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. It...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!