15 March 2011


Gustavo led the charge of the invisibles last week. Hours of barking at unseen forces outside the dogpen at work. When I walk him up on top of the hill, to get a view of the land and hopefully exorcise whatever it was that was terrorizing him, his ears pin back, a look of horror swept over his face, and a new round of screaming begins. This goes on for a few days.

When he gets like this, we've never been able to figure out what he sees. His apparitions come and go. Some visionaries see things on burnt tortillas or the gnaw marks in damp sheetrock, for Gustavo they flutter by in the breeze. When he sees the spirits in the yard, I send Otterpop outside with him, and she boldly goes where he can't due to the brain freeze that goes along with spectral paralysis. She'll bark a while with him, then charge into the bushes where his monster might be hiding. Nothing. She dives back into the daisy bush. I go out myself. We point at stuff, touch things, to see if that's what has him upset.

"Is it the puddle, little buddy? Are you afraid of the puddle?" I touch some water, but his eyes stare right through me. Maybe it's the flower pot that's fallen over. I knock on it with my knuckes, so he he can see it's made of clay and substance and isn't a vapor, playing shit tricks with his brain.

"The flowerpot? Gooey? Look!"

Otterpop slams into the flower pot head first. She ain't afraid of no flower pot. Eventually she tires of his spookies and goes inside. Gustavo keeps recoiling in horror at what only he can see. Backing up, and barking until I carry him back inside.

Since his spookies began again last week, Japan exploded in multiple disasters all at once. Earthquake led to tsunami led to nuclear meltdown. He predicted it a day before it happened. And then we got some tsunami here. And bone zombies secretly ravaged the cadaver bone graft they attached into the tooth section of my skull. And my facebook account got hacked. And someone swept my floor. Although that could have been my husband.

So who am I to say that invisible forces aren't out there? I suppose it's lucky I have someone around who can see them. Like having our own leprechaun that can predict the weather or what the soup of the day is. Ruby has always been plagued with witches that speak mystery to her in tongues. Gustavo's don't talk though. They just reveal something to him, and I think it's a frightening burden to live with.


Jen Lindsay said...

Hey Laura,
I've been using a product called Calm Shen with two of my dogs for over a year now. When I tried to take them off of it, I noticed a big difference, so I put them right back on it. It's made by Herbsmith, you can find it on Clean Run. It's been especially helpful for my littlest guy. He had a history of ring stress, and of getting very spooked by things in life and having difficulty recovering from things that frightened him. He still gets spooked, but on the Calm Shen he seems to recover from things much quicker, and his ring stress issues are greatly improved. I don't use the full dosage suggested on the packaging - just a dash in their bowls at mealtime. I am normally very skeptical about herbal supplements, but I am now convinced this has made a difference with my dogs, and I know other dogs who have improved on the Calm Shen as well. It might help Gustavo. It did take me about 4 weeks to see an improvement with my two.

DoggieDojo said...

Poor Goo. With great power comes great responsibility.

GooseMaverick said...

I love that picture, for some reason it touched me and makes me feel like Dancing With Wolves or Last of the Mohicans. I think you should enter it in the county fair.

My heart goes out to G, I can't imagine living with what he does.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Gustavo - if ever there was a time to have the spookies, this is it!

Beth & Lexi

Ruby Rose and the Big Little Angels 3 said...

I think Gustavo really knows what is going on out there, and if we did too, all we would do is bark and tremble

Anonymous said...

Gustavo... it's the energy man. Not your fault if others can't feel the energy.

I'm with ya.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Gustavo is a canine seismograph? Have you ever checked for seismic activity when he gets the spookies? Seriously. Living where you do. Seismographs all the way down the center of the US recorded tremors during the Japan earthquake. And maybe once he gets spooked it takes awhile for him to be sure the spookies are gone. And he thinks if he keeps barking they'll stay away....Poor Gustavo. If there was ever a time for an animal communicator I'd think this was it. Had my own experience with one and she was so accurate it was scary.

Sending peaceful thoughts G's way...

Virginia in Texas

Elf said...

That is a beautiful photo.

I'm sorry about the bone graft. Again. :-(

And Gustavo--sigh--mostly Boost doesn't do the spooky thing any more, but now she's 6 and all grown up and worldly. Still, sometimes, same thing--bark bark bark all tail between the legs. Thank goodness not much any more.

Cindi Myers said...

if you were to write a book,
I would buy it.