I lived in San Antonio from about March until May this year and during that time I had a marvelous one week stint as a kennel technician at a local boarding facility. It was a really great work environment, with great employees, great boss and most of all great clients. Well, let me rephrase that… the clients weren’t “great” in the sense of being totally awesome and fun to be around. They were great because of the story-telling ancedotal fodder they provided me with. Oh, boy.
I was watching “Cesar Millan: The Dog Whisperer” today, which is not in and of itself unusual. It is, afterall, one of a handful of shows that I actually DVR repeats of. But, what was out of the ordinary was how it stirred up flashbacks of my short stint as a boarding assistant.
I have many funny tails, er, I mean tales that I could relay to you all. But, I will focus on one special case.
You know, a facility such as the kennel I worked at, would not succeed if it were not for crazy foofoo dog owners who consider their puppy their child. We catered to this niche–this particular clientele that views their furkid as their ACTUAL baby. So, naturally we dealt with a smattering of nutbuckets. People that are most definitely off their rocker or who just have too much time and money to be normal. There were certain stereotypes of folks that would visit our business: old people, gay men, businessmen and women, and, of course, the rich bitchy crazy housewives. It was this latter group that provided me with the most entertainment.
These wealthy women with their Prada and Gucci get-ups, their long manicured nails, big Texasized hair, and of course–the tell-tale trademark of their overwhelming scent of high-dollar perfume filtering through the entire kennel. We could smell them before we caught sight of them. And we would always rock, paper, scissor upon their arrival–loser getting to cater to their needs.
I always lost.
And for whatever reason–these women always loved me. Despite my super dupah gayness, my short hair, my baggy jeans covered in dirty water, piss and fur, my shirt always smelling strongly of doggy odor, my face unmade-up and sweaty–despite ALL this, they found me adorable. And always raved about me to my supervisor. No clue.
Anyways, back to the story.
This one client came in with this little chihuaha dressed head to toe in little munchkin clothing–shoes, shirt, hat, the works. The dog’s name was Bentley–and she quickly informed me that all of her dog’s monikers were derived from fancy pants automobiles. I didn’t even know what a Bentley was. I am so out of touch.
Of course I was pretending to coo over this little retarded looking dog in his outfit–“oohing and awing” until I was literally gaggin on my words. But, goddamnit we have to pander to the clients. It’s gross and phony, but whatever. I’m a good bullshitter. I’m a good dogshitter picker upper. Perfect career path.
Anyways, turns out the dog really was retarded. She explained to us that he was from a puppy-mill and that he had some mental handicaps–to say the least. He was only two or three, but blind, partially deaf, and with mangled teeth sticking out in all directions. He was a sight to see, for sure. But, he sure was dressed pretty.
She then proceeded to explain to me how he must be changed every day. Every time he went outside he needed his clothes on. Every night he needed his pajammas on. He had a whole fucking wardrobe. This dog had more clothes than me. I’m not even kidding. And he was a long-haired chihuaha, mind you. And it was San Antonio in the spring. It was not cold. So, I just stood there nodding my head pretending to be beyond enthusiastic about the idea of changing this dumbass idiot dog a trillion times for the next week. I was rolling my eyes when she wasn’t looking, and making the “she’s crazy” motion to my coworkers when she was flipping through his closet.
But, it got worse–or better. However you want to look at it. She then turned to my male coworkers, and politely asked them to leave the room. That left myself and insane woman together in tight quarters–at this time I had been able to deduce that she was drunk as a skunk. The unmistakable smell of liquor was even able to overpower her perfume. And that would explain A LOT.
So, she turns to me and starts to whisper this explanation of her dog’s idiosyncratic nature in details. Apparently, he had this amazing trick, this phenomenal feat– he would jerk himself off, with his little deformed paw. She was warning me, she said, because he typically does this while staring at her girlfriends. I’m not shitting you. This really happened. And of course she demonstrated with motions how this whole process goes. I am barely able to hold it together at this point. I want to crack up. I want to call everyone I know to tell them this story of the retarded mini-dog that whacks off to rich housewives while wearing a shirt that says “bad to the bone.” I mean it was funny.
But, she was being dead.fucking.serious. And I had to sit there, shake my head, furrowed brow and all, telling her that I would take care of her dog and that she had nothing to worry about.
That was not the end of our little encounter.
She would not stop complimenting me and saying how lucky they were to have an employee as beautiful as me. She gave me her son’s phone number…who was apparently a rapper…the next Eminem, invited me to both their ski-resort in Vail and to their house on Lake Travis, and finally explained to me how the Johnny Cash family had made a shirt for this little dog and sent it to her house. Sigh. I did not have the heart to tell her that I was gay, that she scared me, or that I was at least 200 percent sure that she ordered a dog-tee shirt from a Johnny Cash Merch store and that they had just shipped it to her house.
Honestly, I was worried about this woman. She was covered with bruises and wore sunglasses the whole time to hide a black eye. Bat shit crazy, possibly abused, and at the very least was… very very confused.
But, her dog literally did jack off a lot. He also barked non-stop. Made messes constantly in his kennel. And damn if I did not change his fucking clothes every day.