Searching for Answers: Turkeys, Soft Poop, and Underage Dog Walkers
One of my most favorite things about having a blog (other than getting to hang out with you guys – seriously, thank you for being here gang!) is reading the search terms that lead people to my blog. For those of you who have better things to do with your time than hang out on the back end of a blog, search terms are the words that people plug into Google or other search engines. Sometimes the terms trigger my blog to pop up in the search results and then those poor innocent people are directed to my posts.
For example, here are a couple of common search terms that bring people to my blog:
“How to make flirt pole” or “Toy on a string for my dog”
Then they get directed to this post.
Makes sense right?
Here’s where the fun comes in: people plug in all kinds of oddball search terms that lead them to my blog, even though they’re clearly hoping for something non-dog related. Like:
“How much space do I give my girlfriend?” or “Tell that bitch to back off.”
Then I get some that make me want to cry, like:
“My dog was killed by a loose dog” or “My dog got hit by a car and died in my arms.”
These slay me.
But I also get a ton of questions in my search term results. It turns out that, in addition to typing in questions like:
“How do I get my dog to stop pulling?”
We’re also typing in our deep, dark, vulnerable questions, hoping that the Universe (aka Google) will guide us to the answers.
“Am I bad dog owner?” and “Does my dog hate me?”
And much more, much worse. Trust me.
Except it’s not Google/Universe getting the questions, it’s me. And every other blogger out there.
If you click on the blogs that pop up in your search results, then we’re the ones who see you in your most freaked out, desperate-for-answers moments.
So I thought: What if I just answered the (anonymous) questions that lead people to my blog?
I feel like these questions and search engine terms deserve their moment in the sun. I’m gonna give it to them.
Here we go. Let’s start with a couple of funny search terms that have led people to my blog this week:
Do people walk their turkeys? It never occurred to me that they did. Are there TINOS out there? Do I need to start another website?
I don’t know where you get a turkey harness, but I do know that if a dog can get out of a harness, so can a turkey. So, to all you turkey wranglers out there, always use a carabiner for back up. Safety (gobble) first.
“Don’t get mad when a girl cares too much. Worry when she stops caring.”
True that. Except if caring too much means pulling a bunny boiler ala Fatal Attraction. In that case, go ahead and worry. Go ahead and call the cops actually.
And here are a couple of questions that people have plugged into the interwebz, hoping for answers:
“I have begun a dog walking business. But will people be surprised that I am a kid?”
Maybe. How young are we talking here? When you roll up to a new client’s house, how many wheels are on your bike? Do you have enough facial hair to convince them you’re not a 7th grader?
Depending on how slick your website is, some people will be really surprised that you’re not an adult. If, on the other hand, you made homemade fliers with construction paper and glitter, people might not be so shocked that you’re 10. And they might be fine with hiring a kid to walk their dog. Sometimes kids can be OK dog walkers. And they’re cheap too.
However, lots of families want to hire an adult that is a real pro and for good reason. You’re too young and too full of magic unicorn dust to understand liability issues, but sadly adults are not. Due to stuff like liability, geezers like us may prefer to hire someone that considers dog walking a full time profession and has significant dog handling experience under their belts.
They should know in advance that you’re not an adult.
Going forward, make it clear how old you are in your advertisements. It’s a waste of your time and theirs for you to show up for your first meeting and have them discover then that you’re 6. Plus, it’s gonna be super awkward. Especially when you have to excuse yourself mid-consultation to have a juice box and take a nap.
Also, be upfront about your handling skills when you’re talking to potential clients. Don’t overstate your skill level. Being a good dog walker – at any age – means recognizing how much people are relying on you being honest and trustworthy. Don’t get a relationship started in a lie (of omission). Admit your newbie-ness and get your feet wet by walking easy, laid back dogs. Or stuffed dogs on wheels.
Please recognize your limits kiddo, even if your clients do not. No one under 18 should be handling other people’s dogs who are fearful, aggressive, or reactive. If something goes wrong (it will) you need to be experienced, insured, and have access to a car or cab to get to a vet asap. Or be able to get yourself to the ER. There are some dogs that really are adults-only when it comes to taking them out in public.
Good luck in your new business. Be proud of who you are – you’re a hardworking kid that digs animals and wants to earn money providing a valiant (if not poop covered) service. That’s exactly what some folks are looking for, so don’t be afraid to strut your wee stuff.
“How come my poop came out like soft serve yogurt?”
Dude. I know why it happens to your dogs (see this), but I’m so sorry you wound up on my blog when what you really need is WebMD or some other site that deals with human #2. I want to help you, but after reading this page with one eye closed (just in case there were photos), I’m going to throw this one back at you and Google/Universe.
There are hundreds more. I purposely left out the sad ones this first time, but I’ll come back around and answer them sometime in the future. It seems like the people who are throwing those painful questions out into the universe are most in need of a little anonymous support.
Until then, keep asking questions. One day, you might just get an answer!
Thank you. Funny is appreciated. Sad is not. Please do not do sad. I’ll have to stop reading you.
Potter the Miniature Schnauzer
Some of us would like to see it, though. Maybe putting it behind a warning is a better compromise?
Well, “like” isn’t the right word. I feel less alone hearing other people have seen the same things is more like it.
Gato – that’s exactly what I’ll do.
I love your blog’s!!! I actually smile when I see you in my in box 🙂 Funny is great and I have to agree with Helen, please no sad 😦
You’re amazing. 🙂 I would pay good money to see someone walking TINOS.
We have wild turkeys in our back yard…maybe one day I’ll ask if any of them would like to join me for a walk into town ; )
Just make sure to harness them nicely before taking them on a stroll, Ive never met a turkey but I sure would not like one running at me in the street 😉
Just be sure to harness them securely first, I have not yet met a turkey, but I dont think I’d be impressed if it ran at me in a street 😉
Some of those questions in the beginning made me sad, but wow, thanks for the laughs. Those were some good ones.
Also, I’m probably going to stop and think the next time I go to type in some stupid question. I’ll type it in anyway, but this post will just make me think “Now, who’s going to read this and laugh?” or, more importantly, “I bet I’ll end up on Notes From a Dog Walker!”
I think the same thing these days whenever I google a question and click on a blog that pops up in the results. It’s kind of fun to know that someone out there is getting a laugh at my most confused moments!
Oh god I do this all the time. Sometimes I just don’t understand how things get from search term to blog but it’s always good for a laugh.
One of my favorite searches that people have found my blog is by Googling “Spanks for Dogs.” Okay, so I did make a reference that Thundershirts are sorta like Spanks, tight fitting, confidence building, supportive… But heck, I didn’t think people actually would want to get a pair of Spanks for their dogs….
It always makes me laugh, maybe cry and certainly recommend walking their dog to help them trim down that waist line. 🙂
That’s amazing. I love it! And I’m going to get my dog Birdie a pair, so that we can both look our trimmest in family photos ; )
This is too funny! I am infinitely entertained (and usually fairly freaked out) by the searches that lead people to my blog. I wrote a post about a friend that was raped and how her dog is helping her get through it…well apparently Google decided that made me an authority on the topic and now I get all sorts of “dog rapes girl” or “girl rapes dog” type searches. It’s pretty disturbing really. Anyways, glad I’m not the only one that is so entertained by this!
Oh jeez. That’s awful! I’m glad Google just considers my blog the authority on flirt poles, soft poop, and grumpy hermits.
If it makes you feel any better, I got this today in my searches: “my dog rap me story” and I stared at it for a long time wondering if there was supposed to be an “e” at the end of “rap.” Because it’s either a really disturbing search (like the ones you get) or it’s a pretty funny one about a dog that raps to his owners.
TINOS! Made me LOL in my cube! Here in South Jersey, we have Guinea Hens… maybe I’ll call them GhINOS! they do like their space!
Warning: Depending on how you pronounce the “I” in GhINOS, it could lead to some awkward conversations. Like, “My husband and I have kept a dozen gynos in our backyard for years.” 😉
Excellent! I’ve always wondered what to do with the weird-search stuff. Leave it to you to take strange and turn it into awesome!
Best compliment ever. Thank you.
You have me ROLLING! This is fantastic.
haaaaa This is Great. Love it. Thanks so much!