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Tuesday, June 25 2013


This particular adventure was overshadowed when Dillon got bitten by the rattlesnake but has colored everything since. Storms had rolled through north Texas about a week before we arrived and we worried that our little cabin had been whisked away to Oz. Thankfully, that was not the case, but we did find the two double doors standing wide open.

Rut ro!

Our immediate reaction was "Someone broke into the cabin!"

Double doors were opened and swinging in the wind, but everything seemed fine. Relatively. Nothing had been taken.

All the important stuff was still there. Other Half decided that because the doors were still locked, he must have failed to bolt the top and bottom bars, and the storms must have sucked the doors open. Sounded like a valid theory to me. Now we had to address the next problem.

Mouse poop. Mouse poop. And RAT POOP! I'm not talking about Stewart-Little-cute-field-mouse-kinda poop. I'm talking Rat-the-size-of-an-oppossum-kinda poop. Apparently they had been dining on deer corn and catfish food. I can just imagine the party they had when they first discovered this bounty.

And then there was the next problem. Where you have rodents, eventually, you will have snakes. And since snakes are VERY plentiful at the ranch, I was definintely worried. So we kept a worried eye out as we cleaned, and cleaned, and cleaned.  (I don't DO rodents!)

By dark I was satisfied that we could safely go to bed.

But wait!  There's more!

Now what is the Golden Rule for Dog Handlers?

"Trust your dog!"

I am a firm believer in this rule. And so it was that when the sun came up the next morning, I noticed Lily (Barbed Wire Border Collies Pest Control Specialist) tilt her head toward the base of the cupboard.

Hmmmmm . . .

So I asked her, "Lily, what do you have?"

To which she eagerly crammed her nose under the cupboard and wagged her little butt, then looked back at me, and said, "Rodent!"

Oh crap . . .

By then Dillon and Trace were cramming their noses under the cupboard. And yes, they confirmed Lily's assessment.

Groan . . .

So backing away a safe distance, I got down on my hands and knees with a flashlight.

Ohshit!ohshit!Ohshit OHSHIT! OH SHIT!

(Said out loud)

I start to scream at Other Half (who is naturally still in bed). There was much screaming on both parts. The dogs were in a frenzy. They had cornered the suspect, but kept looking back at me. Clearly, since I was the only one with thumbs, I had been elected to flush the suspect. Groan . . .

So armed with my flashlight, a broom, and three snarly dogs, I got down on my knees again. Judicious use of the broom sent the suspect scurrying out and right past Dillon who grabbed it by the tail. At this point I began to scream (like a girl). Then I realized that Dillon had it, and I screamed some more, "Kill it! Kill it! KILL IT!"  (like a homicidal girl)

By now Other Half was awake and up (and naked.) I want to give you this mental picture:

Imagine a happy dog, (a proud dog) carrying a rat the size of a possum, eager to show his prize to his horrified momma and his naked poppa. Yeahhhhhh . . .

Other Half sprang to the door and open it quickly to usher Dillon and his prize outside.

Trace and Lily were quite deflated and disappointed. Dillon didn't want anyone but his humans to admire his prize.

And it was quite a prize.

While Other Half got dressed, I examined the now-dead rodent.  Holy crap. This wasn't some field mouse, this was a Fifth Ward Wharf Rat. I've seen BMWs smaller than this sucker.

Eewwwww . . .   

I noted that she was a female and felt just a moment of sympathy for this rat as a person. Then it passed.

I don't like rodents in my house!

Other Half came outside to admire Dillon's prize.  Dillon was just beside himself. I continued to build him up and tell him how proud I was of him. He glowed.

Then Other Half burst our bubble by saying, "Way to f@#& up a soft-mouthed bird dog."

Hmmm . . . good point. Very good point. Dillon's father was a primo hunting dog. Dillon's grandfather was a 3x Grand Champion Hunting Dog by the age of 5.

And I had encouraged Dillon to kill something . . . 

Given some time to think about it . . . 

                                                             . . .


 I DON'T CARE! I don't hunt birds! I hunt rodents!


 Go Dillon!


Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 11:40 am   |  Permalink   |  7 Comments  |  Email
Way to go Dillon!!! Good boy. I wouldn't worry too much about messing him up as a bird dog. My young Golden Retriever, Gracie, is 6 months older than Dillon. She is a hunting fool. She goes nuts as soon as you touch a gun. She retrieves ducks, pheasants and groundhogs nicely and never marks them. But she also KILLS the darn groundhogs on her own, as well as the occasional mole and mouse. And I don't mind one bit. Rewards are liberally given for kills. Gracie has learned the art of groundhog killing from the master, Cass my 14 year old Golden, who learned it from her predecessor, Grace Kelly. They all knew the difference between hunting with us and on their own.
Posted by Pam on 06/25/2013 - 05:38 PM
LOL....Sorry, Other Half.....hard mouthed rat killer trumps soft mouthed duck dog every time!!!! LOL
Posted by Diane I. on 06/25/2013 - 06:32 PM
i dunno, maybe this one was a 'consolation prize' for Dillon for surviving the rattlesnake episode?? and maybe OH could mention the importance of Dillon keeping his soft mouth BEFORE the next vermin extermination job begins...cuz Lily and Trace would have been glad to do the honors, if someone had removed Dillon from the scene....cuz i imagine this won't be the LAST rodent in the house... the stuff you didn't even know you needed to have a plan for in life is just amazing.
Posted by clairesmum on 06/25/2013 - 08:00 PM
Yes, Lily and Trace would have been more than willing to dispatch the suspect! Dillon had the advantage that day because the rat ran his direction. (I think this was actually the same day he got bitten by the rattlesnake. He had a busy weekend!)
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 06/26/2013 - 09:41 AM
I had a similar experience with my German Shorthaired pointer. He would always go to the barn with me and bring me "presents" live rats from the hay loft. He never did kill them but my smooth coat collie sure did. I really would have prefered him to kill them so I never had to see them run away ALIVE.
Posted by Nicole on 06/29/2013 - 03:34 AM
Go Dillon! I was surprised he actually killed that rat instead of just dropping it alive ... but GOOD BOY Dillon! Just think of it -- you now know you have another protector from rodents. Dillon is shaping up to be a PERFECT dog. Hugs to him. :-)
Posted by Terri's Pal on 06/29/2013 - 01:07 PM
I was pretty surprised about that myself. On the other hand, I was urging him to "kill it! Kill it!" so THAT might have hand something to do with it. He is normally very softmouthed.
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 06/30/2013 - 02:23 PM

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