So roughly a year ago, ran into an old friend of mine that I hadn’t seen in a while and we had the following conversation:
Me: I’ve been breathing, I guess. How about yourself?
Friend: I’ve been AWESOME! My kids are growing up and I am having a blast! So where are you living now? Are you living in town?
Me: Yep, I own a house on the East side of town.
Friend: Oh yeah? Where’s that???
Me: I own the house that always has that dog running around on top of the roof. That is where I live.
Friend: Ohhhh, ok!!! I know EXACTLY which house you are talking about. My wife and I drove by a couple times and saw that and we laughed our asses off about it. That’s freaking hilarious!!! You always have a ton of cars in your driveway, right?
Me: Yep…that’s the one…my garage door is acting up and I can’t get my cars in there.
*** This was a real conversation. No joke. As you probably noticed, this guy knew exactly where I lived, not by me disclosing my address, but by describing my place as “the house that always has that dog running around on top of the roof.”
So for a few months, I was known around town as “the guy with the dog on his roof.” EVERY town has one of THOSE guys, right?!?! Yeah…I didn’t think so. This stupid shit only seems to happen to me. Is it just me, or do I have some of the most atrocious luck with some of the pets I have owned? I don’t ever witness any dogs running on any other peoples’ roofs. Why is there one running on mine? And if you’ve followed this site, you probably know that this dog is far from the first pet we’ve owned with strange tendencies/behaviors. You may recall the posts; “My Dog Loves the Smell of Her Own Ass,” “My Dog Hates Mullets,” “Meet the Hamburglar,” “Meet the Cat Who Pooped and Peed on My Crotch, Snarflebunz,” “50 Nifty Puns about the Buns of Snarflebunz,” etc. All of these are examples of posts about some of the pets I have owned that turned out…strange…and in most cases, didn’t work out for us.
So for a few months, I owned a dog that I couldn’t get to stop jumping and running around on our roof. Her name was Pippy. Here’s the story:
One night in the Summer of 2013, I had to run some errands in town and didn’t return to my house until it was dark outside…it was probably around 10:00 PM. Many things were weighing heavily on my mind at that time; school, my kids, work, wrestling, the Kansas City Chiefs training camp and roster moves, this blog and whether I should keep it up or take it down, hotel reservations for Lollapalooza, student loans and how I’ve ruined my life by digging myself into the depths of debt with them, my future, etc. Ya know, the regular stuff that I am always pondering and/or worrying about. I worry all the time about this shit…way too much.
Driving home, I was in a trance that was at a level presumably classified a small notch or two above full-fledged highway hypnosis. I was functioning in doing what I had to do, going through the motions, but my mind was elsewhere…in deep thought about whatever. I pulled into my driveway, grabbed the grocery sacks in my front seat and exited my vehicle, all while remaining in the “heavy thought” trance that had handicapped me since I began driving home.
When I began walking towards my front door, I remained in this trance until something abruptly forced me out of it by frightening me to the point where I thought I was going to have a heart attack. When I was roughly 10 feet away from my front door, I heard a deep, intensely loud and ferocious growl. Whatever it was that was growling at me, sounded like that MGM Lion that you see/hear growling before movies pumped with steroids with the volume at the theater set to the maximum times 10. It was LOUD…and it was SCARY….And it sounded like it was coming from 5-10 feet above my head, so therefore it was CONFUSING. I briefly thought to myself, “what the hell!!!?!? A lion hasn’t escaped from any zoos and made it’s way to my house, has it?!?! And if so, this lion hasn’t been trained to freaking fly, has it??? For that growl sounds like a lion that is hovering 5-10 feet in the air!?!?!”
My fear-induced, knee-jerk reaction was to run the hell away…so I did…I ran all the way through my yard and into the street and stood next to my mailbox, which is right next to the neighbor across the street’s driveway. When I was able to calm down a bit, I began looking towards the sky, which was where I heard those terrorizing growls coming from. This is what I saw:
It was Pippi, barking and growling like a freaking grizzly bear. Pippi was a 10 month old female white boxer dog that resembled a pit bull. We had purchased her the night before on a site that I am not fond of when it comes to pet-searching, called Burlington: Buy, Sell, Trade on Facebook. I take that back, WE didn’t purchase that dog. My wife did…without me knowing about it. She knew that if she asked me if we could get a pet she fell in love with because she saw a pic of it on Burlington: Buy, Sell, Trade, that my reaction would be, “hell no! That is where we got the Hamburglar, Snarflebunz and those two English Terrier/Boxer mixes that tore our basement up!!! We will only end up just getting back on that site and trying to sell the dog to someone else because there is ALWAYS a catch when it comes to Burlington: Buy, Sell, Trade pets. There is obviously a reason why their owners are so adamant to get rid of them for such low prices or in many cases (in Pippi’s case) FREE!!! There is ALWAYS a catch with animals on that site!!!”
And I DID say that to her, possibly word for word… after she had already purchased the dog and brought her home. Her response to me was this:
I would have rebutted with something along the lines of, “if this primary caregiver raised such a good dog, why didn’t he take the dog with him when he moved out?!?” I didn’t say anything, though. I knew it was a fight I would not win and I had no dog in the fight, matched up to this dog Krystal brought home that I knew was likely to be a disaster waiting to happen.
So I entered my house, my face stained red with steam surging out of my ears. I was pissed. “ANOTHER pet with issues purchased via Burlington: Buy, Sell, Trade. Unbelievable!” I thought to myself. Krystal was sitting on the couch. I asked, “so how long has this new dog been on our roof and how the hell did she get there?” She replied, “I don’t know, I just let her outside to go potty and when I went inside, I heard a bunch of plopping around on the roof, followed by scratching on our window.” Krystal then pointed at the living room window and motioned for me to look outside. There she was…Pippi was staring right at the window and when she noticed me, she began scratching at the window profusely while barking and growling.
After one day of owning this dog, she had discovered a way to jump on top of the roof and had scratched a gash into the screen of our living room window. We were not off to a great start with Pippi. And things never improved. She continued to do it. And I couldn’t stop her…she was way too quick and seemed to know that I wasn’t going to chase her on to the roof to get her down. She was also bull-headed and regardless of how many times I had scolded her and begged her not to jump on the roof, she would still do it. It seemingly became part of her routine when she was let outside. As soon as the door opened, she made a bee line to the ledge of our deck and jumped from the deck to the roof…and that was her playground outside. Here are a couple pictures of Pippi in the act of doing this:
Then she began making some substantial damage to our house, primarily our roof. She started out by clawing and scraping all of the windows, ultimately ruining every screen and cracking a couple of the windows in the upper level of our house. She also started scraping the shingles off the roof so she could chew on them. To top things off, despite the fact that she had a nice, decent sized fenced in back yard that she could use as her personal playground and toilet, she chose to use the bathroom on top of our roof. After a couple weeks of owning Pippi, our roof was littered with numerous piss spots and dog poop nuggets. People driving down the freaking street would be able to notice that I had dog shit all over my roof. How is that for classy?
This dog was a major problem.
After a few weeks, not only did my neighborhood notice that this had been going on, but the entire town seemed to know about it. I couldn’t go anywhere without somebody approaching me to talk to me about it. The gas station, the restaurant, the grocery store, the barber shop, the post office…everywhere I went I would have people approach me and ask, “hey Rico, did you that your dog has been jumping on your roof?” This question always annoyed me, not only because I had someone asking that exact question 10 times a day, but also because I’d sit there and think to myself, “HAVE I NOTICED THAT MY DOG CONSTANTLY JUMPS ON MY ROOF?!?! SERIOUSLY?!?! HOW DUMB DO THESE PEOPLE THINK I AM FOR IT TO EVEN BE REMOTELY POSSIBLE NOT TO NOTICE THAT MY DOG IS ALWAYS RAISING HELL ON MY ROOF AND GROWLING AT AND SCARING EVERY INDIVIDUAL WHO WALKS DOWN THE STREET BY OUR HOUSE?!?!?!” Most of the time, I responded unenthusiastically, “yes, I have noticed…we are trying to find a solution.” However, sometimes for fun, I would act like I had no idea what they were talking about and would respond with, “WHAT?! MY DOG HAS BEEN JUMPING ON MY ROOF?! I DIDN’T KNOW THAT!!!”
About 3 months after we brought Pippi home, we began searching for a new home for her. The breaking point came when I woke up to my doorbell one morning and when I walked downstairs to open the door, I was greeted by a cop who had received a complaint from a woman who was walking down my street with her toddler who alleged that she was growled at by a pit bull on top of my roof. To start, I explained that the dog wasn’t a pit bull, but a boxer and that while she sounded like a rabid Grizzly Bear when she growled at people walking by, she was just silly and wouldn’t harm a kitten. I also ensured that I was looking for a solution to the problem, which at that point was finding a new freaking home for Pippi. Problem was, it was difficult to find people who hadn’t caught wind of the roof-jumping, crazy dog Pippi in my community and our surrounding area. About everyone around the area was aware that my dog would jump on the roof of my house and terrorize people walking by our house as well as vandalizing our house via breaking windows, eating shingles and shitting/pissing all over the roof. Therefore, no one wanted her. It seemed borderline impossible to find someone willing to take her…for free.
We finally found one guy who is the father of a guy my wife works with who lived out in the country and seemed a bit interested. He was a bit lonely and wanted some company. We pressed him hard to take Pippi and he teeter-tottered around with the idea for quite a while prior to committing. It took him about 2 weeks to make the decision to take Pippi.
Unfortunately, during that final 2 week stretch in which we were pressing Pippi’s future owner to accept her, another Pippi-induced tragedy occurred which temporarily caused a large percentage of my neighbors to be upset with me for a few weeks. Right in the middle and at the excruciating peak of an awful heat wave, the air conditioner for my house chose an absolutely perfect time to stop working. For 3 days, my house did not have air conditioning during a stretch where the temperature did not fall below 95 degrees. My two young daughters, my wife and I all had to stay with my grandma and aunt who lived down the street from us from the time our air conditioner stopped working until someone was finally available to come fix it. While we were gone, Pippi had to stay outside on a chain in the shade under a tree. This was the coolest spot on my property. It was more hot inside the house than it was outside the house. I planned on stopping by and checking on her once every couple hours to make sure she had food and water and was ok.
I had tried chaining Pippi to this tree before in an attempt to prevent her from jumping on my roof, but this was a failure, for immediately after I put her on her chain and began walking away, she leaped in the air and almost cleared a nearby tree branch. If she would have cleared this tree branch, she would have accidentally hung herself, which would have been awful…Pippi was a personal problem for us, but she was nice and meant well…I didn’t wish the dog any harm. Therefore, I spent a couple hours configuring the leash/chain in a manner in which it would be impossible for her to jump over the branch. This ultimately proved itself to be ineffective.
Pippi was restrained to the cool shade for a day. When I came to check on her at around 11:00 am on the second day, I noticed a couple of my neighbors giving me some unpleasant looks when I exited the vehicle. I was confused. Many of my neighbors were outside, for the community wide garage sales that were being held that morning. Roughly 80% of my neighbors were hosting garage sales that morning. I noticed that if my neighbors weren’t giving me the stink-eye, they were staring at me. Something was up…and I had a feeling that it was probably somehow affiliated with Pippi. I hoped she was safe… I didn’t want anything happening to her while I was gone, making me come off as a negligent pet owner. I went to the back yard, to the shady spot underneath the tree that Pippi was tied to. No Pippi in sight. “How in the hell did this happen?” I thought to myself. Then I looked down at the chain. Pippi had tried escaping the chain with such force that she actually managed to break the freaking thing. A chain link was just torn to shit. I figured Pippi was on the roof…she wasn’t.
I began worrying about Pippi. So she escaped…and if she wasn’t on the damn roof of my house, where the hell else would she be? I walked to my front yard. Many of my neighbors were still staring at me with strange, mostly angry expressions on their faces. I approached my next door neighbor to the South and asked if he knew what was up with the dog. He informed me that my neighborhood was upset with me because while they were trying to host their garage sales, Pippi had jumped on top of the roof of my house and barked, snarled and growled at anyone who attempted to attend any of the garage sales in my neighborhood. Pippi had managed to negatively affect the attendance of the garage sales in my entire neighborhood due to instilling fear into the souls of the customers who walked by my house. Potential garage sale customers purposely avoided garage sales near my house because they were scared shitless of the beast that resided on my roof.
And it gets worse. My neighbor informed me that after about an hour after the garage sales began, Pippi actually became excited to the point where she jumped off the roof and began chasing a couple of people with their children down my street and jumped on them enthusiastically while simultaneously licking them…this was after she had growled at them like she wanted to eat them and steal their purchased garage sale items.
I was mortified. No wonder my neighbors appeared as if they wanted to impale me. I then looked at my neighbor and asked, “well, where did Pippi end up going?” He looked at me with an apprehensive expression on his face and said, “well Rico, that’s the bad part. After Pippi chased a bunch of people down the street. She took off in a dead sprint and ran right into your house.” “Into my house?” I asked. “That isn’t even possible. I didn’t leave any doors open.” My neighbor slowly lifted his hand up and pointed at my basement window. It was shattered. The freaking dog, in a dead sprint, ran right through my basement window. She ran right through the screen AND the glass window and was presumably inside tearing the inside of my house up.
I panicked and thanked my neighbor and quickly ran into my house. The house was trashed. Pippi seemed to get her paws and/or teeth on every single item in my house. The furniture was messed up, the blinds were torn apart, the carpet was ruined at the edges, the baseboard trim had been tampered with, clothes were everywhere, etc. The worst part of the house was the kitchen. She tore out a corner of the floor. She toilet-papered a few rooms in my house and sprinkled the TP decoration with my wife’s tampons that she ripped out of their packages. She managed to open the refrigerator and cupboard doors, sample every food item that wasn’t canned and she seemed to have mixed all of these food items together on the kitchen floor. She was in the kitchen, chewing on my Swiffer when I found her. Instead of putting her tail between her legs, she acted as if she expected that I would be happy to see her and she immediately started jumping on me and licking me. This dog was not very intelligent. I didn’t know what to do…I didn’t know how to act around my neighbors, I didn’t know where to begin cleaning my house and I had no idea how to try to get through to Pippi in terms of her being a bad dog.
A few days later, we dropped her off at her new owner’s house. This guy had spent a week or so, building a dog house for her. I only saw her one time after we dropped her off there. We drove by his place once and guess what we saw her doing? You guessed it, she was standing on top of her dog house, barking at us while we drove by on the highway.
We kept in touch with this guy to see how she was doing. The guy freaking loved Pippi. His place was evidently a more compatible environment for her. He went as far as saying that he had never loved a dog so much and that he would never own another dog in his life that wasn’t a boxer (something that I used to and sometimes still say…I love boxers when they aren’t totally insane). Pippi brought a lot of joy to his life and I assume, she was happy there. Good fit.
With that said, this guy and Pippi went on to live happily ever after… Until Pippi was mauled senselessly and killed 8 months later by a large truck that was driving down the highway. Which made us all sad… really. As mentioned, she meant well.
Pippi: Long gone, but will never be forgotten. Crazy bastard.