Corgi responsible for neighbourhood hiring

March 6, 2008


It looks even more sinister in its British spelling: megaoesophagus. Although a hyphen would have rendered Mr. Rogers’s elocution lessons much simpler — “Can you say ‘mega-esophagus’?” — it is, with or without the o, all one, long, ominous┬ástring of syllables.

Our Cardi has it.

In lay terms, megaesophagus is a condition wherein the dog has no swallowing muscles. Think of a tube sock that has seen too many wash cycles: no elasticity, unable to do its job.

When we first got our pup, I assumed that his regurgitation of kibble, treats, and water was something he would outgrow. It grew worse. By the time our vet x-rayed him and diagnosed his condition, she had had at least two reports of the puppy’s spit-ups, and the poor little dog was looking pinched around the face.

Because I haven’t had a dog since I was a kid (read: my mother cared for a dog while I was growing up), and my partner has had even less experience of the Fido lifestyle, we decided to get a purebred, so that we would know more or less what to expect from our new pet. We certainly didn’t expect rare diseases.

The folks at the local petstore got to know us. We were in there at least once a week, getting a new toy or experimenting with food and treats, looking for a car-ride harness or trying out roadsalt preventive products. My dog’s uncommon breed and even less common health problem made for immediate conversation every time we went in. I liked that place.

So when a sign went in the window asking for part-time help, I jumped at the chance and put in my resume. That was last July. Almost immediately — okay, last week — the manager called. He said the other employees thought I was the right choice, and could I come in for a talk? I could. I’m to have 10 or 12 hours a week, relieving the other employees who really haven’t had any wiggle room for too long now.

The store doesn’t sell pets, just products, and so it smells like alfalfa. The customers are local residents, some of whom I recognized during my first training shift on Tuesday. I already know and like my co-workers. And it’s part-time, which is all I want. It’s perfect, it’s ideal, and it’s because of the grace of dog that I’m working there.