Sunday, March 27, 2011


Spring was here briefly, but now seems to be hiding again. 25 degree nights with green very odd.

The dogs love warmer weather. Harley will stay outside any time of year, while Dexter demands to come back in after he's done with his business by barking at the back door. But even with sunny 40ยบ temps, they are happy.

I took this picture the other day when it was warmer and windy. Dexter loves to lay on this wooden stoop outside the garage. And Harley is so very hairy.

Spring means it's baby critter hunting time. There haven't been any baby birds yet, but I'm anticipating a high kill year. Recently, the dogs got a rabbit. This wasn't a baby rabbit, but an adult, so I guess that means they've honed their skills for the hunting season early. I'm assuming it was both of them, though I'm sure Harley is the one to get credit for actually catching the rabbit; Dexter is way too slow.

It was a stealthy, morning kill that went unnoticed by the humans. I did notice the dogs lingering around an area when I got home from work the same day. So I investigated while they were inside eating and discovered the scene of a rabbit mauling. The head was gone. Organs, a foot and fluffy fur was strewn about this part of the yard. Gross, guys! I'm glad I didn't see it happen.

I put up some police line do not cross tape (not really) and cleaned up the disgusting mess. I learned that I have an iron stomach. :)  I was literally scraping brains and unidentifiable organs off the grass with a stick onto a shovel. A couple times I just dug up that part of the yard to remove stuff because I couldn't get it up. So nasty! But it was kind of funny to me all at the same time. The cute, cuddly creatures I live with are also killing machines.

I feel I need to keep a tally of their kills. This is what I believe it to be as of now:
moles: 3
snakes: 1
baby birds: at least 5
baby raccoon: 1
rabbits: 2

Run-ins but no kill:
cat: 1
opossum: 1
toad: 1

Surprised there hasn't been a casualty of:
squirrels! Oh how they taunt Harley, running along the fence rail. One little slip, my chattering friend, and you're toast!

Notable of the above was the baby raccoon kill I unfortunately witnessed. It was cornered in the woodpile. Dogs barking and baying, I could not even begin to convince them to lay off. Then the baby made a fatal error of trying to come out to fight or escape. Harley and Dex each took a side and shook. It was dead pretty quickly...and the dogs were so so very pleased. I've never seen such pure satisfaction on their faces. They were happy, proud, glowing even...and exhausted. Both collapsed in the kitchen while I cleaned everything up. Pretty fascinating.

The rabbit kill did not come without some (expensive) consequences. Harley got very ill from her consumption of...well, whatever it was she ate of the rabbit (I'm pretending the head was eaten by some scavenging bird during the day). She spent the day at the vet where she underwent some tests and was x-rayed for bones and blockage. 8 cans of special food and a round of antibiotics later, she's all better. Dexter either didn't partake in the feast, or just didn't get ill. Harley does seem to get gastro-intestinal issues pretty easily.

So, spring is here. Baby animals be warned!