Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I have some more memories of this place when we first saw it. After we looked at the studio house, we came into this house and looked it over. There was a bug zapper hanging in the living room. The flies were so thick you could hardly breathe. Months before, the man had gone to town and bought his wife a new glass top cook stove. Two days after he bought it, she brought home a bag of ice. The ice was stuck together so she banged it hard on the top of the glass top stove. Of course it broke the top of the brand new stove. They were now cooking on the barbeque grill and it was in the living room.

We saw a hunk of chain link fencing that formed a wall around the family room. These people had a rottwieller and a labrador and several cats. They fenced the family room and two back bedrooms off with chain link fence so the dogs couldn't kill the cats. There were cats everywhere, they were sick and could barely walk. To open up a doggy door, they'd chopped a hole into one bedroom floor, this way, the dogs could get under the house and come in through that hole in the bedroom floor.

We stopped to see these people and discuss some business arrangements with them. They invited us in. The woman had a 22 year old son who'd had a bad head injury, she was afraid of him so she let him do anything he wanted to do. She said the kitchen table was his area and she let him do anything he wanted there. The top of the table was covered with milk, bits of cereal and cat hair, it was deep. They invited us to sit around that table to visit with them. Robert and I both have the habit of resting our arms on the table while we're visiting or maybe resting our hands on the table. We'd almost touch the table, then we'd jerk our hands back and if we happened to be looking at each other it was all we could do to keep from laughing. You sure didn't want to touch that table!

The front yard was fenced to keep the dogs inside. It was such a tiny area, maybe a hundred feet square. Those two dogs had been locked in that area for several years. No one ever cleaned the ground. When we moved in here, we took that yard fence down. We raked and raked the ground but we couldn't get the smell out of it. We hosed the ground down and raked some more, it still stunk like those two dogs. We finally got the bobcat, dug that dirt out, and replaced the ground with new dirt. We could plant our lawn on that and know it was clean.

After we bought this place, the man and woman got a divorce. The man wanted to stay here and rent the house. We agreed to let him. We were working on a car crushing crew by then. We were on a job near Missoula, Mt. We came home on a weekend and the guy wasn't home. I checked on his rottweiller, the dog had a huge dish of food and a big bowl of water. The guy didn't come home all weekend. When it was Sunday night, it was time for us to leave for Missoula to go to work again, we had our 5th wheel camper on the job with us and we were following the crew around, going wherever the next car crushing job was. We knew we wouldn't be coming home until the next weekend.

We had a feeling the guy wasn't coming home for several days. We fed and watered the dog before we left, by this time, he was our friend. On Tuesday night, I told Robert, "You know he hasn't come home to feed his dog. That poor dog is there, without food or water." It was August and the temperature was in the high 90's. Robert knew what we had to do, we got off work that night and drove the 150 miles to home. When we got here, it was midnight. We came around the corner of the this house and Herman, the rottweiller heard us coming. He'd picked up his water dish and he was carrying it around the fence line, trying to woof at us with his dish in his mouth. He was so thirsty, he drank and drank. We filled several food bowls and left buckets of water for him as we had to be back to work the next morning by 8 am. We slept a couple hours and took off for work. When we got to Missoula, I waited until 9 am and called the humane society. They promised they 'd come out and get Herman and take care of him.

A week later, the guy who owned Herman came home. He came over and knocked on the door of the house as it was a weekend and we were home. He said, "Where 's my dog?" Like he expected Herman to be there waiting for him. I said, "I don't think your dog would still be alive if the Humane Society didn't have him."

After that, we kicked him out of the house as he never wanted to pay his rent and we couldn't stand to watch what he was doing to his dog. When he came back to move his things out, he had Herman with him again. I'll never in my life understand how he got that dog back after he treated him like he did.

We had such an affection for Herman. He got out of his yard one day when we were working out back. I had the hose running, watering what little patch of grass we had when Herman came to see me. Just for fun, because he stunk so bad, I started rubbing him with my hands, then with the hose to see what he'd do. He loved it! His poor skin was so dirty, I think that was the first bath he'd had in his life.

We wonder what happened to him after the Humane Society gave him back to his owner. I don't think he had much of a life. I think they gave him back because they told me they had such a hard time finding homes for Rottwiellers.

Life has been interesting since we came here, lots of different experiences. Working to restore the studio house has brought back memories of how it all was when we first came here.....