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A demanding Labor Day weekend in Ahwatukee

Kathryn and I tend to be somewhat contrarian in our getaway planning. We’re often home when everyone else is away and away when everyone else is home. This Labor Day weekend is no exception. While millions of families have taken to the road to enjoy the last long weekend of summer, Kathryn has a petsitting gig in Ahwatukee, a village at the southern end of Phoenix. Although we haven’t technically left Phoenix, we’re a thirty-mile drive from home. That means we’re home without really being home and away without really being away.

Kathryn is caring for two dogs, a two-year-old male French bulldog and a ten-year-old female pug. Both dogs show the effects of generations of inbreeding. The male is a slobber machine who seems to think it’s funny to sit at our feet and fart. The female, like Derek Zoolander, is not an ambi-turner. She runs around in circles when she’s excited, but always counter-clockwise. He refuses to eat. She eats her entire meal in under thirty seconds and then tries to eat the dish.

To keep things interesting, for the second time this summer, Kathryn has landed a petsitting job where the air conditioning failed mid-gig. Last time was in the hottest part of June, and the second unit couldn’t keep up when the first unit died. In that case, the owners arranged a kennel for the dogs, and Kathryn waved off. This time, it’s somewhat cooler outside, and the second unit is keeping at least part of the house cool enough to sleep in. She’s pressing on, although she moved us into the master bedroom.

The job of a petsitter has its demands. Kathryn has to feed the dogs, walk them, and clean up after them, as well as doing some chores like bringing in the mail and watering plants. The job of a petsitter’s spouse is equally demanding. I watch television and drink beer. Therefore, my job is never really done.