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Pet Sitter Snow Day Darwin Awards

snowroadYeah, we said it. It was AWFUL. We detest it and we want summer back. The fleeting moments of happy dogs were the only good thing about the second snow storm, dubbed Leon, by the Weather Channel. Our dog walkers and pet sitters hate snow, because of what it means for us. We lost an incredible amount of work due to the two mid-week storms, with a full 40 daily visits cancelled on multiple days following both – we’re bad at math, but it was somewhere in the vicinity of 150 cancelled visits over 2 weeks. The remaining  accomplished visits were a testament to VDOT. We’re going to rant about it for a bit and then present you with our first annual Pawsitively Priceless Pet Sitter Snow Day Darwin Awards. (PPPSSDDA).

We sent out a ton of storm warning emails. “We promise we will not miss visits.” Until – we had to do it. We didn’t want to, and we certainly tried like crazy. No, we had no choice, we couldn’t get there, with storm totals of over 9 inches in both Norfolk and Virginia Beach. We got lots of places, in two cities, but we couldn’t get into East Beach. We couldn’t get to Ghent. We couldn’t get back into Bay Colony. We couldn’t get into many areas back off the main roads. Fortunately, in most places, where we couldn’t go, we had sitters living nearby. Many of our visits were accessed by walking rather than driving.

windshieldWe took our trusty Rodeo-that-isn’t-our-normal-Treat-Mobile into Ocean View and almost got stuck in the middle of Ocean View Avenue. We watched as vehicle after vehicle got stuck squarely and often sideways in the travel lanes, and we watched as pedestrians walked out into the middle of roads to try and push these vehicles – thus endangering themselves and causing more drivers to get stuck as they slowed to avoid hitting people. We were prevented from entering East Beach and several other subdivisions because of spun out and stuck vehicles blocking the entrances. We tiptoed down main roads with vehicles in medians, turn lanes, travel lanes and ditches.. praying every minute we would not be next. This is the first storm where we’ve been thoroughly impressed with the VDOT response, to have the interstate almost clear at 9am was a big surprise. Sadly, many main roads, particularly in Norfolk, were left untended and treacherous.

Why did we go? We had diabetic cats on schedule, and we had dogs stuck in houses with emergency personnel at work. We had to take care of the vacationer’s babies. Two homes had to call in neighbors to help, because we couldn’t reach them. In the end, we had only 2 houses with kitties that no one could get to on the day of the storm, but since we knew the storm was coming, we were fortunately able to stock up their supplies the night before and get back to them the morning after.

Darwin Awards Issued By Pawsitively Priceless Petsitting

  • Jerk in the sideways pickup on the bridge at Diamond Springs and Shore Drive. Thanks for spending 20 minutes spinning out, so we could add 40 more minutes and another 10 miles to our trek to Little Creek. Protip: BACK OFF THE BRIDGE.
  • Jerk in the Navigator who blew past us too close and pushed us into a dangerous skid on Shore Drive and was later seen backwards on Great Neck. Yeah, we laughed.
  • Y’Not Pizza. Really? You had to OPEN with 10″ of snow on the roads? Thanks for giving us even more wrecked traffic to pick our way around.
  • Jerk in the Humvee on Little Creek. Thanks for scaring the crap out of us with your 40mph approach to a red light and subsequent dramatic slide 2″ from our rear end.
  • Every jerk in Virginia Beach and Norfolk who left their driveway with a snow covered vehicle. That was pretty much everyone we saw. Thanks, we loved the white-out conditions you caused.
  • Thanks to the jerk towing their kid on a sled behind their Jeep. You scared the hell out of us too.
  • Thanks to every jerk walking in the road. Seriously, at what point is taking a leisurely walk down the only open lane of Great Neck Road a good idea?? Shore Drive? Virginia Beach Boulevard? Are you kidding us? Darwin had a theory of evolution and you’re the walking epitome of it.

Jerk Summary:

Next time, don’t slow down in deep snow or you’ll get stuck sideways on the bridge. Drive single file and stop trying to pass people. Don’t move that car one inch without cleaning all the snow off the roof, hood, lights and license plates. Don’t go out “just to see what it’s like”. Get off the road if you’re on foot because we can’t stop our 2,000 pound weapon to avoid you. Buy yourself a bake-at-home pizza — before the storm.

Snow Clearing Awards:

Virginia Beach – Nailed it! Great job, Virginia Beach, that early State of Emergency call saved the day for us.
Norfolk – Awful. Seriously awful. Here’s the site for the Connecticut Dept of Transportation, we recommend you call them for advice next snow event.
When all was said and done, we survived it. We were able to take dogs out into such deep snow that many of them disappeared under it! We played and played – but then we realized that we had achieved a record 2 jobs complete in 6 hours. Would we do it again? Of course we would, but we would hate it. 🙂

Gratuitous selection of Snow Dog pictures!
azziesnow beefysnow bellasnow bellasnow2 beulahsnow beulahsnow2 beulahsnow3 bravosnow jakesnow licoricesnow pennysnow rudysnow tarzansnow tillyroxiesnow zoesnow zoeysnow


Rescue Work

Pet Guardian Pet Service
Pet Guardian is a local rescue organization specializing in saving domestic animals in crisis.

Diabetic Cats In Need
Diabetic Cats in Need is a national organization dedicated to helping diabetic cats live wonderful lives.

GO Rescue
GO Rescue is a local group rescuing dogs from imminent death and rehoming them.

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