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September 16, 2012

The dog ate my journal

At this point, I’m wondering just how many notary journals have been destroyed or damaged by dogs.

An Indiana notary signing agent had an experience where, just before a substantial loan signing for a wealthy entrepreneur, the man’s dog peed on her–because she was trying to protect the notary journal the dog was aiming at! It was a wild poodle that hadn’t been groomed in ages, and looked like a shaggy mutt…but had very good aim! When she took out her journal, the dog looked right at it, lifted its bony leg– and our notary dodged it but got it all over her clothes. This brave Indiana notary kept on smiling and just cleaned herself as best she could in the powder room. It was a closing she had to get done before the end of the month… Her notary journal never left her sight for a moment. The show must go on!

One more Indiana notary had the experience of being pinned to the floor by an enormous Saint Bernard. This just startled her, but she wasn’t hurt…well, except for a few scratches. This notary used the restroom, was ill for a minute…then finished the signing and left for home. She says, “Even though the state does not require an Indiana notary to keep a journal, I do. There is a section in the notary journal to record any unusual circumstances. I made a brief note (“Saint Bernard”) of this situation in the journal to help me recall the situation, since it was my first really big signing; it was one of my first jobs as an Indiana notary, and I admit I was nervous. What I generally record in that section are items like ‘power of attorney’ or ‘credible witnesses.’ If you are a notary signing agent, keeping a journal is definitely a great help in understanding exactly what happened when…in case there is any question later.” Arf!

Dogs can get really out of hand, but so can people: one time an Indiana notary went to a signing where the man kept insisting that the notary talk to his dog. The notary did not want to talk to the dog; she just wanted to move on with the signing. The dog continued to act up, barking and whining, and the man–who obviously wasn’t well–kept asking this notary to pet or talk to the dog. At one point, the man became angry, and suddenly grabbed the notary by the hair, and pulled hard. The dog jumped up and bit her hand. She excused herself and tried to leave, but the man blocked her car by standing behind it in the driveway. At this point, the notary called the police…but eventually ended up just leaving. In her notary journal, she recorded the reason she could not do the signing. She (foolishly?) chose not to press charges…but to this day this Indiana notary can’t stand dogs. I wonder why?

Another Indiana notary says, “As a notary signing agent, I see a lot of strange situations. Therewas one house in rural Indiana that was so filthy that I had to leave, and I then reported the placeto the board of health. The woman whoowned the home was actually a supervisor at the board of health! The carpetswere soaked from the dog. The stench wasso bad that I could not do the closing there. The dirt was so heavy that the table cloth was stuck to the table and theman could not pull off the cloth when he tried. There was just no place we could sit to notarize the documents. In the notes section of my notary journal, I recorded my reason for not being able to do the notarization that day. It was a horrible experience.”

If there are dogs at a home you will be working at, ask the people ahead of time if the dogs can be in another room–away from any paperwork. If the people refuse to put their dogs away, at least you will be prepared.

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