Sunday, July 29, 2012


My son has been in training this summer with new-to-him coaches in Arizona. He's really happy with his experience and enjoys pole vaulting three evenings a week. I realized that he didn't have many days left of training, so I wanted to go watch him perform in a tournament and take some photos of all the vaulters in action. I love sports photography, and the warrior-like attitude of these athletes along with the grace of flying makes for surprising and fun photos.

I was getting a foreboding feeling about leaving the house, though.  Normally, I listen to my instinct, but this was my last chance to watch my son vault, and I knew he'd be disappointed if I didn't show up.  So, I bit the bullet and got into the passenger seat while my husband drove.  I took an anti-anxiety pill and sat back, promising myself that I would not be a backseat driver.  I just stared straight ahead and did not try to look around us, because if I see my husband doing something that causes a near-accident, I scream or do something that makes the situation worse.

So, we were driving down the freeway going 65 mph in the fast lane when up ahead some foreign object came into view.  I squinted, trying to figure out what it was, and my husband was making no attempt to change lanes or slow down.  When it hit me that there was a bed in the middle of our lane, I said, "Look out!  Go left!"

I don't know if it was a mattress or a box spring, but it was big enough to send a car flying out of control.  My husband did brake and swing around it on the inside shoulder while I tried to settle my heart rate and breathing down from the scare.  I thought maybe that near-miss was the cause of my premonition.  I wondered, had I not gone, would my husband have been able to spot it and react in time without my warning?  Who knows.

We made it to the tournament, and I got in a few pictures.

Most athletes got in a few runs, and then the sky opened up and it started raining, a dust storm began to move in, and a fire started somewhere in the neighborhood all within a matter of what felt like less than a minute. I had to get my camera into the protection of the car. At the same time the vaulters had trouble completing their jumps because of the wind, so we wrapped up and went home to find that our house had been ransacked while we were away.

This was our laundry room.  The boxes held lightbulbs and batteries that I hadn't yet unpacked after moving, because we had no convenient place to put them.  All the mops and brooms had been thrown out of the closet.

This is a utility cart that was pulled away from the wall with drawers opened and knocked out.

Even our trash cans were pulled away from the wall, but thankfully not tipped over.

This trash can did get tipped over, and several computers were knocked down with all the cords ripped out of the walls.  This could have caused a fire, because a fuse was blown.

Our music CDs were all over the floor.

This weight scale had a thick plastic dome over the needle and numbers, and someone had smashed it and ripped it right out of the scale.  You can see broken pieces on the black part of the scale and the dome on the floor.

The most heartbreaking damage was done to my son's guitar.  The strings were broken and the body scratched up.

Who would do such an awful thing?

You guessed it.  Midge.  She had another one of her freakouts during a thunderstorm.  Had we known this storm was moving in, we would have locked her in her kennel, but the sky was pretty clear when we left.  That's another thing I'm learning about Arizona -- no warnings when it comes to thunderstorms.  In Nevada we had wind and clouds for days ahead of time and were always able to prepare for the storms.

While before we were calling Midge the $10,000 dog due to all of the medical bills she had racked up over the years, I think if we add in her latest round of medical bills along with the value of everything in our house that she has destroyed, she is now officially the $20,000 dog.


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Poor Midge! Such a worried, pitiful face. Poor you! Not fun to come home to such a mess. Poor son having his guitar all scratched up like that :(

Sudden onset storms are typical here in New Mexico, too. In fact, just 10 minutes before I started typing this comment, the skies opened up and it rained, with no prior warning. The skies hadn't even darkened much at all and I could see sun just over the ridge across the road from our house.

But the rain has already stopped now and the sun has returned.
Sure wish we could have had a good half hour of rain, instead of just a measly 10 minutes :(


Mikey said...

Aww, poor Midge :( I wondered as a scrolled thru the damage if it wasn't her. Poor little terrified critter. Wish there was anything that could be done for her!

Once Upon an Equine said...

Midge looks like she is very sad and sorry for the damage she caused. Wow!
She really went wild in the house. I'm sorry your son's guitar was damaged. Poor little Midge. She must have been so scared.

Great photos of your son vaulting. And glad you missed that bed in the middle of the road.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry that your new home was trashed. We have a home full of rescued cats, dogs, ferrets, BLM burro, and AQHA aged gelding. It's happened to me multiple times.

But poor Midge looks so sad and it's almost as if she hurts and doesn't feel well. Poor baby. I know she was bad but she can't help it.

Have a good (better) Monday. I've read and enjoyed your blog but never written.

fernvalley01 said...

Oh no!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

The picture of Midge was actually taken months ago after she was waking up from a nap.

Grey Horse Matters said...

I feel sorry for you and Midge too. She really freaks out during storms. Poor thing. My Maggie freaks out too but she just sits and shakes. She did leave a present the other day when I was out during a thunderstorm but nothing like your damage. Hang in there.

Great photos of the pole vaulting.

Reddunappy said...

Wow Midge was busy!!!!

achieve1dream said...

Oh my goodness!! I know dogs can't help it when they have panic attacks but I would have a hard time not being frustrated about all of the damage. :( Still there's nothing you can do because she doesn't know she did anything wrong. I'm glad it wasn't a burglar like I originally though though. At least nothing was stolen. That's really sad about the guitar. :( I can't believe how destructive she is.

On a good note, those pole vaulting pictures are awesome!!!