We Head to Chicago (6/10)
**Trigger warnings still stand: If you’re easily bothered by things such as suicide, rape, child abuse, animal neglect, sex trafficking, narcissist behavior, and maybe some other related topics, you should skip these posts. It’s not my regular happy-go-lucky sort of deal. Previous posts here: (1/10) (2/10)(3/10) (4/10) (5/10)
About a week before we left for our nieces wedding in Chicago we noticed Hawg stopped going home. He just wasn’t around anymore. No big surprise really, we had seen their split coming for months. It was such bad timing for us to be out of town and not able to handle the anger that undoubtedly would come with this breakup though. We were glad we took the time to set up the cameras.
We made it to Chicago
After getting checked into our hotel, we log in to see how the place is doing. We hate leaving in fire season because early detection is such a big deal. It’s a stressful situation being on site, it’s crazy stressful away. Life still happens though, you’ve just gotta roll with it! Everything is fine on the cameras. We browse Facebook to unwind a little. I open it to see a picture of a fire Coco has lit on their deck. There is a burn ban a lot of the year, but especially then.
Hawg and Coco had set a few cinder blocks on their wooden deck which was nestled into this giant briar bush. That deck is where they had their handfasting ceremony. It’s also where they would BBQ and smoke their meats. She’s using this tiny BBQ pit, on that wooden deck, in peak fire season, for a bonfire! **Sigh** Apparently she’s burning all of the things Hawg had given her. There was a picture of a teddy bear holding a heart that said ‘I love you’, sitting in the flames that she used as her new banner photo. Always so proud of how ‘big mad’ she is.
I tried so hard to not alarm our other neighbors, but I wanted them to know she was burning so they could call in if there was an emergency that needed called in. Thank goodness for them. We put it in their hands and tried to enjoy ourselves since we were a couple thousand miles away. We crossed our fingers and hoped that the whole hillside wouldn’t go up in flames. It would have taken our places with it. (I was thankful I was just barely able to get insurance at least, I had been uninsured for the last 9 years because tiny homes have historically been tricky with that…)
I posted a reminder of the cameras
We did see several notices when we settled in, there was a lot of traffic on our driveway. So I took the moment to reinforce the camera situation. While sitting there in our new hotel room I posted this picture as my camera reminder. Almost instantly, Coco ‘hearts’ it. That little action gave me more peace of mind, she acknowledged the cameras! And I honestly think it changed her habits.
There were still tons of never before seen vehicles coming and going but no one messed around at our place as far as we could tell. I honestly think they would have had they known we were gone, and not known we had eyes on the place still.
No Hawg though. While we were away, Hawg is meme posting about being broken hearted and passively implying that he screwed everything up, again.
We made it back home
To our great surprise, he was living there again?!? Everything is apparently normal. He was posting about how ‘he almost lost his queen with one wrong move’ (with a chessboard…). She’s posting about being so in love ‘babe’ and admonishing people who may have judged him poorly by trying to support her through their apparent break up she had been posting about. ‘They don’t know anything about the situation’, shame on them for judging!
We were SO confused!
At every single point of this debacle, when we started to feel like we knew the direction things were heading, the whole thing would take a U-turn in a way we could have never expected! We’re just stuck biting our nails. The highs and lows of this event wave were increasing, and the distance between swings was decreasing. It was clearly not sustainable. Something was going to break! We had no idea what.
Then, snap, just like that, it’s over!
Something clicks and she goes off the rails about him being a predator! Like it’s somehow brand new information for her. She’s posting about infidelity and how much she hates liars, broadcasting what a jerk he is, everywhere. She’s throwing big BBQs at his house. Holding back nothing, online.
One day, a few weeks after we got home, on the way up to his house, she sees me outside. We, again, hadn’t talked in months. She pulls over though and, from inside of her car, with me up at the tiny house, she yells ‘So this is awkward… Hawg got caught in a compromising position with my daughter and he’s not supposed to be here anymore. If you see him let me know and definitely call the cops!”
Well that WAS awkward, she called it
I yelled back my ‘oh no’s’ and my concern for Ava, but I had such a strange feeling about it which took me a long time to unwind.
I know we are not supposed to question the person who says they are victimized. But how does that work when it’s a family member of the person? A family member with a history of using her child as a bargaining chip? And what happens when she does it in such a big, mad way? I mean she had never outwardly cared before about her daughter. This was a pretty insensitive way to start doing that in my opinion. It might just be me, but it seems like a conversation worth having face to face, not one shouted from across a mountainside. She had already proven she didn’t mind driving up our lane to have awkward conversations.
I felt bad for Ava, to have her personal traumas just yelled around like that. Not just in person, but online.
As wrong as maybe I am…
Coco acted a LOT more mad at him for ‘cheating on her’ than she acted ‘concerned mom’. To me, she showed very little concern for her daughter, still. Her whole demeanor was ‘be sad for ME!’. She was just so much more a ‘woman scorned’, then a concerned parent. The way she broadcast her voice and her feelings, it was alarming, it showed so little concern for her daughter and her feelings. I can’t say that I know how a parent would act in that situation but, if I need to, let me be punished for saying so, but she still didn’t really fool me into thinking she had Ava’s best interests in mind. The overbearing impression was that she was crossed. Not that her daughter was crossed.
And, after that, she acted a lot more mad at Ava. She yelled a LOT when she thought no one could hear her. Simultaneously she was posting all this lovey-dovey, ‘my poor daughter’ stuff online. Her online personality was so good at saying the right things, especially as the courts got involved. But we lived next to her, she was growing more angry up the hill. Through all of it I was actually STILL much more concerned that Ava started being punished, by her mom, for potentially being victimized. I grew more concerned for Ava, but again, it was her mom’s behaviors toward her I was concerned about!
Coco’s behaviors change
For the first time ever she is trying to go a reasonable speed through our place. She starts randomly texting us like we are friends. Really, each time, she just needed help. She had some issues with her solar power. James went and trouble-shooted it with her. She thanks him like a totally normal person. Then she continued to have more problems (she was overloading her system with the A/C). He researched for her and spelled out/linked the new parts she needed to buy to replace the broken ones. Then she sends me a friend request on facebook from different accounts she apparently has and uses. I do not accept. One crazy account is enough for me.
They just had two new litters of puppies while we were in Chicago (another from Lady and one from their newest puppy, Brownie). I believe the puppies were inbred as the dad was a new dog they brought home recently, Odin. I believe Odin was one of Paisley’s original puppies and therefore, Brownies brother. In the same conversation where she told me to call the cops if I saw Hawg, she said that she’s keeping all the dogs but didn’t know how she was going to afford to feed them. The impression I got was that she was asking us to help her buy food. I suggested that rehoming them might be for the best.
Instead, she brought home two kittens.
So, just to be clear, the dogs she had when they split were: Odin, Brownie, Mocha, Lady, LJ, Marley and a whole bunch of puppies, one of which she also decided to keep, Junior.
OMG, the dogs, guys! We had finally gotten to a point where they weren’t down here EVERY day. We still didn’t let the kids out unsupervised, they were here often enough to be a nuisance. Then Coco was able to file a restraining order from Hawg and they removed him from the property, legally, until she could find different housing.
The dogs were immediately here several times a day again
We started over with the texting, with Coco now. Since all prior communication had to go through Hawg. Now we got her number since she needed help with her solar. We started back at ground level asking her to please call them back, please keep them uphill. She would call them back up and say they were here because Hawg did something. Or didn’t do something. Even though he didn’t live there anymore, it was his fault the dogs kept coming down. It was SO irritating to send so many texts, again. Often several in the same day, again.
One day, James is working at the barn. Hazel wanted to go jump on the trampoline we have down there. Miles didn’t want to, he wanted to stay in the tiny house. I couldn’t leave him alone to go walk her down. So I texted James that she was coming, looked outside to see if the dogs were near, and went out on the steps to watch her make it to the barn safely.
I’m standing on our tiny house steps. I see Odin on the mountainside, off their property by a lot but maybe a 1/4 mile away. As soon as she takes off to the barn he sees her and just RUNS for her! I can see it all coming but I can’t do anything about it. They are both a ways away and I don’t have a clear path to either. I yell, scream and throw rocks at him to break his attention but he’s just booking it. Fortunately, my panic made Hazel hustle and she made it, just barely. He made it to our barn and was 100% going for her like she was a meal though.
It scared the crap out of me.
That was the first time I involved law enforcement
I called the sheriff to report dogs at large. I was so nervous because I had never had to call a cop before! They had a new trainee who they handed the phone too. I made jokes about it being both of our first times, me calling a cop, him handling the phone at work. He heard the whole situation and said there wasn’t much that could be done about it since it wasn’t a current thing and there were no injuries.
I explained about the long history of dogs on the loose and asked what I need to do to make it something that is enforceable in the future? I also mentioned that I think the dogs aren’t being fed properly.
He said the process was to first give a warning, then they will get a no fee citation and then they will get a fee citation for any other times within 30 days of a previous citation. I asked what do I need to do to document this is occurring? He explained that I should take pictures. I already had been since they were already in the habit of saying it wasn’t their dogs. He said that’s great, and ‘oh wait, it’s actually not their first complaint’ so he could talk to her and give her the no fee citation right now. Then if there are more problems it can go right to escalating.
I said yes, do that. Also, I verified that if the dog is chasing my kid on my property, even though they have an access easement, I can shoot it, right? He said yes. I am not a dog shooter but I wanted him to know I was pretty serious about this so that he could convey it to her.
So he calls her up
He has a chat then calls me back. He’s the only officer who I think handled things well. He called me back to update me. He told me he isn’t putting much faith into what she said but she said all the right things, ‘she’s sorry, she didn’t know, she’ll do better…’ But we probably shouldn’t trust it either until we’re confident the behavior changes. He also reassured that she will get a ticket from this point forward if there are any more dog complaints.
As soon as I hang up with him, I get a text from her.
“I’m sorry you felt the need to call the cops on my dogs, I wish you would have just come to me again.”
I say, “Yeah, I’m sorry it got to that point too, if I thought it would have done any good I would have gone to you again.” To which she says “I have done everything you have asked of me. From today on I’ll lock my dogs up 24/7 and make sure they don’t bother you and your people. In return, make sure your dog doesn’t get in front of my car and never speak to my daughter again.”
And then we were back to black listed from social media
She said some other stuff to me, basically berating me, after her dog chased my kid, on our property like they were his next meal. It seemed like everything else with her, over the top and completely counter intuitive. I still am not over the fact that I was yelled at, after her dog chased OUR family. How does that even happen!? Forgetting the history of aggressiveness and biting, I just cannot fathom the headspace that thinks it’s ok to yell at someone who you have violated. If it was reversed I don’t think I could apologize enough! I would be so embarrassed!
But ok, fine. Whatever.
Having been in a few different versions of abusive relationships, I do however know that this was abusive behavior. To her daughter.
I never went out of my way to talk with Ava, but Ava would often go out of her way to hang out with and talk to us. For my calling in her dogs, she ultimately punished her daughter. I already had an inkling she was punishing her daughter for her being a ‘home-wrecker’ and ruining her relationship instead of treating her like a 12 year old girl who had been betrayed. From that day forward though, Ava looked sadder and sadder.
It was also a threat
I took her comment about my dog not being in front of her car as a threat and I was glad it was in writing that she said it. I texted back and told her that she is placing us in the position to always be worried about either our kids (with her dogs running around) or now, our dog who is on our property. Where he has a right to be. I told her we will endeavor to be cognizant of him but also, we don’t know her schedule. The legal onus is on her to be mindful of our property as she drives through it. We won’t be locking him up 24/7 but, should something in the future occur, I wanted her to know she would be liable and I would pursue charges to the fullest extent of the law.
To that she replied that it was appalling that we think so little of her. She said the fact that we think she would ever hurt an animal shows more about us and just how little we think of others.
“never hurt an animal” my ass
This is what her dog’s looked like a few short months later, when they were found, dumped on the side of the road in the next state over.