Thursday, 31 March 2016

The Tricky Parts of Dogsitting: In Which We Have Reached A Steady Point In The Journey

I feel like I haven't updated on Ava for a while. I guess I haven't had too much to say; she's growing, developing and learning, and we -- her owners and I -- are all getting used to life with a puppy.

What would I do without coffee...

I have to admit these few weeks have been more of a drag than before. It's nothing to do with Ava or her owners, I think it's just that the initial novelty no longer makes the difficulties neglible. That's not to say things are going badly or that there are insurmountable problems, but I definitely notice the difficult parts of this job. All jobs have pros and cons, of course -- so I'll share the problems I've encountered so far here, in case any of my readers are interested in this kind of work.

  • Transport. It goes without saying that you should have a car to dogsit. But sometimes people, like me, do end up in a situation without one, and maybe this is the work they want to do or know how to do. I take buses to everywhere I need to go. It works almost all of the time, but it is incredibly tiring. Right now it takes me up to 90 minutes to commute what would be a 20 minute drive -- what a colossal waste of time that is! It is also expensive and physically tiring, because relying on buses inevitably means a fair amount of walking.
    But for me right now, the benefits definitely outweigh the costs, so this is the way it goes for now -- and hopefully later this year I will get myself a car and licence!
  • Isolation. One thing I enjoy about this job so far is not having to talk to people much. I mean, sure, I strike up conversations with people I meet while walking her, neighbours and such, but I don't have an ongoing relationship with anyone other than the clients -- and I don't see them often, since I visit when they aren't home. Since depression has left me somewhat jaded and drained, often making conversation difficult, this is a plus right now.

  • But then, I just said I don't have any ongoing relationships. I don't have any colleagues - during the day it's just me and puppy. As someone who previously couldn't handle being alone, this is huge progress for me, but on the flip side I am finding it's quite isolating. I get up, take public transport around people but alone, spend the day with puppy but no humans, return home, rinse, repeat. So dogsitting doesn't give the momentum and stimulation of daily check-ins with colleagues, so it's starting to feel repetitive.

Now that I have that off my chest, it's time to go back to our regular programming.

I'm just a bit tired from the daily grind at the moment -- but good news: Ava's parents get to go away on holiday! Yay! Which means, of course... Ava is staying with me! So I get a change of routine -- from tonight, in fact... stay tuned!


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