After seeing that we were able to get a report from someone who actually had a dentist appointment on Dentist Day, I bet you are wondering just how deep the well of LMNOP correspondents runs.
Meet Michael Erhardt:
Thanks to Michael, we are able to celebrate Pet Sitters Week with an article from an actual pet service professional. Enjoy!
Way back in the day, the great philosopher Aristotle was once heard to remark, "I do not think that there are any professionals more underappreciated than the extraordinary members of our pet services industry." The situation remains the same today. Since the days of ancient Greece, the societal contribution of domestic pet caretakers has increased dramatically, with experts estimating upwards of a remarkable threefold increase. Yet, the attitudes of ancient Greece continue as the industry still fails to receive its due appreciation, and is often looked down upon by many (i.e. Kelly). How do I know all of this you ask? I am a pet service professional, and damn proud of it!
As a pet service professional, I work as a midday dog walker and a pet sitter. I have sat for dogs, cats, and alligators. My usual routine involves going to my clients' houses at some point between 11 and 2 o'clock and walking their dogs while they are at work. As was stressed during my four years at dogwalking college (The University of Wisconsin), I make sure that each dog goes #1 during our walks. Additionally, and I can't emphasize this enough, you have to pick up the #2s. You don't stay in the business long if you don't have enough game to handle the #2s.
Some readers (i.e. Kelly), are probably thinking to themselves right now, "So what. You walk dogs, that's not really all that big a deal."
Well, first off, go f***
yourself, Kelly. Secondly, I had a conversation the other day with one
of my clients that I believe illustrates the importance of my work…
-Dewey's Mom: I would stay home. I'm just too afraid that Dewey would pee on the rug while I was out.
-M: So you wouldn't go to work?
-M: Do you think that other pet owners have similar feelings?
-DM: I know so. If it wasn't for brave, handsome people like you, Michael, nobody would go to work.
-M: Then what would become of our world?
-DM: Anarchy and chaos.
There you have it folks. In spite of what Kelly may try to tell you, without the pet services industry, the America that we know today could not operate. In recognition of our national love of a fully functioning society, in 1972 President Richard Nixon declared March 1-7 national pet sitters week to celebrate the achievements of pet service professionals.
We've come along way since
the days of ancient Greece, but is one little noticed week really enough?
Shouldn't there be a federal holiday? I'd like to believe that we
dog walkers are just as, or possibly more important than, veterans of
foreign wars and they have a day all to themselves. And what about that
c***face Christopher Columbus, does he really deserve a federal holiday?
I think we've still got a long way to go.
Continue reading for behind-the-scenes trivia, including Kelly's rebuttal!
1. When I called Michael to discuss this story with him, he was actually walking a dog. He had to call me back later.
2. I thought it was only fair to give Kelly a chance for a rebuttal. Here is the transcript of a Google chat conversation we had today:
me: hey i need something from you
what are your honest feelings about pet sitting
Kelly: we always make my grandma do it
it's pretty much stupid
leave the animals extra food
they'll be fine
especially cats -- they don't really love humans anyway
me: ok, i just needed your rebuttal since mike alludes to you hating pet sitters in his article
Kelly: I don't hate pet-sitters in general, though
me: haha good
Kelly: dogs need love and care and attention
i just think it's stupid to make my grandma watch my retarded cats
they are clearly fine without her help
so wait can i add more to my rebuttal
I think Mike is an especially excellent pet sitter
the fact that he knows all about his dog's breeds and takes pix of them and clearly loves him add merit to the profession as a whole
me: you seem to be completely contradicting what you said before you knew i was taking this public
Kelly: no no no
it's totally different to pet sit cats and dogs
petsitting is different from dag walking
i mean i think it is dumb for my grandma to take care of the cats
but like those dogs gotta get walked