Thursday, August 28, 2014

What the job description left out

Edited by Hobo Hudson
Written by Wylie Hudson

When Hobo interviewed me for the job at his home, he conveniently forgot to mention that I would have to share the living quarters with cats. I was more than surprised at finding those critters in my new home, but they turned out to be OK, and I knew right away I could live with them, especially since they were enamored with me or at least with my tail.

However, taking on the job of a cat sitter is a completely different ball game. In fact, the cat I have to babysit does play ball, and from all the balls available, he has found a liking to tennis balls. I was always under the impression that tennis balls were the exclusive toys reserved for me and my fellow dogs. Anyway, despite my misgivings, the cat is a pretty good catcher, and we’ve already had some good games going. He’s a little slow in tossing the ball toward me and instead rolls around with it, but that’s just a minor snag.

Now back to the cat sitting job. Several weeks after I accepted Hobo’s offer and moved into his home, he told me I needed to help our mom with a difficult task. Hobo explained that for months, Mom had tried to move our kitty brother, Thomas, from the porch into the house but wasn’t successful in any way. Hunkering down at the door to the porch without moving away from it, Thomas cried and whined, forcing Mom to let him back out, and Mom finally gave up trying to keep him inside.

Hobo said he really didn’t understand why Mom wanted Thomas to move into the house because the cats had everything they needed and more on the porch where they were safe, happy and content. But he hated to see Mom being unhappy, and he always did his best to accommodate her.

So, Hobo gave me my new assignment to change Thomas into a full-time house kitty and take care of him. When I pointed out that babysitting had not been a part of the job he’d offered me, he said I shouldn’t consider it a job but an act of love or a hobby. He said he couldn’t do it because he had too many things going on and just didn’t have the patience for it. Even though I knew that if babysitting the cat wasn’t a job, I wouldn’t get paid extra kibbles doing it, I agreed to it—as if I even had a choice.

The first day I became a cat sitter, I found out it wasn’t work at all. I didn’t have to do anything. When Mom carried Thomas into the living room where I was waiting for him, he came running toward me, snuggled up against me and then followed me wherever I went. He barely left my side. I finally showed him a hidey-hole in the corner of the dining room where he now likes to curl up, and I’m able to take a snooze alone again. 

This has been going on for a week or two, and Thomas has no urge to go back out onto the porch. And I’m receiving payments after all, even for doing nothing. Every time Mom sees me walking around with Thomas on my heels, she pats my head and tells me what a good boy I am. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Getting started in a new job

Edited by Hobo Hudson
Written by Wylie Hudson

When I walked into Hobo’s office, I was overwhelmed by the most awful odor I had ever smelled. I put a paw over my nose to keep from gagging and gasped to Hobo, “What’s that horrible odor?” Hobo grinned and said, “Did I forget to mention Blondie? That’s a cat you smell, and I would advise that you be real careful around her. She’s getting old and cranky and just might whack your nose if you bother her.”

Despite Hobo’s warning, I just had to walk over and check her out since she was sleeping and didn’t seem to pose a danger. I gave her a tentative tap with my paw, and she opened one eye and gave out the most terrifying hiss I’d ever heard. My legs turned to mush and my tail hit the floor as I rapidly backed away.

Hobo laughed and assured me that she and I would get along as long as I didn’t startle her for a couple of days and then took me out onto the porch to meet a couple more of the critters. Unlike Blondie, these two came running up and asked permission to play with my nice fluffy tail, and I instantly gave permission and knew I’d get along fine with those two.

After that, Hobo took me for a tour of his home and office. First, he showed me a large room which he called a “living room.” It contained two long sofas, two doggy day beds, a futon, an ottoman and a recliner, which Hobo explained was the only place Dad would sit while he read or watched TV. There was also a large coffee table and a big heap of toys under it.

I immediately asked if I could play with the toys, and Hobo told me I could play with all of them except for a large somewhat dilapidated stuffed skunk, which Hobo explained was the only thing he played with. When I saw a deer antler sticking out of the pile, I put my paw on it and asked if he would mind if I chewed on it now and then. Hobo replied that I could have it since it didn’t have any taste, and he had only given it one sniff when Dad brought it home.

Then, Hobo and I went outside, and Hobo gave me a quick tour of a large fenced back yard and showed me how to check for wilted grass and give them a little water. He also showed me a patch of yellowish grass and told me that was where I should deposit my nice organic fertilizer.

When we re-entered the house, Hobo gave me my first job assignment. He told me that all furniture is “first come, first served” and he wanted me to claim Dad’s chair so Dad would be forced to go into Hobo’s office and work on proofreading Hobo’s new book, which he hopes to publish soon.

That evening, New Mom asked me to sleep with her in what she called “The guest room.” I found it had a nice large, new smelling, doggy bed which I concluded Hobo had purchased just for me and enjoyed a good night’s sleep, although New Mom later told me I seemed to have had a nightmare one time during the night.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The interview process

Edited by Hobo Hudson
Written by Wylie Hudson

I was a bit afraid that Hobo might change his mind overnight and decide not to hire right now due to the unrest in Ukraine and Gaza. I didn’t sleep much worrying about this and the upcoming interview, but I decided to put on a brave front and was up at the crack of dawn requesting an appointment at the fur salon for a brushing and comb out. After that, I told myself to buck up and act as though I already had the job.

After the fur treatment, I returned to my room for breakfast and then packed my toys and seeing that I still had a couple of treats left, I shoved them through the wall into the next room for my neighbor to enjoy, thinking that I might as well go for broke, and then sat down patiently waiting for the gates to open.

Just as the gates opened, a large silver limo pulled into the parking lot and the nice couple got out accompanied by a somewhat pudgy little black terrier. When I saw them, I immediately went into my dance routine, and they walked over to me, and then we all adjourned to an interview room.

After a few preliminary sniffs, Hobo and I sat down, and he explained that he is getting older and would like to slow down a bit and wanted to hire a good dog to take over some of his work so he could concentrate on his writing and bone market trading and maybe take a vacation now and then.

He then asked me a series of questions, and I had to admit I didn’t know anything about computers but had had typing lessons during puppy school and had received all As on my essays.

Hobo seemed satisfied with my answers and then asked if I had any questions. At the same moment, one of those pesky squirrels walked past right behind Hobo, and I had to focus really hard not to chase the critter again and probably blow my chance at obtaining the job. However, just when it entered Hobo’s side vision, Hobo barked, “Let’s get that squirrel!” and we were off.

My long legs enabled me to outdistance Hobo in a flash, and I was sitting at the base of an oak tree staring intently at the squirrel, who was sitting on a limb jibber jabbering away at me when Hobo arrived. I knew it was probably a bad move to outrun my future boss, but I just couldn’t help myself.
Hobo just grinned and said “You’re hired. Let’s go into the office, and I’ll put my paw print on the paperwork.

When we had signed everything, we hopped into Hobo’s limo and I was off to a new future which sounded great to me. Little did I realize the hard work that would be required for me to learn my new duties. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Job hunting

Edited by Hobo Hudson
Written by Wylie Hudson

My job hunt began one morning when a strange man rang our door bell and my mom explained to me that she was going to have to move and couldn’t take me with her but this friendly man would help me find a new job with a nice family.

Although heartbroken at the thought of losing my mom, I quickly threw a few treats and my favorite toys into a bag, and we were off on a great adventure.

After driving for perhaps a half hour, we exited the Interstate at a sign that said “Ruskin” and then almost immediately turned south at a sign that said “C.A.R.E.  After driving for perhaps a mile, we turned into a gated hotel with a large grassy area and lots of oaks for shade. The friendly man told me we would stop at the fur salon first where they would give me a good brushing and take my photo for an ad on their various jobs wanted pages.

When they were done with it, I was interviewed by another lady who would write the ads, and she inquired as to what type job I was seeking. Since I had no experience in job hunting, I described my old job and told her I wanted one just like that one. She shook her head and told me jobs like that are very hard to find and I might have to settle for a job with a man in the house or possibly even a job with children to amuse. I told her I would consider such a job but only as a last resort.

After the lady had gathered the information about me, she led me to a comfortable, airy room and told me to make myself at home as the job search unfolded. I distributed my toys and began a conversation with the fellow in the next room. He told me he had been there for a couple of weeks and, although he had had several interviews, he hadn’t had any luck at finding a job yet.  

Suddenly, all the dogs began barking and jumping against the wall of their rooms. I asked my neighbor what was going on, and he replied they thought they saw a couple of prospective employers come in and they were all trying to get their attention.

This seemed highly undignified to me since I had been taught that a good dog should be seen and not heard. Besides, the couple was young and both probably worked all day so I’d either have to stay outside or be forced to amuse myself alone inside all day. I just sat this possibility out. 

This went on for several days, and I began to realize I would have to do something to attract humans’ attention. Since my barker was pretty rusty, I decided my best method of attracting an employer’s attention would be to dance around my room on my rear legs whenever the right person or couple came in. It worked pretty well, and I scored several interviews with people looking for help, but they all decided on younger employees—even puppies.

After a couple of weeks, I was beginning to give up hope of finding the perfect job and was about to decide to take any job offered when an older couple walked in late on Friday evening. I was excited to see the lady glance around the rooms and then point directly at me all the way across the courtyard, and I immediately jumped into my dance routine.

The couple walked straight to me and offered their hands for a paw shake and explained they worked for Hobo Hudson, the famous writer and retired business dog and he had asked them to come by and prescreen me for a possible job.

We adjourned to a private interview area where the man explained that Hobo is 14 and wanting to slow down a little and needed some help. They asked me a series of very pointed questions, and things seemed to be going great until a squirrel ran past my nose, and I just had to jump up and chase it. As soon as I did it, my heart dropped because I just knew I had blown the interview. To my surprise, the couple just laughed it off and dismissed it as doggy high spirits.

The lady then took out her cell phone and called Hobo and gushed about what a wonderful dog I was and that she was sure I was just what Hobo was looking for. After she hung up, she told me that Hobo had authorized her to put in an application subject to his approval the next morning.

This sounded great and I gave them an enthusiastic tail wag which seemed to meet with their approval. They then left after promising to return with Hobo the next morning and went into the office to do the paperwork.


About Hobo

This was Hobo Hudson, my doggy brother, a little terrier mix with black fur. He became famous after his first attempt at writing stories, which was an article published in the newsletter of our local animal shelter, the same shelter in which I ended up years later before Hobo and his parents adopted me. Hobo’s fame quickly spread as he made a name for himself as a business dog and an adventurer. To keep his memory alive, my doggy sister, my three kitty siblings and I, Wylie Hudson, are continuing his blog. Our mom, the blog’s editor, is publishing a Hobo Hudson adventure in sequences. Click on: Foreign Business Affairs, and enjoy a different kind of pet story that combines suspense, lightheartedness and quirk.

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