If you read my recent post on our new membership with an international petsitting company, you know that I couldn’t stop looking at the damn site, and it was causing serious problems. Chores were being neglected, hobbies fell by the wayside, several people ended up in the hospital. OK, I’m exaggerating here (and, with that last one, outright lying), but it was taking up an inordinate amount of my time. I knew I had to do a petsit to satisfy my curiosity and quell the obsession, if that was even possible.
Easter weekend provided the perfect opportunity. Though we plan to do our sits as a couple, the husband didn’t have Good Friday off like I did, so I searched for something that was reasonable to do by myself. (For instance, there are sits out there that insist on a couple because they have, say, a trio of 120-lb Bullmastiffs that need three long walks a day.)
I found what seemed like a perfect sit in Seattle. I’d been there, but only briefly and not for 20+ years, so a revisit was welcome. It was a relatively inexpensive direct flight to a short sit in a great location with a friendly and gentle old French Bulldog and his feline companion. What could go wrong?
The animals were as darling as could be, and they made me feel like they loved me from the outset. I did learn a few things, however:
- Location is important. I did my research and knew that being located in the Lower Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle would be great. This put me within quick walking distance of Seattle Center in one direction and Puget Sound in the other. A slightly longer walk got me to Pike Place Market, and the few steps to Upper Queen Anne meant great walks among beautiful homes and easy access to what is considered the best view in Seattle. Most importantly, there were many great restaurants and coffee shops (duh, Seattle) nearby, because I had no intention of cooking.
- The size and features of the house/apartment matter. Photos seem to make rooms appear larger. They can also be taken strategically to minimize their less-appealing features, and they don’t always tell the whole story. I knew I’d be staying in a studio apartment, but I hadn’t been in one for so long that I had forgotten just exactly how small they can be. It had a kitchen so small and narrow that the refrigerator door opened less than halfway. There was no microwave, so I ate my leftover pad thai at room temperature because I had neither the time nor the inclination to fuss with the oven. There was no TV. They didn’t list one under the Wifi/Phone/TV/Audio section of their home profile, but I just assumed it was a given. I mean, they didn’t list a bathroom either, but I assumed they would have one. (They did! Huzzah!) None of the windows opened bar one with a screen, and that opened only about 4 inches. (I just realized something. What if there had been a fire?!) There was no patio, deck, or balcony. So although most of my stay I was lucky enough to have good weather, if it had rained nonstop for three days (a definite possibility in Seattle), I would have been stuck inside a very small box. Frankly, I might have gone berserk had I been there for a week, rain or no rain.
- Dogs are smart… and can be manipulative, like schoolchildren with a substitute teacher. I couldn’t believe how intelligent little Oscar was, especially in terms of knowing how to get to his favorite places in the neighborhood. Left, then right, then left again… soon we were many blocks away from home and right in front of… you guessed it, the pet supply store with a doting employee who gave him treats and knew him by name. And that’s just one of many places Oscar led me to around the neighborhood. Also, he could be a little stubborn at times, too, but it was a disarmingly cute stubborn. I’m sure if I could have read Oscar’s thoughts, they’d have been something along the lines of: Heh heh. Petsitter. I’m am going to get away with SO much this weekend, but I’m so cute and she’s so green, she’ll never suspect a thing! Lucy – you with me?
- French Bulldogs oink! You read that right – they oink. You could also call it snorting. For a brief moment when I first heard it I thought, “Is he growling at me?” But I quickly realized he was just making a snorty noise. So cute.
- Seattle is a good month ahead of the upper Midwest in terms of the bloom. After a long, cold winter and a particularly harsh February (it was the 4th snowiest month on record with 39.0″ inches), the flowers were an unexpected but very welcome sight. Here’s what I’m seeing in my backyard right now:
Here’s what my eyes drank in in Seattle:
So in the end, my first petsit validated the happy vibes I was already feeling pre-sit. I am so glad to have joined this petsitting community. The husband and I will be doing a catsit in a beautiful, 2-bedroom Colorado condo (with a balcony!) in a few months, on the tail end of our existing vacation, and between securing that and doing the Seattle sit, my obsession seems to have calmed for the time being. According to the husband, that alone is worth the cost of my trip.