Friday, November 16, 2007

I provided tissues

I think she still misses himRoger: strange old coot
Jowls, limp, cranky attitude
Eyes crossed, heart mighty

When we lived in the city, like real city people we had a dogwalker. He came once a day to dispense biscuits and walkies to the dog and lots of opinions to the humans. That's if we happened to cross paths, which we'd do our best to avoid. Roger was one of those people who'd just plunk down on a kitchen chair and rattle on about who knows what, oblivious to any signs that we were ready for him to move along. It was only the other "animal children" on his route that kept him from staying parked for hours. Once I came home from work early to take something to the post office and discovered he hadn't yet arrived. As I gathered my things I heard him huffing up the front stairs of our building. Like a total coward I actually sneaked out the back door just to avoid being waylaid.

Still, he found other ways to dispense his wisdom. Three-minute long voicemail messages, say; or his daily notes reporting exactly what happened during the walk. Not just what the dog produced, but anything they saw or people they met. Once there was a page-long tale of a "Young Girl" who accused Roger of not picking up after our dog. He defended himself by pointing out that the "feces" she had indicated were not fresh, since they were no longer warm. To prove this, he wrote, he made her touch them ("I provided tissues," he noted). I'm sure the Young Girl was sorry she ever tangled with Rog.

If only I'd saved more of those notes (or had a blog back then). We did preserve the final missive. Here it is, with only a few identifying details changed.

Well here we are! Down to the final walk. These past four (almost) walking F. have been good. She will be missed. The years go by as quickly as a wink. It was good to work with you & I tried my best.

Of course I knew Jeff from the times at [his former address] when he would take care of [a friend's dog/fellow Roger client] & I would travel down to walk the canine

Please enjoy the new page of your collective lives in [Mayberry]. I am very happy for you also especially Jo who will have a chance to attend good Public schools when she is ready.

Until we meet again


I do wonder about him still. If he's still shuttling up and down the Boulevard with his animal children, living with his cats, complaining about his landlord, his neighbors, and most of humankind. I hope so.


mothergoosemouse said...

The story of the cold poop still slays me. And this post makes me miss the old neighborhood.

Patois said...

It's nice to know that there is a career for everyone.

Magpie said...

A crotchedy soul. That was terrific. Thanks.

Julie Pippert said...

I provided a tissue BWAHAHAHAHA

That's a great story.

We had a doggie caregiver in MA. What stories we had there. He was great.

Using My Words

C. R. Morris said...

What a great story. I was cracking up about the cold poop. hee..

nonlineargirl said...

These relationships we have with people like that are so complicated. My parents have had the same house cleaner since I was five or six. He calls them to play them concerts on his casiotone, he gives them pirated movies, he dispenses his opinions on everything any anything. After so many years they love him and they try to limit their interactions with him. When D lost his drivers license my dad started driving him half the way home, so he only had to take one bus. But. They duck his calls sometimes.


Julie @ the calm before the stork said...

The tissues line is hilarious!

I'm a cat person (will you still be my friend?) and I had the quintessential cat lady for my girl Fred when I went out of town.

I'd get long letters too -- wish I'd saved them -- with the reports of what had gone on in my absence.

And the floor would always be covered in loose catnip on my return.

The best thing about her was the fact that without fail, every time I saw her, even when I bump into her now around town, she is always, always, wearing a sweater/sweatshirt/cardigan with a cat appliqued on it.

Tree said...

Absolutely the best line I have read today, "I provided a tissue."

Roger seems to have a winning way with the animals.

Rachel said...

Oh my word!! That is a riot! Cold Poop, I provided tissues. Damn. I'm not sure how I found you, but I love it!!
Dogwalkers? Really? People have these?