Saturday, January 14, 2006

Now Clear Your Minds. It Knows What Scares You.

Well. Spent the day at the new house today, spoke with the previous owner who was clearing out the last of his family's stuff from the property, and put together a few clues. It's interesting, unnerving, frightening, and funny, depending on your point of view.

First, let me say that the people we bought this house from are the salt of the earth. Absolutely the nicest people you'd ever want to meet, and certainly the kind you want to buy a house from. When we walked in this morning, it was just glowing. Sparkling. Bella exclaimed, "WOW, it's so clean and SHINY!" Poor thing--I hope she took a good look.

Previous Owner gave us the "dirt"--pun intended--on Previous Previous Owner. She had anywhere from 10 to 92 small dogs, depending on which neighbors you ask. The whole place was floored in linoleum, and a wreck. When ruined baseboards were pulled up, wads of dog hair were underneath. Just a mess. Anyway, Previous Owners, angels that they are, lovingly fixed up and cared for this place during the last 8 years, and passed it on to us in near-pristine condition.

I previously showed you the pictures of the 850-square-foot "shop" on the property. The "shop" has always given me the creeps, and I never spent much time in it. At first I just wasn't interested, but when Alex started talking about possibly using it for a grooming building, I just became surprisingly (even to me) adamant about not wanting to be in that building, and not wanting my dogs in there. Alex obviously thought I was nuts, but we cut each other a lot of slack in that regard. To a dog person, this building looks immediately like a kennel, long and narrow. That's just what we think when we see a building like this that is not a mobile home. Once Previous Owner emptied the building, which he was using for storage and the housing of large power tools, it was apparent that the building had, indeed, been a kennel. A kennel for toy dogs. Very small dogs. There are still kennel-run doors on the inside, though they don't go through to the outside because Previous Owner put up nice wood siding on the outside and made it look pleasant.

As we poked around out there today, we found more clues. A full shower/bath stall is there, with eye-hooks bolted in. Breaker switches are labelled "stand dryer," "force dryer," "nursery heat," etc. "Oh, my..." we're saying to each other, "this place was a kennel/grooming shop. How interesting." Alex says, "See? We just make it a grooming place again. It's already set up." I nearly took his head off, and when he asked why not, I just feebly said, "I HATE IT. I just hate it. FEELS bad here. You can have it--do whatever you want in there." (This was quickly amended with the proper admonitions and restrictions, due to the wild-eyed expression that appeared instantly on Alex's face at that last sentence.)

Then, I saw it. Stuck accidentally on a wall near the front door, probably hidden for 8 years by power tools or hip-waders that were stored there. A small address label, with a name I recognized in the "TO:" field. It was a name of some infamy among dog people in these parts, due to a fairly large puppymill bust just about 8 or 9 years ago. I hadn't put it together with the name on the title search, but now it hit me like a ton of bricks. This place was "not clean," as Tangina would say.

Previous Previous Owner was a backyard puppymiller of toys dogs of various breeds...including toy POODLES, and as such was sanctioned and suspended by the AKC after an investigation. That's right. There are restless poodle spirits here, I just know it. No wonder I hated that building. Not to mention how many little bodies are probably buried all over the place. There will have to be a cleansing. Something along the lines of burning sage, Lysol disinfectant, and some sort of Baptist-approved dance--I'm not sure.

Cross over children. All are welcome. All welcome. Go into the Light. There is peace and serenity in the Light.

But wait--there's more. Examination of the title search on this property shows that it was once owned by the owner of a couple of local strip clubs. This character was Previous Previous Previous Owner, hereinafter referred to PPPO. PPPO bought the place, lived there briefly, and BURNED IT DOWN. That's right. He then sold to PPO, the puppymiller, as a "burn-out," for a price equal to the value of the land. PPO had a new house built--the current house--and spent the next 8 years junking it up and never bothering to clear away the burned-down house... while she earned a living trading on the flesh of a multitude of little dogs. PO--our angelic sellers--bought the place from her 8 years ago, at a bargain (depending on how you value sweat equity) price, and made it into the lovely thing we own as of yesterday. Oh, and they bulldozed and hauled off the old burned-down house, too, so there is no trace of it now, thank goodness!

And somehow, there is a nice, full-circle feeling to it now that I reflect on it. Our loved and cherished pets filling a space where their kin were once a mere commodity, relegated to an out-building 100 feet from the house, factory-farming puppies for profit. Our new little puppies will move into the house with us, and will be played with daily and loved and respected. And this house will be "clean." PLEASE Click the "BOB" Button and Vote for Ninja Poodles in the "Best New Blog" Category!


  1. what is that poodle doing to alex's head? and that picture of wee bella with the puppies makes me well! thanks! *sniff*

    i love you man

  2. Hi there...You know there are people who come and 'excorsize' bad spirits if you feel like that is what is happening in the place you can't stand...Or do you feel better about it now that you know why it made you feelso bad...
    I'm fascinated by these kinds of things..where a person, such as yourself, "feels" some very strong--in this case--Bad Bad Vibrations and it turns out that they are correct in their feelings...!

    I wish you all the best in your new place and that you can rid that back house of all the awful stuff that you felt there!

    Good luck in the Awards Arena, too!

  3. As a dog person, this post really struck a cord with me. I suggest tearing down that old building, and building yourself a nice new grooming building:)

    Congrats on the new house!!

  4. wow, belinda, what an incredible story! now tell me that God doesn't work in mysterious and wonderful ways! have you been brought there precisely so you can heal the wounded spirit of the place? i have to wonder ...

  5. I don't breed dogs; however, I have the unfortunate distinction to be living in a state where puppymills are the second largest industry. Many pet shops in and around my section of Philly have been busted or shut down for KNOWINGLY selling pups that were churned out of puppy mills. My late husband purchased one of those poor animals from a reputable pet store. It devastated him and his family when their vet diagnosed the pup with a laundry list of disease and deformities. They tried returnig the dog but were too late. Sadly, the pup died.

    I hate those places and I hate knowing they still exist in my home commonwealth. And I am not alone. Here's a quote from CentralPADogs website:
    "Thousands of dogs suffer in puppy mills. They live their entire lives in filthy, cruel conditions. They are bred over and over again, and then disposed of like garbage. The Pennsylvania Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement is supposed to enforce the laws that protect the dogs, but the officials in Harrisburg refuse to allow it."

    Refuse. They claim all changes that have been attempted to modify breeding laws only hurt good-hearted, legitimate breeders. I find it hard to believe NO ONE can draft a bill that protects the good and outlaws the universally known bad.

    At least I know there is one place in Arkansas where the hurt and neglected lives of the past may now rest easy knowing love has come to live.

  6. this is my first time on your blog, and in the spirit of de-lurking week (is it over?) as well as the inspiration of your puppy-mill post, i feel compelled to leave a comment.
    as a "rabid" animal lover (pun intended) i have been known to many as creating a "cat sanctuary" before the age of 20, and was mother/guardian to countless. i volunteered at the humane society (canadian equivalent of the spca) and saw what puppy mills do to animals - the ones who had been brought in, post-rescue, just look dead inside, like all of the excited, happy puppy life in them had been squeezed out. it's really, really, sad; especially to see the ones who just can't, or won't revive under loving care.
    so. i think it's great how much you love dogs, and that a real dog-lover now lives on the property where once dogs were, not hated maybe, but treated indifferently. (which i believe can sometimes be worse). i agreed with your "full circle" statement.

  7. Love that pic of Bella and the pups!

    Wow, that is a crazy story about your new place and the puppymill. Full circle, indeed. You will bring good karma to the place now, Belinda :-)

  8. Belinda, congrats on the new house. I'm sure you will be great owners.

    Hey, can you e-mail me about something? (Just post to my latest and I'll respond.)

  9. So sad about the puppy mill link to your new space, but, its your home now and Im sure will be a place of nothing but happiness for both your family and your puppies!

    You could gut the place and make a cute guest house out of it. Or maybe a "playroom" for adults or kids depending on your pleasure. Or just use it as a really big shed for storage - you can NEVER have enough storage with kids.

  10. I know this has nothing to do with your post, but the picture of that woman sent me into flashbacks of the time I went to go see Throw Mama From The Train in theaters. That's the same lady, right? Would you believe I actually left early from feeling ill?

  11. Oh Belinda! That story just gave me the heebie-jeebies all over!! That's crazy that you had that premonition about it too!


  12. OMG that picture of Bella with those pups is priceless!

  13. Oh Belinda...I was just reading your blog.. after Melissa called me and said you gotta go read Belinda's blog.. and you know we all thought it had been a kennel (the nursery sign, etc.) but I had no idea that it was previously-previously owned by THAT woman who had THAT puppy mill. From now on this will be a happy place, not a sad place. Alex just called me while I was writing this...when it rains, huh? I'm so glad that the seller's left the house clean for you.

  14. OH my lord... thank goodness that lady's voice didn't accompany the picture...

    "Step into the liigght!"

  15. I hate puppy mills, but I also hate "Backyard" breeders. That is, the kind of idiots who say, "Gee, I've got a purebred [breed] and my cousin Vinnie has a purebred. We can breed 'em and make lots of money." They don't have a clue about the breed and don't check for genetic problems and rarely socialize the pups.

    Individually, they may not contribute as many dogs to the world, but collectively they are just as bad as puppy mills.

    Obviously, I'm not lumping you into their dispicable lot.