namely, fit for a dog

Posts Tagged ‘sleep walking

no go in playroom!

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When I was a kid we had a black poodle named Sasha (I hadn’t seen Point Break yet so naming her the Zeph was not yet on the radar).   She never told me as much, but I gathered that Sasha lived a somewhat difficult life.  She had survived being run over by a car (I think more than once), had terrible cataracts in her eyes, was completely blind (I am not certain, but I surmise the blindness may have been caused by doing battle with one of those cars), and she lived with me (I’ll get back to this point later).

I really loved that dog. I remember the day Mom met me and Dad in the driveway to tell us that Sasha had died while we were at baseball practice.  I cried. Then went in the backyard where Mom had stashed Sasha in a garbage bag and set her next to the dumpster (nice touch Mom).  I pulled Sasha out of the bag and gave her a kiss on the head (in hindsight that seems a little awkward and umm…icky).  Since that day I have always felt a twinge of guilt about some of the “tricks” I used to play on Sasha.

What kind of “tricks” you might wonder? 

Well, given that Sasha was blind, she made her way about the house rather gingerly. I was always amazed at how well she knew the layout of the house and could navigate between rooms.  That is unless someone messed with her sense of direction by calling her name and then setting random things between said someone and her.  Watching an aging blind poodle find her way around obstacles by gently bumping into them was pure comic entertainment to a 5 year old.  To a 35 year old…I feel guilt.  But not so much guilt as regret.  And not so much regret because of what I did, but because of the dreaded BLACK POODLE VOODOO curse I have been under for 30 years now.  It is real…and lasting, oh boy is it lasting (I’ll get to this point later too).

Not long after I discovered the joys of messing with Sasha, I started sleep walking and talking.  The first sign of the Black Poodle Voodoo came the night The Sister (I only have one) heard thumping, bumping and banging coming from my room in the middle of the night. 

Thump, bump, BANG.  Thump, bump, BANG.   

The Sister is 11 years older than me and kind of motherly which is why she came in to see what all the commotion was about.  Turns out…it was the Black Poodle Voodoo.   The Sister found me in an unconscious state of repeatedly walking into the closet doors…falling back from the collision…then walking into the doors again.  Thump, bump, BANG.  Over and over. In my mind’s eye I can see Sasha skulking there in a dark corner, the poodle version of Baron Samedi, with my voodoo doll likeness in paw walking me repeatedly into those closet doors – while muttering under her biscuit breath “so you like to mess with blind dogs, huh? Bwahahaha!” 

Side note: Speaking of Baron Samedi and James Bond, after seeing Live and Let Die was anyone really comfortable drinking 7 UP in the 70’s and 80’s?  I always worried that after drinking it I would pass out, then wake up bound to a pole  in some Haitian jungle with crazy people all gyrating around me.  Frightening.

As I was saying….Black Poodle Voodoo.  What happened next is evidence that doggy voodoo is very enduring.  Another late night and The Sister hears footsteps and a door open in the hallway.  Curious and probably a bit concerned, she opens her door to see me standing in the dark…in front of the hallway linen closet…door open…PEEING. On the linens.  Totally asleep.

[30 years later] 

Last weekend I notice a note on the kitchen counter.  On it The Wife has cryptically written “NO GO IN PLAYROOM!”


As I relate the story, in my mind’s eye I can see Sasha again up in doggy heaven (or some voodoo doggy afterlife that looks a lot like a Haitian jungle), with my 2 year-old son’s voodoo doll likeness in her paw.  Directing him to go up into the playroom.  Take off his diaper.  Then POO on the floor.  But wait, there’s more…for good measure have him STEP IN IT and then TRACK IT around the room. Little brown footprints…all over the place. 

Seriously…no go in playroom.

Written by eber

January 29, 2009 at 8:00 pm