August 11, 2010

Social Mathematics

Every day I get to practice my math skills. Six dogs plus four hours with three dogs at a half hour and three for an hour. “Hm,” I say to myself measuring the day out on my toes, “That means eight miles of walking in four sessions.” But the math gets complicated at times and it’s not the numbers that stump me, but rather the combinations of dogs I must walk when, where, and with whom. There are nights when I have a hard time falling asleep because I’m trying to figure out the possible configurations. “Gemma can’t walk with Alice, Gretchen can’t walk too many other dogs with Zoe, Monty loves everyone, but he gets tired, and Oshi and Perrito always cross leashes.”

Gretchen’s made the calculations more difficult now that she has a job in the evenings at the pool, but I guess it’s an added challenge for me — a way to stretch my mathematical mind throwing in the social conflicts of our clients.

Don’t get me wrong — all our dogs are sweet, but sometimes their personalities don’t mesh nor do their geographical locations so I’m left with moving the schedule around like a Rubik’s Cube…or perhaps that’s a Rubin’s Cube! Luckily, today wasn’t so complicated because Gretchen didn’t have to work at the pool and Saber wasn’t on the schedule (he usually is with us daily, but he had a vet appointment — hope you’re doing okay, buddy!)

The day started with Monty and as usual, we took a nice long walk all around the neighborhood to limber us up and energize our appetites. Well, mine got energized — his doesn’t need much help! I asked Gretchen not to take photos because this is my special time with my good friend and we like to stroll along without worries about posing or smiling. She was kind enough to oblige.

While Monty and I brunched on yummy goodies at home, Gretchen took Oshi and Perrito out for stroll. Now Oshi and Perrito pretty much get along with everyone, though they aren’t very fond of barking dogs behind fences. This is exactly how Gemma feels, too, so walking the three of them together is kind of a nice fit only all three of them are pretty unruly on the leash.

Unlike me, they don’t really know how to walk right next to Gretchen so even though it’s a lot of work for her, there are times when Gretchen is cursing the decision to walk them all together.

Today, though, they were pretty could though Gretchen always thinks she’ll need to schedule an appointment with the chiropractor after a walk with these three!

Oshi and Perrito are half-hour clients, while Gemma is with us for an hour, which means that Gemma got to walk with Monty and me, too. She liked that very much, but she really liked it when I rolled around on the ground and she could jump on me!

Once we walked Gemma with Alice and that didn’t work at all. Alice is kind of nervous with new dogs and Gemma, being the confident and outgoing-type made Alice really nervous so we’ve avoided that social combination since the first time.

Today, though, we decided to try Zoe with Alice because 1) they live in the same neighborhood, 2) Alice got moved this week from Monday to Wednesday, which is also a Zoe day and 3) while Zoe is energetic and bubbles with happiness, she is a pretty mellow gal and would most likely not make Alice very nervous.

It worked! The two got along famously, which means that that social equation can happen again IF all the factors (day, time, location) align again.

So yes, today was pretty easy in terms of the math. In the end, we walked about seven miles in four walks and everyone seemed very pleased. Let’s hope tomorrow provides us with such easy calculations, but I won’t worry about that now…I’ll worry about that tonight before I fall asleep.

Until tomorrow,


Leave a Reply