Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Our yard is NOT a safe haven

Saturday started out just like any other Saturday. Woke up after sleeping in a teensy bit. Ate breakfast and watched some t.v. I’d recorded throughout the week. Hung out with the puppies before I needed to leave them to go workout with my trainer. Came home after meeting with the trainer, feeling famished and ready for some lunch.

I started gathering the lunch items, and realized I needed to pee. As I started for the bathroom, Jake burst into the doggy door with Izzy close on his tail. He stopped briefly next to the couch before darting under the chair in the corner, which was when I noticed something hanging out of his mouth. It wasn’t a stick…Izzy doesn’t chase him when he’s got a stick.

Holy shit, I thought. He’s caught something.

Sure enough, he had something in his mouth when I finally was able to stop him from squirming around under the chair as he tried to keep it from Izzy. It looked like a bunny. Or a chipmunk. No, no…definitely a very, very small baby bunny.

I FREAKED out, or else I would have thought to get some photographic evidence of this event. Izzy hasn’t ever caught anything before, unless you count the dead birds she manages to find sometimes, but she tends to eat those (oh yes, she does) out in the yard, thank goodness. So I was wandering around, on the verge of tears, wondering aloud what I should do. “Shit! Shit, shit, shit, shit, what do I do? Shit, shit. JAKE! DON’T EAT HIM!!! Shit. What do I do? Augh!” This is NOT an exaggeration. “JAKE, come out from under there RIGHT NOW. Now! Please bring him back outside! Please, please…shit, shit, shit…” Because reasoning with a DOG makes perfect sense in this kind of situation.

I finally went and moved the chair to the point where I was able to grab Jake’s leg and pull him out from under the chair. But his mouth was empty! AUGH! “It’s going to run loose! It’s going to run loose in the house, and I won’t be able to catch it! And Jake you are SUCH a dick! WHY did you do this? Shit, shit, shit…” I wish I were kidding. This is almost exactly how I reacted, seriously. At least I had caught the dogs’ attention with my spazzing, and they were no longer interested (or as interested, anyway) with the bunny under the chair. They were more interested in whether the spastic behavior would lead in some way to me giving them food of some kind, apparently. They were swarming my feet while I paced back and forth yelling.

Ok, so I finally found a towel. I was afraid not only that the little critter would start running loose in the house, and we’d not find him until he died and started to release a smell that would give us a clue as to what small crevice he’d taken shelter in, but that he would bite me if I tried to get him to take him back outside. These were the thoughts running through my head in those few seconds. That he would manage to run away, get into a small spot where he would die, and that he would then decay there. Why was I thinking that? Jake knocked over a bowl of Izzy’s food last week, and some of the pieces got under a piece of furniture that he continually stalked (i.e. whined and pawed at) for days until we actually managed to move the furniture to clean up every last piece so that he’d stop trying to get UNDER that piece of furniture to obtain the random pieces of food. And here I was thinking that an animal would somehow be able to HIDE in our house, undetected, until it died of starvation, or whatever, in its little hiding place? Yeah, not likely.


Baby bunnies play dead when they’re caught by dogs, apparently. At least this little guy did. Or he was stunned from being slammed through the doggy door. Anyway, he was just lying there when I snapped to my senses after a few seconds of freak out, and I was able to scoop him into the towel I had grabbed, and wrap him up safely until I could find a box to put him in. After a minute of me petting him trying to see if Jake had hurt him in any way, he kind of snapped back to life, and hopped a little. He was still scared, but he wasn’t ready to bite me, or whatever. I kept petting him until I was satisfied that Jake had simply drooled on him, and had not managed to puncture him with his teeth at all. And then I called the Mission MedVet for advice.

“My puppy managed to catch a baby bunny, and it’s sooo teeny, and I don’t know what to do with it. It’s not hurt. But we have a big yard, and I have no idea where its mom is, or family, or whatever, so what should I do with it?”

The girl advised me to just release it back in the yard in a safe place, and then keep the dogs inside for a while. She said that the momma bunnies send their babies outside like that to try to get their scent off of them, somehow? So they aren’t hunted as easily? I dunno. She said that if they’re sick, the momma’s will just abandon them sometimes, too. I don’t think that’s what happened here, but it doesn’t matter. I let the bunny loose by a tree in a shady corner of the yard, far from the snake party that came out to get some sunshine that afternoon (just garter snakes, but still…), and then went back in the house. 5 minutes later, I went to check on him and he was gone.

It was a crazy 15 minutes of my life with the dogs. I hope they never EVER bring anything into the house again. Like that snake party? Oh, I can soooo see Jake happily dragging one of those muthafuckers into the house one day, just bounding in through the door, and dragging it into the living room. Where it would squirm away rather quickly, I’d think, seeing as snakes don’t tend to play dead, dammit.

Anyway, hoping it doesn’t happen again. But if it does, I’ll be sure to take pictures.


Spyder said...

My dogs have killed & eaten baby bunnies. I was traumatized.

Steve said...

I have a couple squirrel stories.

One day I was filling up the water buckets (I had Labs, so we had buckets, not bowls), but the dogs were elsewhere. Normally they hang out with me when I'm outside.

I went out back and there they were, all three of them. My yellow male, Tobin, had two feet and a furry tail hanging out of his mouth. I found it humorous. I made him drop it. It was the back half of a squirrel. We never discussed what happened to the front half.

This other time, I was going to give the dogs a snack. They were outside. I opened the front door, and my chocolate girl, Tayan, was lying in front of the door pulling the fur off of the back of a squirrel. Again, I was amused.

I also had a black Lab, Tieque. One time I was working in the yard and I startled a snake that, mistakenly, thought it would be safter slithering inside the fence. The next thing I know, I look over and Tieque has it in her mouth and she's shaking it.

I've also found dead baby birds and mice. We had a few instances with opossums, and some toads that the dogs always like to pick up with their mouths, and promptly drop.

"The D" said...

Your dog ate Buggs. Rename Jake to Elmer.

Bunny KILLER!!

Steve said...

No, Bugs is fine, I saw him Saturday.

Faith said...

Gross Steve. Gross.

D, he didn't eat the bunny. He just wanted to play with him...I think.

Spyder, tell me about it. I was shaking - SHAKING - I was so upset. It was awful, and the thing didn't even die. Gah!

Steve said...

Gross? Maybe mildly, but look, they're dogs. Expecting them to care about little furry things like we do is silly.

Dogs will be dogs, and they will kill things.

Faith said...

Yes, GROSS!! Ewwwww! Blech! And all that sort of thing.

Look, I expect my dogs to eat their food and be happy. Not catch little critters and eat them, or half of them, or SKIN them.

Izzy hasn't killed anything that I'm aware of, and we've had her for 2 years. I expect Jake to learn from her example, and eat the already dead things in the yard...or at least to keep it all outside, dammit!

Ew! (I'm such a girl...)

Mona Buonanotte said...

Ewww! I'm about as squeamish as it comes when dealing with critters in my house that don't belong there. You should have seen me last summer when a mouse came in unannounced (and the cat was scared of it) feet didn't touch the ground for months....