Occupational hazard: I was bit by an animal today. It’s my “moonlighting” job– I’m a pet-sitter/dog-walker (no, it was not a dog who bit me). I’d say it was my fault, but it really wasn’t. It was kind of a miscommunication between two really stupid animals, one of them being me.

I did realize that this is the first time I’ve been bitten by an animal. I’ve had animals try, of course, but never had one succeed in breaking the skin. Usually, I get my hand out of the way before they make significant contact. Actually, most of the time animals are bluffing when they move to bite you anyway, so if you understand that and get the hell out of their space, everyone will be fine.

My immediate action, after extracting my hand from his mouth, was to disinfect it, because I put my hands on a lot of poop in the course of a day’s work. Finding the first aid kit in an unfamiliar house can be something of a chore. So, first off, to anyone who has pets and uses a pet-sitting service: keep the first aid kit somewhere easy to find. Next to the pet food is not a bad spot, actually. Also, keep your pet first aid kit available as well, just in case.

But, of course, this also highlights to me that I need to include a first aid kit in my pet-sitting bag. I already had “sewing kit” on the “to add” list, and I probably need a new bag or something. Right now, all my supplies are jumbled together inside a canvas bag. Handy for carrying, but not very good when I need to find something, as it is usually at the bottom of the bag.

Oh, yes. And if you have a dog and your neighbor has a dog, and your neighbor’s petsitter is walking the dog. I do not care if you and your neighbor are having the kind of feud that would make the Hatfields and McCoys look downright fraternal. Do not let your off-leash dog go running out of the house just as the petsitter is holding the leashes of the neighbor’s dogs and fumbling with the poop bag. Trust me, this is an inopportune time for the dog-walker, as she now has four situations to deal with and, having just been bitten a few minutes ago, only one and a half hands (2 dogs lunging, 1 off-leash yappy dog, and 1 pile of poo). For that matter, letting your dog out off-leash is a violation of county ordinances and is generally rude. Here’s an interesting scenario: I’m walking a dog who crapped on your yard. However, if a police officer came along at the moment when you let your dog out, he would cite you even though my dog and crap is on your property. Why? Because I’m obeying the leash laws, and you’re not!

Um, this frustration brought to you by the above situation happening about 10 minutes after I had been bit by an animal and was therefore in a modest amount of pain and a whole lot of cranky.