Thursday, July 13th, 2006
It was excitement galore here Chez Mad Dog when an ill-advised groundhog bumbled into our backyard only to be greeted by Shelley, who was deployed on a routine perimeter check.
From my home office, I heard an unusual cacophony of barking and scuffling. But by the time I burst onto the scene, the groundhog was, alas, not long for this world. Shelley has what dog people somewhat euphemistically call a “strong prey drive.” In practice, what this meant was that “the non-violent solution” to the groundhog’s breach of our borders was, ahem, not pursued. I was about to witness my sweet little pup, the companion of all my days, pick up this rather defenseless little creature and give it a violent shake. I heard a squeak. I heard a crunch. There was more shaking. Nature, red in tooth and claw!
Being of delicate sensibility, I averted my eyes. And the groundhog passed on to his hoggy reward.
Someone was rather pleased with herself:
“Look, Ma, I just self-actualized as a large predator!”
When I lived in Berkeley, I used to see a lot of cars with these bumper stickers that read, “Dogs are just little people in fur coats!” As I stood over this freshly-killed groundhog corpse that my dog had proudly deposited under my back porch, I found myself wondering if those people actually had dealings with any real dogs. Because, really, nothing could be further from the truth. And I had the dead groundhog to prove it.
(At least I hope that nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve just had a horrifying vision of little people in fur coats invading my yard in order to shake the bejeezus out of groundhogs.)
Rather than being little people in fur coats, dogs are really just wolves with manners.
Nonetheless, I was kind of feeling like a bad mother, the kind who doesn’t effectively teach her little charge about proper conflict resolution and how to be welcoming and share your cookies when a stranger comes into your yard and so forth, until my friend David told me that his dauschund not only killed a groundhog, but also ate it. I perked up. At least there were no dietary indiscretions Chez Mad Dog!
Still, we had to settle down after all the excitement. Shelley fell fast asleep, exhausted by her murderous efforts to keep the backyard safe from hog incursion:
I knitted more of Rogue’s hood:
A little better detail:
And as I thought back over the day’s events, I began to wonder what happens if a groundhog pops out and, instead of seeing his shadow, is summarily dispatched by his local canis familiaris? Will we have six more weeks of summer? Opinions?
Mad, bad, and dangerous to know:
P.S. I just learned that Woolcott has bamboo sock yarn. Can you say bankruptcy anyone?