The characters consist of my past client, her grandmother (the retired librarian on oxygen), the grandma’s caregiver (live-at-home bachelor son) and the aunt (renter/hoarder), and don’t forget Rudy (potbellied pig).
One day a past client called and asked me to help her grandmother. She said her aunt had rented a property from her grandmother and subsequently refused to pay the rent. This rendered the grandmother unable to make the payments on the property. The grandmother was left with no means to make the payment.
I met with the grandmother and provided a market analysis on the property. The aunt would not permit anyone to go inside the home to look at it. The grandmother had not been in the property for several years and didn’t know it’s current condition.
With these circumstances, I recommended that the grandmother evict the uncooperative aunt and sell the home. Two weeks later I contacted the grandmother to follow up and learn how her eviction efforts were going. The son explained that this process resulted in an enormous amount of stress for his mother and he preferred that I buy the home and deal with the unruly tenant. I explained that in order to do that I would have to substantially discount the price of the home as we were unable to view the inside at all. We reluctantly arrived at a price and arranged the purchase.
After purchasing the property, I hired an attorney to start the eviction process with the uncooperative tenant. Following the 4 week eviction process, I went to the property with the sheriff to change the locks. I allowed the tenant continued access to the home for another 2 weeks to remove her belongings. At the end of the two week period I went to the home to take possession. When I got there, the tenant’s daughter was there and said that they had already moved. You couldn’t tell from looking at the piles of debris all over the yard and piled 2 ft high throughout the entire home and garage. She informed us that they would like to come back and get their things. I encouraged them to get “all of their things” and accordingly left the back door unlocked.
It was at that point I met Rudy. As I had a discussion with the tenant’s daughter a short black blur ran across the yard. At first it surprised me and I didn’t get a good look. When I finally saw what was there, my jaw almost hit the ground. That was my first encounter with Rudy – the potbellied pig. He was the family pet. The only problem is that the family was unable to take him to their new rental which didn’t allow pets. The daughter assured me they had found a “good home” for Rudy. The new owner was going to be there in the next couple of days to pick him up. Rudy weighed about 110 lbs and I learned first hand how they branded the term “potbellied pig”.
I came back a few days later only to find all of the former piles of debris and Rudy rooting around the yard and the house unclaimed from the “new owner”. In order to move forward on the project, I called animal control to come and get Rudy. The animal control officer came to property and asked if it was “my pet”. I explained that I eat too much bacon to keep a pig as a pet. I
requested that animal control take him. The officer informed me that she couldn’t take the pig as he was “my property”. I reminded her that he wasn’t “my property” and my contract didn’t involve a pig.
I asked the animal control officer how she planned to catch Rudy. She told me that she would not catch the pig because he was mine, but she would allow me to catch it and load it in her truck. I said with a smile, how would you go about catching a pig if it were running loose down the road? She said with a scowl and squint, What exactly do you mean by that? I said simply, if Rudy, for instance were running down the road instead of in my yard, how would you go about catching him? At that point she realized there could be a problem and proceeded to get a net or something in her truck that could be utilized to catch Rudy and load him in the truck. Finally, we had a “meeting of the minds” and the officer decided to help me catch the pig rather than chase him down the street alone. She went to the truck to get the equipment to catch the pig. She pulled out an old piece of rope with a loop on the end. She said we had to lasso the pig and get the loop around his head.
I explained that the pig had no “neck”. How would we get the loop around his head? I then spent the next 45 minutes doing the silliest thing I think I had done in years. Trust me, you don’t have to grease a pig to make them difficult to catch. Rudy was so short, thick and slippery that he was very difficult to catch. When Rudy realized he was the object of our chase, he let out a high-pitched squeal that you could hear all the way down the street. Too bad I didn’t have a video camera – it would’ve made “America’s Funniest Home Videos”. It took three of us (me, the officer, and my wife) 45 minutes to catch him and get the loop not just around his neck, but around his midsection and a rope in between to finally secure him. I was the only one strong enough to put him in the truck.
I have since fondly given that property the title “The Pig Pen”. After removing Rudy, the unruly Aunt came back with her small car and no boxes to “load up the rest of her belongings”. There was a 30 yard dumpster that took up the whole driveway half filled with some of the “rest of the belongings”. She proceeded to sit in the middle of the dumpster for about 1/2 an hour and demanded that we “inventory” the remaining “belongings” on the property. To fulfill that request would have taken 6 weeks and an army of staff. Instead I decided to call the local police to intervene. Two squad cars came and the police officers knew the unruly Aunt on a first name basis as they had several encounters with this person before. I proceeded to invite the officers into the home and ask them which room they felt had the most valuable items. They told me they felt the whole place was a “health hazard”. Needless to say it took seven 30 yard dumpsters to rid the house of all the crap. Have you ever seen the Hoarder show? This was one of those homes.