By Tina R. McSwain
I am very serious about the paranormal and what I do. Sometimes, however, things happen where you just have to laugh. This is one of those times.
The names have been changed to protect the innocent, and especially, the guilty.
If I ever ask you if you want to join me on an adventure, you might want to think twice before you answer. See, I had this case referred to me by another team. Their leader had a medical procedure and could not drive, so had only ever talked with this client on the phone. I took the case and had some correspondence with the client myself. Now, this guy was very gruff on the phone, talked with one of those slow southern drawls (although, he told me he was from Chicago) told me he had ghosts in the house, he lived with his mother, and the ghosts were making quite a racket. He even told me that he had shot a hole through his house the first time he experienced this because he thought someone had broken in. So, I figured this was going to be redneck meets ghost from hell. (As I later found out, that needed to be the other way around, but more on that later) When he called me at 3AM one weeknight, that should have been a clue.
So, I asked my team member Charlene if she would go with me on this consultation. (I did warn her about the shooting incident), and she said she would. I told her it might not turn out to be much, then again it might…who knows, “but at the very least, it would be an adventure” Boy, no truer words have ever been spoken!
So this past Sunday, we set out for Columbia. We stopped for gas, and were preparing to go down the ramp for I77 south, when the woman in the mini-van in front of us decided to do a 3-point turn and come directly back up the on-ramp headed straight for us. I was in mid sentence and lost my train of thought as I watched this unfold in front of us. We avoided the head-on collision and went on our merry way. We got off at the ramp and turned right and started looking for the road we needed. At some point, we decided to get out my new GPS whom I have officially named “MaggieMoo” (short for Maggie Moose) as she is the 7″ wide screen version. (Maggie passed away last week) She got us to our destination, but much like Charlene’s “Garmin Bitch”, she said we were at our destination several houses before we actually got there, so we had to resort to reading address numbers. Of course, we passed the house and had to perform the first CAPS U-turn of the day.
It had started to rain earlier, so we got out and carefully walked up the steps of the front porch to knock on the door. The only thing we heard was dogs barking from inside the home. Big dogs from the sound of them. No one came to the door. After standing in the rain for a few minutes, I suggested we go back and sit in the truck and I would call the guy. Just as soon as we sat down in the truck, the side door opened and a guy was standing there. I asked him if he was the client, he said yes, so I introduced myself and Charlene.
We then made our way to the side door and up the steps. Upon getting inside, he was in front of us shooing two Rottweilers back away from us and the door. One was growling and barking, one was not. It was at this point that the big one scooted past him, straight by us and out the door about the same time that he was saying “don’t let him out” and reaching in vain for the dog’s collar. He said a few choice words and said, “I’ll never get him back now.” He yelled after him, “Pookie”! So, feeling somewhat responsible, (I don’t know why, I would have put the damn dogs up somewhere when I had strangers coming to my home) Charlene and I started out after Pookie.
Charlene started walking down the road, and I followed. She soon got out of my sight, so I thought I would turn around and run back to get the truck. I backed out at warp speed and got to the road where I slowed down to look for Charlene. Going slowly forward with flashers on, I finally spotted Charlene and yelled to her and asked if she saw him. She not only saw him, but had him by the collar!! Now, I am seeing this from the road. So again, I backed up at warp speed, causing Charlene’s coke to go in the floor and all over MaggieMoo. I turned into the drive way of the home where Charlene had cornered Pookie on the lady’s front porch. Now, I thought this lady was being helpful to Charlene. I later learned the details of this exchange. She kept telling Charlene she had a pit bull and she better not let Pookie near him or they would fight. She also told Charlene not to let Pookie go near her flower garden. Well of course, Pookie made a beeline for the flowers. So, anyway Pookie (who weighed in I am sure at around 200 LBS) was all but dragging Charlene down the steps of this lady’s porch. She was trying her best to wrestle him towards me and the truck and away from the flowerbeds. I had the brilliant idea to open the back door of the truck and try to entice Pookie into the back seat. It worked! She led him to the back and he jumped in. Charlene, who I thought was going to require oxygen, then got in the front and sat back in the seat as we both listened to the tears and rips and crunches of everything in the back seat that Poookie was walking all over and standing on. I didn’t care. We had the dog and were heading back home with him! The chain collar was loose and had dug into Charlene’s hand, so she had taken it off and just used the regular collar to get him in the truck. She sat there in the front seat, collar in hand, wheezing and gasping for breath, looking rather ragged!
We slowly drove back to Pookie’s house. I dared not blow the horn and frighten a strange 200 lb. Rottie that I now had in my back seat, so we waited for what seemed like forever for the client to appear at the side door. I yelled through the barely opened driver’s window that we had his dog and for him to come and get him. Now, this guy moved VERY slowly. We later concluded that he was barely lucid, being on pain meds, due to a recent wreck. Barefoot on the rocks, he finally made it to the truck and proceeded to open the back door and grab the dog by the collar. Pookie jumped out of the back seat, and when he did, the client lost his balance, staggered around a bit, and fell to his left, catching himself on a pickup truck parked beside us. When he finally managed to right himself, I saw his right hand slowly come up, grasping something in it. Clutching what you ask???…Pookie’s collar!
Yes, Pookie had escaped and run off again, this time without a collar of any sort. The guy said, in a really slow thick-tongued voice, “Well, he’s a dead dog now, that road out there ain’t nothin’ but a meat grinder”. I looked at Charlene and said “get in the car”. The look she gave me would have melted the entire continent of Antarctica! But, I could not have slept that night had I not gone after the dog again. So, in the truck we were, off again.
We went to the house Charlene had retrieved him from the first time. No Pookie. Then, she spotted him running down a dirt path, luckily for him and us; this was in the opposite direction of the main road. We gave chase in the truck. He stopped, so we got out and tried to coax him to us. He looked at us and ran the other way! We jumped back in and drove further down this dirt path. He stopped again. This time, I jumped out and said,”c’mon Pookie, let’s go for a ride”, and started to clap my hands wildly and added a great deal of enthusiasm in my voice. It worked! We both hurried to the back of the truck. Pookie was running around and around the truck looking for a way to get in. We couldn’t get the back doors open quick enough (as they remained locked when we got out of the front), so Charlene opened the front passenger door, and in jumped Pookie. I yelled at Charlene to shut the door. We looked at each other, caught our breath, and then got in the front seat with Pookie, who took up every inch of space in the front of the truck. I was smashed to one side of the seat trying to slowly put the truck in reverse, not wanting to move too quick and set him off. Charlene at this point had a lap full of Pookie! She could barely reach her arms around him to roll up the window. There was “dog fog” all over the windows where he had nosed and panted and snorted. So, we couldn’t see a thing and I had to back out of the dirt path and onto the main road. I managed to use the left side mirror as it was the only thing I could see. I couldn’t see over Pookie, or around him to view the other mirrors, so I just watched the side mirror to be sure I didn’t fall off into the ditch. I asked Charlene if she could see down the road, and she was able to slowly turn her head and look to be sure I didn’t back out into oncoming traffic.
So, off we go to Pookie’s house again! This time we waited, and waited, and waited. The client finally showed up at the side door. I yelled at him to bring me the collar. I yelled at him a second time to bring me the collar. He just stood there, with the door cracked looking out at us. I yelled at him a THIRD time to bring me the collar, almost following my statement with DAMN IT! All the while Pookie was standing in both our laps, and had licked Charlene’s face up one side and down the other. Her arms, her hair, were all full of Pookie drool. When he finally saw the client, he walked over and stood in my lap, licking my face to the point that my glasses sat sideways across my nose, and cocked way up over the top of one eye. The client finally came down the stairs and walked to the side of my window and handed me the collar. I took it from him and carefully and slowly slipped the collar over Pookie’s head who was literally in my face at this point. Had I set him off, I would have been faceless as he was only inches away from my face and head, standing on me, barely fitting in between me and the steering wheel. Once I got the collar on him, Charlene reached over and took the collar with one hand and opened the door with the other. There was no way in Hell we were going to let his owner have him again. He jumped out of the front seat and Charlene guided him into the house.
Meanwhile, the smaller female Rottie had come out and jumped into the back seat of my truck as I was preparing to pick up the papers that had spilled in the driveway. I said to the client, “the other one is in there now”. He said, “she bites”. Great, I thought! He called her by name and she followed him into the house. I then told him to put both dogs up before we came into the house again. He walked away and closed the door. We waited several minutes for him to come back. He never did. I guess he forgot about us. Probably best, it had been one weird day. I have yet to hear back from him.