This awkward moment came from another long-time client who I had cared for several of their different dogs over the years.
When I took them on as a client, their kids were probably in junior high and high school. They eventually all went off to college. Their one son after college, moved back home. He was probably 22 years old. He was a nice guy and often would be lounging around the house when I came in.
So his parents went out of town and they scheduled me to come three times day for their dog. So I enter through their garage. When you enter, straight down the hall is a powder room. So one afternoon I came for my visit and walked in through the garage. Right away, I see their son sitting on the toilet, pants to the floor. He was going poop.
Right away he noticed me and kicked the door closed. It was awkward. I took the dog for a walk. When I came back, he apologized for the embarrassing moment. I told him “no worries, it happens.”
Disclaimer: The names in this article have been changed.
Little background information:
I bought my pet sitting business from a lady I was working for as a pet sitter/dog walker, for 2 years. Before I took over, she had this client. He had 2 cats. I would occasionally fill in for her and care for these cats. When he first reached out to her, he gave his name, Tom Smith. She set up a meet and greet with him.
When she showed up to the house, there was no answer at first. Then finally what appeared to be a man answered the door with a towel on their head and make up on their face. My former boss stated who she was and asked if Tom was home. This person said, yes, I am Tom. She went inside and did the meet and greet, met the cats, etc. She said it appeared Tom lived alone with just the cats. No one else would be entering the home when he was away.
So, a few weeks later, my former boss called Tom to just confirm dates for upcoming pet care. A person answered the phone, stating her name was Lisa, but she sounded an awful a lot like Tom. My boss asked for Tom. She told my boss to hold on while she got Tom on the phone. Tom gets on the phone but sounds like Lisa but with a deeper voice now. My boss thought it was a little weird but whatever.
Months go by but Tom utilizes pet sitting services often. Then one day suddenly all communication comes just from Lisa Smith. The name on the checks have Tom Smith crossed out and Lisa Smith written on them. This is causing some confusion. Lisa explained she had a gender change. Okay that puts things into perspective! Its important we know who the owner is of the pets we are caring for because liability and contract forms need to stay up to date.
Now the scary incidents:
I cared for the cats off and on before I took ownership of the company. The house was a tri-level, and it also had a basement. So, you come in and you are in living room, to the left is stairs up to bedrooms. Straight ahead is a kitchen. In the kitchen there is another set of stairs down to a family room. In family room there is patio doors, a door into attached garage, and another set of stairs down to basement. The litter boxes were in the basement. At bottom of the stairs was a wood door that opened into the basement area. The basement was concrete but also had several doors a long the wall. I don’t know what was behind those doors but it always kind of spooked me out.
The house is decorated in 1980’s Miami style furniture and colors. There are some photographs around the house, I am assuming of Tom when he was younger. The only time I would see the cats, is when they darted away scared. Some visits, I never saw them. I knew they were there though because their food would be gone by next visit. I had never met Tom/Lisa.
When I took over the business, I did talk to Lisa on the phone. She would travel frequently, so needed my service often for a while. I do drop-in pet care, so like 25-minute visits. She had me come one time a day. A few months later, she informed me the one cat passed away, so I would only be looking after one cat now.
I would go in and never see this cat but again food would be gone. Like I stated the basement always gave me the creeps. I felt like someone was watching me despite the room being open. One time I go for a visit. I put the food down for the cat and fill water bowl in the kitchen. I head to go downstairs to clean litter boxes. I get down to family room and she had a bar in the family room, which was right next to the stairs. So you see the top of it as you are coming down.
On top of the bar were these 2 dioramas, one made out a shoe box. The other made from sticks in the shape of a box. Inside the one diorama was a barbie doll hanging by a noose. In the stick box was a stuffed monkey hanging by a noose. It freaked me out a bit but then thought it may be some symbolic thing for her transitioning into a woman or something. Finished the next few days of the job without incident.
A few weeks later, she needed my care again. This time not only were the dioramas still there but carpet from family room was rolled up in the family room. Okay maybe she is going to get new carpet, but it reminded me of someone cleaning up a murder scene, ha ha. Finished what I had to do and got out of there.
On my next visit, I was a little creeped out to go by myself, so I brought my sister with me. We went into the house, fed cat and gave water in kitchen. We headed downstairs. My sister looked at the diorama and thought it was freaky as well. We go to head downstairs to the basement; my sister goes first. Now the door to the basement is missing a doorknob, but door is usually always left open. As we headed down, I noticed there was a screwdriver in the door handle, that wasn’t there before, and the door was almost shut fully. I just said, “that’s strange!” But as we are headed down, I glanced back into family room and could see the interior door to the garage was open and its never open!
All I said was “um and my sisters name”, she was so freaked out how I said it, she turned towards me and pushed me up the stairs and next thing you know we are out of the house! We were both so freaked out!
She asked me then “what did I see?” I told her the garage door was open and it never is. Also, that it was not open at my previous visit the day before. I called and left a message to the owner, Lisa. Lisa called me back and I explained what I found about the garage door and the screwdriver in the door handle. She then told me she was having issues with neighborhood teenagers vandalizing her house. They wrote profanity and transgender slurs on her garage door plus through a brick at it a few weeks prior. They busted her mailbox.
So, she assumed they broke into her house, she cut her trip short and came home. After that I was a little freaked out to go there, so my assistant started caring for the cat. She too had strange vibes there. Shortly after, the remaining cat passed away. A few years later, Lisa called me wondering if I did in-home dog boarding because her son was coming to visit, and he needed a place to board his dog. I do not offer that service but that was the last I heard from Lisa.
I did later stumble upon an interview about her in an article for a magazine, about her life and struggles with transitioning from male to female. I often think about her, and hope she is living her life to the fullest!
Spread love, not hate!