I've never been the average job type. I spent twenty years as a zookeeper before I returned to college to complete my degree at the age of 40. While I was going back to school, I needed something to keep my animal care side happy, so I opened my own pet sitting service here in Virginia. Now that I'm finished with my masters in art, I've chosen to keep pet sitting as my day job. For a fee, I go to people's homes and take care of all their pets. Over the years, my client list has grown, and on any given day, you never know who and what I might be walking, feeding, and petting. It's a good job. Some days are better than others, of course. But, I control my own work hours, my clients are the best (as are most of their humans), and I'm never bored.
Mornings vary depending on the number of pets I'm watching while their people are vacationing. I visit and care for these pets at least once every 8 hours. Midday is always my busiest time. It begins at 11 am with Gunny, the German Short Hair Pointer mix. He greets me at the door with a wagging tail and tons of kisses as if I'm the long lost relative he hasn't seen in years. Next, I'm off to see Wilbur, Tempe, and Booth. Three Shar Peis who were rescued from abusive owners. Wilbur makes me very proud because he literally comes out of the closet on a daily basis. (He hides in there when nobody's home.) Tempe is pretty normal, now. But, after three years, Booth still only occasionally allows me to scratch his chin because he distrusts all humans. Even his owners. Next, there's Ollie the Border Collie. He's adorable and sweet and really LOVES the box turtle who lives in his back yard. We have to be careful to keep him from licking the poor turtle to death. That guy's shell might be the cleanest home in Virginia.
Next, I cross town for the puppy brigade. First, I visit with Investigator, the pup of a local police officer's family. He's a 3 month old German Shepherd puppy. Too cute for color TV. When he's listening, his big huge ears come together to form one giant ear on the top of his head. Then, I head over to see Daisy, the short hair Chihuahua and her new puppy brother Samson, the long-hair Chihuahua and their elderly brother, Oscar the pug. Samson is a total diva. If you need a drag queen dog, Samson is your girl! Then, just to be sure I get a good size variance in my life, I go see Otter the Great Dane puppy and his older brothers, Jack the Blue Heeler, and Max the Collie. And all of this takes place before 2 o'clock. Then, two days a week, today and Thursday, I go to the Pet Craze store, owned by a friend of mine, and give pet care and nutrition advice to the clients for several hours, too.
Finally, I head back out for evening petsitting for the vacationers, and then I sit with my muse until the wee hours of morning, either painting or writing. Because, if I didn't do those things, I really wouldn't feel whole. You never know what a given day might bring for me, and mostly I'm totally okay with that. Should you wonder if I ever have time to get any writing done, well, yes, as a matter of fact I do. You can head over to The Ravens Crossing today to read one of my stories. It's part of an ongoing, online young adult science fiction series. A new portion of Morgan & Holly's story posts every Tuesday. Check it out. I have several spin off stories in the works and several other novels in various stages of completion. More is coming. My muse will have it no other way. And to keep my muse (and me) fed, I get to hang with the dogs. Life is good. Woot!