Tuesday, June 30, 2009

haunted shoes

Things have been a little crazy around here lately. We've had visitors, a death in the family, an open studio, and now we're dog sitting for a couple of weeks. You can read all about our little boarder over at Dietary Indiscretions.

But back to the crazy. Emotions and anxieties have been running high lately, and everyone seems to be affected. The cats have been flipped out because they have a beagle stalking them every time they make a move. Matt's been stressed, spending every waking hour on assignments for school. Dave's back at work answering phones, dealing with irate customers and chafing under the pressures of dictatorial managers. I feel like a boulder in the middle of a class 5 rapids, with all the craziness swirling around me like a river. Even the dogs are feeling weirded out these days.

The pups have been on edge all week, probably because their usual routine has been upended by visitors and boarders and lots of activity in the studio.
They bark at everything, and nothing. Abbie is always on alert, and seems more sensitive to changes in her environment than Cooper, who just goes with the flow no matter if the (metaphorical) stream is at flood stage or all dried up.

The other day the dogs were hanging out in the yard, and barking on and off. Arrow the beagle is staying with us for a couple of weeks, and takes the job of being a beagle very seriously. As anyone who's ever lived with one could tell you, they are small dogs with great big personalities and an opinion about everything. He's usually the instigator of the rounds of barking, and Abbie chimes right in. This time, though, Abbie's barking was urgent, and Arrow and Cooper were following her lead.


When I got out there, they were all looking up at the studio roof, and sticking their heads under the gate, sniffing loudly and jumping back. I walked around the building, but didn't see anything obvious, like a racoon or a cat or a squirrel taunting them. Abbie was obviously freaked out and jumpy about something, so I got her leash and took her to investigate. As we approached the driveway, she backed up and stopped, refusing to budge. I coaxed her over to the side of the studio, to see if she might smell something between it and the garage next door. Someone had left a funky pair of shoes in the driveway, so I picked them up to move them out of the way, and she bolted. I wondered if maybe some homeless person was camping out back there. I didn't see any evidence of that, but she obviously smelled something, and I wasn't about to dispute her senses, seeing as my human nose is virtually useless when compared to a dog's.


When I picked up the shoes again, she cowered, and started barking hysterically at me, as if to say, "Gahh! Put those down!!! They're dangerous!" It was definitely the shoes. She's never been afraid of shoes before, and has never been abused by shoes in any way, or by anyone even wearing shoes, so I was at a loss. She obviously thought they were weird in some way. I didn't even know where they came from.

Were they haunted? Were they infested with bad juju? Were they ninja attack shoes? Did they whisper threats to the dog that only she could hear? Or was bad design simply offensive to her highly developed sense of style? I had no idea. I made them all go inside to calm down.

Since Matt parks his car in the driveway, I called him to ask if he knew where they came from. It turns out they were his old work shoes from the restaurant. They had lots of spilled food on them, and the soles had bits of stuff and grease in them. They were stinky and trashed and smelling up his car, so he was going to get rid of them, but forgot and left them in the driveway.

I picked them up and threw them in the trash can on the deck by the back door. Abbie knew they were in there, whispering death threats, and refused to pass it on her way to the yard.
I was forced to take them to our neighbor's dumpster and dispose of them. Dave had to open up the trash can and show her they were gone.

This morning we walked by the dumpster, and she stared at it, knowing they were still in there, just biding their time.... Bwahahaha!

3 comments:

mo.stoneskin said...

They were clearly haunted. I know these things.

g said...

Those are the ugliest shoes I've ever seen. No wonder the dogs hated them.

BOSSY said...

Bossy is ah-fearin'. Yikes.