Monday, November 2, 2009

Cujo + Deliverance = My Halloween

I used to live in NYC. I used to work in Greenwich. I considered myself quite metropolitan. So why did I find myself cowering in my car on Halloween afternoon like something out of some scary backwoods horror movie?

We live in a beautiful house in a rural area. We have a lot of acres and we like the outdoors. My husband is an very avid, and very responsible hunter. Having grown up in the city, he always longed for a place of his own on a lot of acres he could hunt. We have that but lately we've been invaded by dogs! Dogs scare deer away and chase them until the deer die of exhaustion (which is illegal). Plus, having strange dogs around is just unsafe.

We have not one, but two neighbors who apparently have never heard of NYS Lease Laws. The first is on our road. Dealings with her have been interesting but that's a story for another day.

The second neighbor is over a road. We'd never been there before but we were told that they'd gotten an electric fence for the animals and if we saw the dogs around, that the batteries must have gone dead. We'd seen the dogs every day for a week so we decided to let them know. This was on Halloween. Before we could get over there, one of the dogs came and stole the head of the 7-point buck my husband got last week. This was the biggest trophy he's ever gotten on our property and he was mad. He asked me to do the talking as he didn't think he could be civil.

We turned down what we thought was their driveway. We were driving and driving through the woods on a dirt road thinking "This can't be right". We passed a few... well... shanties, I guess. Basically, what I'd refer to as "good places to hide the bodies." We came across a teenage boy shooting at a bee hive in the tree. Fantastic. We rolled down the window and I asked if the house up ahead was the family that owned the German Shepards. He said yes and we continued into what was quickly turning into my worst nightmare.

We pulled up to the house, if you could call it that, amongst piles of garbage, old cars, furniture, trailers, etc., etc. To quote the late, great Dr. Seuss, it was an "appalling dump heap overflowing with the most disgraceful assortment of rubbish imaginable mangled up in tangled up knots."

There was a woman and young girl standing outside the shack and three very large dogs, two Shepards and a St. Bernard mix that I like to call, Cujo, barking at the car. I got out of the car and they were barking and growling at me. The woman shouts "I wouldn't get out of your vehicle if I were you. The big one will kill ya." (Sidebar: Last year, before the electric fence, when these little darlings were turning up on our property, we were told they were harmless. Yup. They sound harmless. I think it's the snarling that makes you just want to go scratch their bellies.)

I got back in the car and beckoned her over. I explained that the dogs are the reason for our visit, that we understand they have an electric fence but the dogs had been on our property every day for a week. She asked if it was just the Shepards or Cujo as well. I told her just the Shepards but that we'd seen Cujo quite a few times before they got the fence. She seemed shocked and stressed again that he's a killer. Lovely. She claims the Shepards are harmless but I told her I still wasn't to fond of them being around and that my mother had opened the door to find one of them right there. Fortunately she was very civil and she agreed.

Of course there was still the business of the snatched buck head to deal with. I couldn't believe I was hearing the words come out of my mouth as I uttered them. What has become of my life that I find myself telling a woman, who could so easily dispose of my body, that her dog stole my husband's deer head? As she reacted with shock, the Shepard ran by with the smoking gun, a.k.a. the deer's EAR in it's mouth. And I used to be sooooo classy.

They promised to go look 'round the pond where the dogs like to drag things, or, as I like to refer to it "another good place to hide the bodies" and we got the flying fig out of there with our hides in tact.

It's been two days and no sign of the dogs, but no sign of the disembodied head either. Whatever the outcome, I am NOT going back there. I wish I'd taken pictures but, did I mention that I'm NOT going back there?

I could not have asked for a scarier Halloween experience. A lonely dirt road, a scary young man with a gun, creepy shacks, snarling, angry dogs, a disembodied head and dismembered ear. Kevin McCurdy's Haunted Mansion has got NOTHING on this place. They should charge admission.

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