Tag Archives: Pets

Pet Shop

Well you guys, it’s been a little while again. But like old friends we can just pick up where we left off, right?

So, as you know I quite my job at the environmental group. Guy tried to break my hand, quotas, yadda yadda yadda.

I ended up getting the job at the pet store. Yay! I guess drug free IS the way to be.

Only, I’ve come to realize that any job that requires you to do a drug test is a job that probably sucks.  Let me give you the highlights:

Week 1: I realize that this job requires loads of manual labor. Probably the reason for the drug test? Anyways, I spend most of my days lifting 50lb bags of dog food up and down a large ladder. The other portion of my time is spent helping crazy cat ladies find the right flavor of Friskies for their precious pussycats. “Mr. Nickles will only eat cat food if it’s got at least 78% moisture and NO salmon. Also his poop keeps coming out green but I’d like it to be more of a coconut brown. Thoughts?”

Week 2: With a few exceptions, most of my coworkers are incredibly boring. One night, while preparing for inventory, I actually manage to fall asleep standing up after listening to my coworkers talk about football plays for a full 90 minutes.

Also, one of the floor managers suffers from short man syndrome and insists on being a controlling dick to compensate for his lack of physical height. He barks out contradicting orders, and prohibits talking to one another even when no one else is in the store. “Kelsey, fill up those cat can racks.” “Kelsey, how on earth did those cat can racks get so full?” “McKinze, Kelsey– I heard you discussing Goateeyay and this is not appropriate work conversation!!!”

Week 2 and a half: One of my football loving co-workers somehow manages to catch my hand in the handle of a bucket of cat litter as we are rotating stock. This freak accident leaves my hand with a ghastly cut that is impressively deep and refuses to stop bleeding. Only, I don’t want to have to file a report about it and get my coworker and myself in trouble so I wrap it up in brown paper towels and pretend not to notice the fact that I probably need stitches.

Week 3: Dog people are a little less crazy then cat people, but still crazy in their own way. I get paged to the front of the store to help a customer and her golden retriever find some grain free, chicken/beef/salmon/bi-product free, high protein, low-cal dog food for shaggy-haired, arthritic senior dogs. Right as I get up to the front counter, her dog vomits all over the floor right at my feet. While I’m on the floor scrubbing up this dog’s vomit she’s still bugging me about this supposed product– which she expects me to find while keeping within a budget of $30. “Yes, I’ve got the perfect thing for you. It’s made from high-end unicorn shit, imported from the Swiss Alps and blessed by a rabbi.”

Needless to say, my time at the pet store was short-lived. I quit, giving my poor boss only a days notice. “You realize that this is entirely unprofessional. Industry standard is at least a week’s notice. You understand you will never be able to work here again right?”

R.I.P. Pet store job.


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The Perks of Having a Dog: Pt 2

Today Nyxie ate all of the Cesar Millan books that we’ve rented from the library. I guess now we know what she thinks of his methods. “Cesar Millan’s books are very tasty and fun to rip up.” I don’t know, maybe this is her dog way of sticking it to The Man. Why didn’t I have this dog when I actually HAD homework?


I’m Afraid of Fish

I’m afraid of fish. I believe the clinical term is ichthyophobia. For the longest time fish have just given me the heebie-jeebies. Their scaley skin and bulging eyes are terrifying- the literal stuff of my nightmares. It’s not easy to explain to your new roommates why they may have heard you screaming in the night, that you woke up in a cold sweat because you were having the dream again. The dream where you are locked in a room with the most terrifying creature on this earth. That you’d rather it be anything else– a tiger, a bear– but no matter how much you yell, beg, and contest, no one is going to let you out of this room with this goldfish. Please…excuse me while I shudder.

My fear of fish is definitely linked to the fact that they are so easy to kill. When we were still in elementary school, my brothers would often come home with goldfish from school carnivals. There he was, this little guy in a plastic bag sitting on the counter– his whole life just about to begin. You’ve got his whole world in your hands, but somehow something always goes wrong:

-You never forget to feed him, but actually you feed him too much. And now those cute little fish flakes are like a bacon wrapped cheeseburger– the fishy equivalent of a heart-attack. And now he’s eaten his way out of this world and into the third circle of hell… and the poor little guy never even knew what was happening.

-Or everything with the feeding goes fine with the feeding, but there’s an outbreak of disease. It’s the year 1347 inside of the tank and Little Flipper is now deteriorating right in front of your eyes. He’s decaying alive, but it’s ok, you don’t have to worry about him dying a slow death because your other fish, The Terminator, has decided to eat him instead.

-Or, even worse, you come home one day and yell out “Mommy, mommy, they are playing freeze tag!” You are so proud of the little fishies for getting along so well, beaming at the fact that they were so intelligent as to organize their own game of fishy freeze tag. But something is amiss, evident by the stern frown on your mother’s face. No sweetie, they are not playing freeze tag…

Really, these were the first times where I was ever really able to conceptualize death, and probably the root reason for why I actually hate fish. But back then I wasn’t looking so deeply into my pyschosis, and in general I just resolved to stay away from fish when possible. There was one tough week when my roommate Chantelle, unaware of my phobia, agreed to pet-sit her friend’s beta. He sat menacingly on our kitchen counter, stirring nightmares in my mind for a full seven days. I felt like a prisoner in my own house, too embarrassed to admit that his proximity to the refrigerator was the reason why I was eating fewer meals. I was nothing but relieved when his visit was over,  but still I had this lingering feeling of fish problems. My Fish Sense if you will. I distinctly remember going to sleep that night, thinking to myself “It’s too cold tonight. It’s too cold for a fish.” I really had no idea what the hell I really meant by that, but the next morning I got on the phone and called my mother, who confirmed my eerie sensibility. Our beta Jon Krakauer had died… the only fish I ever really loved.

He was kind of a secret pet. I didn’t tell many about him, for worry that it would be too hard to explain how I, a fish hater, was myself a fish owner. You see, Jon had entered my life on a whim, back in high school during a month when my best friend and I decided that I was going to get rid of all of my fears: graveyards, heights, etc. The trip to the graveyard was no problem. My biggest worry was that I’d somehow let the car go rogue and roll over all the tombstones, earning myself an afterlifetime of curses and unforgettable in-this-life shame. Of course this didn’t happen because I made Alissa drive, and the worst that did happened was that I got yelled at for taking too many photos of Johnny Ramones’ tomb.

Then, the only real currently confrontable fear left in my life was my paralyzing disdain for aquarium life.

Alissa and I decided that it was best to go with an aggressive tactic, so after school one day, we went to the store and bought a little blue beauty who we named Jon Krakauer. The original intention was to keep Jon Krakauer over at Alissa’s house– a safe 15 mile distance from mine. Outside of the FNR (fish nightmare radius), and for the most part Jon was easy to take care of. A couple of fish flakes, some fresh water. Badda bing badda boom he’s lookin good, good to go. Aside from one incident where Jon flopped out onto the kitchen table during a particularly shoddy water-changing session, life was good.

Then one day I get a call from Alissa’s mom. Alissa was in Israel for an extended time and her mother was getting tired of having to change Jon’s water, and his tank was getting dirty and could I come pick him up? Wait… um, what? Of course I had to say yes since his vida was technically my responsibility. So here I am in the car with this fish buckled in next to me, driving him closer and closer into my FNR. I’m looking at him and feeling terrified and super awkward, like a divorce dad whose finally got his kids for the weekend but has just realized he’s made a terrible mistake because all he’s got at his home is scotch and peanut butter… But finally Jon and I make it home and as it turns out, he actually looks rather nice sitting atop the bookshelf in our kitchen. My mom, understanding the depth of my fear, agreed to take the brunt of the work. I really owe Jon’s particularly long life to her, since she cleaned his tank weekly– carefully balancing out the Ph levels in his water and adding fresh plants for him to swim in. I myself owe some of my life to Jon, since his living so long helped to pacify some of my fish fear. All in all, like his namesake, Jon Krakauer actually turned out to be quite a survivor, living out an above-average lifespan of 4 long years. He was given an honorable burial beneath an orange tree in our backyard.

Still, when I meet new roommates I am just upfront and I let them know that I am not particularly chummy with chum. If it’s got fins and lives in a tank I won’t like it and I’m not going to kid myself. I will be the first to admit: I’ve got serious fissues.

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Seth Casteel – Underwater Dogs

It’s a Friday night and I’ll be heading out shortly, but before I do I wanted to quickly share these brilliantly creative and somewhat bizarre photos by Los Angeles pet photographer Seth Casteel. His latest series is called “Underwater Dogs.” Check the photos out on Facebook or at Seth Casteel.com.


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The perks of having a dog

There are many ways for a dog to say “I miss you.” This is not my favorite.