her. Good thing I don’t have to, eh?

Of course, today I didn’t really work because Monty and I had to go to our own spa — it was grooming time. While we were getting shampooed and trimmed and blown dry and spritzed, Gretchen carried on without me. She walked us to the groomer and then headed down to see Rosie and Tyson who, in typical fashion, were excited to see her. Tyson leaps up again and again while Rosie spins around, her tail almost touching her nose.

They walked through the park toward the museum, but then Gretchen decided, since I wasn’t home, that she’d bring the siblings by our house to let them run around in the backyard for a bit. They didn’t run much, but they sure smelled every inch and corner of the yard leaving me little calling cards in special places. By the time I got home from the groomer, I rolled around on those calling cards I was so excited by their scents.

After Rosie and Tyson went home, Gretchen took out Oshi and Perrito who begged and pleaded to go see Gemma. So off they went, the boys dressed in their coats, to pick up a very excited Gemma. They walked back through the park and stopped on a bench for the obligatory photo shoot. It’s nice when all our clients get along.

Oshi and Perrito went home and then Gemma begged and pleaded to go see Saber, so off they went to Saber’s house and then to the park to play.

Gretchen thought they were worn out, but when a new dog showed up — Kora — it was game on!

Once they decided to leave, they ran into about four more dogs each of whom wanted to play with Gemma and Saber, but truly, they needed to rest even though they rolled around a bit with Kona the 6-month old Goldendoodle! Gretchen was so busy holding leashes, she couldn’t take any photos, but let’s just say, as soon as Gemma and Saber got home, they fell fast asleep, tired and content.

The only thing left to do was wait for a phone call from the groomer, which luckily came fairly early. So back up the hill Gretchen went to fetch us from the spa and as a reward, we got to play fetch at the park.

And oh what fun we had when we saw that Eddie and Ripley were there, and Sydney too.

Then along came Harry followed by Gypsy and Dixie. It was Doggie Disneyland, which is exactly the kind of reward we needed.

So I guess I shouldn’t complain. Yes, Gretchen’s busier than usual, but she still makes time for lots of fun and games and she always tries to include me. Our lives might be getting more complicated for awhile, but soon enough the complexities of the moment will fade away and we’ll be back to just dog walking and therapy work — something I’ll admit I’m looking forward to.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Leave a Reply