Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Floor Whisperer

In a previous post, I wrote of my first experience with dog daycare. But I neglected to explain why I had to be off premises for the day -- and indeed the next day as well. 

It all seemed to start with that unnerving cleaning and moving of possessions. The fridge wasn't the only one hit. Dusty shelves were cleared, drawers removed, and places were scrubbed that probably haven't seen soap since Queen Victoria played fetch with her dog Dash. I kept a low profile, to be safe. 

When I came home from daycare that first day, the kitchen door was shut for the first time since I took up residence. The little brown dog was banned from the best room in the house. 

Mysterious smells of fresh wood wafted under the door. I sensed a presence - or the lingering scent of a visitor now departed. I was perplexed, to say the least. 

Then I remembered a stranger named Bob.

Bob had visited a month or so ago. I remember him well because he was invited in - rather than chased off like other clipboard-wielding folks who knock on our door. Bob started exploring the house like a hound. Seriously, he had his nose to the ground like the best of us -- scanning rooms, peering into corners, cocking his head in contemplation. 

"Tell me about this." he said gesturing to the living room floor. I studied the empty floor. What did he see? 

There was nothing there.

It was then that I realized that Bob was some kind of psychic. He must sense a presence from the other side -- right at the edge of our living room. My hackles rose. Was there spirit in the living room next to my favorite TV nap spot? I always thought that draft came from the chimney.

"Oh..." said Susan blushing. "We move the chair back and forth to watch TV." Huh?

Bob's expression stayed completely neutral, but I could sense his bottled tension. "Stop by the shop and get some chair pads." would chair pads help banish a spirit? I've watched "Ghostbusters" with the boys plenty of times and there were never any pads involved.  
Bob resembles Peter Venkman only a little.
But I think they are in the same line of work.
I trotted after them as they went upstairs. Bob stopped on the threshold of Boy#2's room.

"That's strange," Bob said, frowning slightly. Bob was staring at another blank spot on the floor. My hackles rose again and a growl rose in my throat. I prepared to make a break for it. "You have water damage. That is a very strange spot to have water damage. What happened there?"

"Uh...where? I don't see it," Susan said, worry furrowing her brow. 

Oh my gods, I thought, a water spirit lives next to my kennel!

Bob doesn't look at all like
the Ghost Whisperer.
But I think they would have
plenty to talk about.
"Right there. You can see the boards are cupped with the moisture." Bob walked over to the spot and laid his hand on it. "Feel it... Can't you feel it?"
Bob looks nothing like either of these gentlemen.
But he seemed to read the floor's morphology like a trained phrenologist.
I leaned closer and sniffed. I could smell a whiff of dampness. Susan reached out tentatively and touched the spot on the wood floor. I wanted to drag her away, Lassie-style. Don't touch the ectoplasm, Susan! 

"Oh, dear," she said, "But what could possibly cause water damage in the middle of the bedroom? There aren't any pipes under there." And no, that spot wasn't my fault. I pee outside...mostly.

"Well, I can't work on that until it dries out," said Bob. "You'll have to track down the source. Maybe it was a one-time event." 

Geez, I hope so! I sleep a foot away. In a locked box.

Bob went back downstairs and looked around the kitchen some more, measuring it and taking notes. "This is a pretty straight-forward job. There won't be a lot of mess," he said. "And I have a brand new machine on order. It will trap almost all the dust." He handed Susan an estimate of costs and put us on his schedule. "I should only take a few days. You won't have to move out." 

I wonder if that's what they told Mrs. MacNeil in the Exorcist.

The Exorcist also took several days, as I recall.
Bob went away and I forgot all about his visit. A month later, I was at doggy daycare. And when I came home, the kitchen door was shut.

"Let's just peek," Susan said to Boy#2. They opened the door and peered in. Bob had gone home for the night but he'd left his equipment behind.

This machine appeared to be used to suck up the spirits. It looked very powerful. So powerful it seemed to have vaporized all the varnish off the floor as it worked. It was attached to another machine (see below) with a big black hose. 

This giant vacuum apparently trapped and stored the evil spirits. I gave it a wide berth. I hoped Bob had taken the day's worth of ghosts back to his storage facility. There didn't appear to be any paranormal activity in the tank.

The petite machine must be for the little guys - or the faster ones that try to hide in corners. Or maybe it was used to clean up the last bits of ectoplasm. It reminded me of a bot on MST3K. 

Mike and his bot buddies,
Mystery Science Theater 3000
Bob came on Monday and left on Wednesday. He worked alone. He said he didn't like having to supervise other folks. Being a floor whisperer must be lonely work.

Bob not only removed the spirits, he left behind gleaming floors that look like new. I guess ghostbusting is hard on the floors so he had to refinish them.  They look pretty good.

Bob also put in a new grate. Maybe that was how they were getting in. I assume he sealed up any doors to the underworld. No "Amityville Horror" here!

Susan also painted the whole kitchen and replaced the warm window shades - I guess you can never get that exorcism smell out. She even refinished the kitchen table and chairs.

They also bought a new stove even though the other one wasn't that old. I think the range was where the demons were living. It often possessed my Susan and made her burn things and spew bad words. The electronics were always haywire and the knobs kept spontaneously melting. I think they replaced them all at least three times. The new appliance seems spirit-free. So far.

All in all, Susan seems pretty pleased with Bob's services. Our kitchen is more cheerful and homey. It makes Susan happy. And a happy Susan means more baked goods for all. 

If you need a floor whisperer, you know who to call


  1. What does it sound like when dogs laugh?

    When humans do, it sounds like surprised yelps -- I'll bet you'd think it was from pain, Carmella.

    There were a lot of those sounds as I was reading your post.

  2. Nice to meet you at the "dog rally" tonight. I look forward to reading your blog.

    A few items:

    Bo's Blog:
    My website:
    My effort at a dog blog from a while ago: