I’m sure if someone had seen me, they would have called the police. As it was, I had already walked around their house talking to myself, and now I was tookus over teakettle, hanging out of their garage window, my legs flailing like an air dancer trying to sell you the latest cellphone.
I admit, this was a new situation for me. I’d never had to “break in” to a house to start pet sitting before, but I was darned if I was going to let a locked door stop me from doing my job. The dog on the other side was counting on me, as were her owners, and I wasn’t about to let them down.
I had been at this house before, so I was not worried as I walked confidently up to the door that they leave unlocked for me and turned the knob. Nothing happened. I tried again, as if somehow I had suddenly forgotten the process for operating a doorknob and I just needed to try harder.
Trying again did not change anything, of course; the door stubbornly refused to open just because I needed it to. I checked my phone to see if the owners had left me instructions other than the norm or I had misread their texts, but returned my phone to my back pocket when no new insights were revealed.
This is when I started talking to myself (this is important to the plot – stick with me). I walked around to each of the doors and windows, trying to find access somewhere. I had a whole conversation with myself about what would happen if somehow I was not able to get inside.
I could see their sweet girl, staring at me through the window, open but impenetrable without damage to the screen, wondering why I wasn’t inside yet, giving her treats. She barked at me, as if I was ignoring the fact that I was supposed to be with her, and I felt even more strongly that there had to be a way in, I just hadn’t found it yet.
As I rounded the other side of the house, I spied the garage windows and thought I’d give them a try. The first remained as stubbornly locked as the door, but the second opened! I had a way in. The only problem was that the window was about 5½ feet off the ground, and I am not a whole lot taller than that.
After positioning a wheelbarrow underneath the window, I then had to give myself an inspirational speech (out loud, of course) about how I was going to balance my rather ungainly and not-so-very-streamlined frame onto what was essentially a movable bucket. This, it turns out, was the easy part. Once I got my front end through the window, I had to drag my duff through.
Which brings us back to the hind end hanging out the window part. Getting my well-padded posterior through the window proved harder than I thought, as I was still several feet off the ground, and there was nothing on the other side that I could grab. I shimmied and wiggled and yelled at myself by way of a pep talk. I finally got my person entire through the window after a bit more yelling and cursing. As I stood up, I grabbed my phone out of my pocket to text the owners that yes, I had arrived, but I did have to crawl through their window.
There was, apparently, no need to tell them any of this, however, as somehow during my flailing/cursing phase, I’d used my caboose to call the owner. I guess I did this early on in my maneuverings, as his wife told me later that I’d left a nice long voicemail on his phone, replete with shouts of “you can do this!” and many other far less family-friendly phrases.
I’m not going to stop talking to myself, as it’s something I’ve always done, and sometimes I have really good advice. However, if this particular situation should come up again, I will be sure to take my phone out of my pocket before I start hauling my haunches through windows.
(Sarah Caton owns All Paws Pet Sitting, which serves all of Lincoln County.)