Writing and dog walking.
(Or litter box cleaning, for that matter.)
Never the twain shall meet—or so I thought.
Literary arts are very much a natural extension or complement of performing arts. When I was more heavily involved in music many years ago, a great deal of my prose and poetry revolved around and were inspired by music. For a long time, I fancied being a lyricist and a music journalist. I had the opportunity to flex my creative muscles by having my works distributed in school literary publications and on an online indie music magazine.
As much as I love pets, having been surrounded by them since conception, I never thought I’d write about them on a fairly regular basis.
Enter PetSittingOlogy, a digital marketing agency and a continuing education hub for pet care professionals. Aside from training in pet-related skills, keeping abreast of tech trends is included in the mix, covering web design, web development (including WordPress development), SEO, social media, graphic design, and web content curation and creation.
In early 2015, PetSittingOlogy began a storytelling project to get professional pet sitters to jump on the blogging bandwagon by documenting their various memorable experiences on the job as infotainment for pet parents, current and prospective clients, and the general public. As one of the fifteen story contributors featured in the project, I also took on the task of editing the collection of stories, which has been proven quite massive at approximately 16,000 words. I had to put it on the back burner.
In true Renaissance/multipotentialite fashion, I zigzag through different interests and career paths, and the pet industry was the point of reentry into one of my lifelong interests—wordsmithing. My writing habit became intermittent a few years after college graduation. I managed to revive it for a while, only to almost quit cold turkey again. But writing has always been in my DNA. My active involvement in the dynamic PetSittingOlogy community helped me get back on track.
In the process of ramping up into professional writing, particularly for the online media, I’m culling early materials, creating new projects, and revisiting and repurposing some clips—one of which is the PetSittingOlogy story collection—while lending an editing hand for the group’s seven-day blog challenge at the time of writing. Due to time, energy, and budget constraints, I’ve decided to work on the excerpts of the collection posted here, pared down to about 6,000 words.
Represented in this abridged story compilation are sunny walks in the park, snuggles galore, unlikely heartwarming friendships and encounters, blood, sweat, tears, and yes, pee and poo as well—all in a day’s work. This is the real (poop) scoop behind what really happens in the normal operations of pet care professionals.
One of the blogging projects in the PetSittingOlogy community is what we jokingly refer to as OOB (out-of-the-box)—selected monthly topics that are not directly related to pet care and ownership but may be of interest to pet guardians or pet fanciers ranging from hot vacation spots to a guide on the proper care and feeding of Ewoks for animal-loving Star Wars freaks out there. (May the furs be with us!)
After all, if you look closely enough, everything is related. Nothing is an isolated incident. There is a common thread that I weave throughout my entire blog. I explore the intersections of the arts, spirituality, health and wellness, philosophy, and everything else including the kitchen sink under the sun with the animal world.
Without further a-doo (pardon the pet bathroom joke!), listen to and/or read the story excerpts below. You’re in for a treat. (Yet another pet pun right there? You bet!)
Share far and wide with everyone you know!
Voiceover talent: Becca Shepherd (happybex @ Fiverr)