21 January 2007

Adventures In Dogwalking Part 653

I got Goldie on July 1, 2002. Since then, we have walked an average of 2 miles per day. 2 miles times 365 times 4.5 years mas o menos equals a lot of dogwalking.

We have had a fair number of really crazy adventures, most before the time I started blogging, so there is no record of all the fun. Like the time she stepped on a rattlesnake and got bitten on the back foot.

Or the time she punched a hole in her side on a fence wire and ended up with an 11 inch incision closed with big metal staples. The time she got tangled with another dog's leash out on a mountain and tripped the other dog's owner, making him fall hard and sprain his ankle two miles from the trailhead.

Or the infamous time time she made me pee my pants.

Some dogs walk along sedately on a leash, heeling and obeying in a way that would make the much-vaunted Cesar Millan proud. (Every weekday, my parents give me a recap of the wonders wrought on that day's "Dog Whisperer" episode. I could live quite happily without ever hearing Cesar's name again).

Goldie is not one of those nice-walking dogs. I am a bad dog mom, an indulgent mom, and I figure that the walk is Goldie's time to do what SHE wants to do, to act like a dog and to sniff and dig and hunt.

Hunting is her favorite activity. Anything that moves is huntable. Squirrels, bunnies, rats, mice, moles, voles, lizards - anything but toads. Toads taste bad.

She is a pretty ineffective hunter. Perhaps 1 out of 100 pounces or holes dug yields up actual prey. That does not lessen her enthusiasm. She is like a Vegas slot machine player. She knows she will get a hit sooner or later.

Today we had been out walking for about 45 minutes on the trail by the river when she pounced once again. After some scrabbling around, she flushed a rat out of a pile of leaves. As so often happens, it scampered away behind her without her seeing it. Duh, Goldie.

I was standing there laughing at the rat's safe escape when I heard squeaking. Goldie had found another rat and had caught the rat.

Unfortunately, the rat had also caught her. I looked down and the rat was hanging off Goldie's face, screaming for its little rat life. My dog had a living rat with its fangs sunk in her face.

So I did the only thing I could as a sane and reasonable dog owner. I screamed too. The two guys on bikes who had ridden by about 20 seconds earlier and had said "hi" didn't even turn around, thus restoring my faith in humanity once again. Single woman, out on a trail, screaming. No need to look. Thanks, boys.

Goldie finally managed to flip the foul little beast around and crunch its neck to end its life. She trotted off, happily, her job complete. Once something quits moving, it is of zero interest to her. Next!

She had a fair bit of blood running from her tongue where Mr. Rat had made his last stand. It stopped within a couple minutes later and we walked back to the car with Goldie hunting all the way.

They say dogs start to resemble their owners. I can only hope that my dog will become a peace-loving vegetarian. Because I sure as hell don't want it to go the other way and someday find a rat hanging from my face.

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13 comments:

super des said...

Now think very hard...
Has there ever been a time where you had a rat attack your face, and Goldie may have seen it and tried to emulate you?

julia said...

If I ever saw a rat while I was walking my dog, that would be the end of the dog walking. I feel about rats the way a lot of people feel about spiders. They freak me right the hell out.


I made your squash enchiladas today. Yum. I loved them. The daughter, not so much, but hey, more for me. Yay! I do think they need bulking up somehow, but I'm just not sure with what.

SUEB0B said...

Des - I will ponder that one.

Julia - the place where we see the most rats is the touristy area down by the beach. I delight in telling the tourists, "Oh, she finds A LOT of rats in these bushes!" I am a regular one-woman chamber of commerce.

I am impressed that you made the enchiladas. If you figure out an improvement, let me know. As long as it doesn't involve bacon LOL

jonniker said...

Um, oh my God? OH MY GOD? I don't know what I would do, honestly. The sickening vision of the rat clinging to her face makes all of Sunny's antics pale in incredibly bleak comparison.

Oh. My. God.

Mr Stapler said...

This is the same dog you cite as evidence in the existance of God? God has a rat hanging from her tongue? Sounds very Old Testament to me.

Suzanne said...

Wow, that was gross and disturbing. Thankfully, my 15 pound rabbit is only interested in hunting raisins and other junk food. *Shudder*

Jane said...

Ew, ew, ew! My face hurts just thinking about it!

lizgwiz said...

I used to have a dog who was an incredible rat-killer. She'd pick them up, give them one shake, and they'd be dead of a broken neck. She cleaned out a pretty bad infestation in our neighborhood. I felt kind of bad encouraging her killing, but the rats were causing problems, and there was no doubt it was a quick, painless death. I never saw one dangling from her face, though--I'd have screamed, too!

Heather B. said...

Glad I was eating while reading that...

Eating a very vegetarian meal, like a good non-rat eater would do.

MsLittlePea said...

Good thing she doesn't like toads. My dog almost died one night because he decided to try dining on a poisonous cane toad. It was hell of a trip to the emergency animal hospital.

Rats....the word alone makes my skin crawl!

Lisa said...

My dog loves to chase squirrels. And we love to watch her... Except for one time, he actually caught the squirrel as it was going up a tree and broke its back. It was so scared, its front legs were trying to scurry up the tree but the back legs were just hanging there. The look on its little face was one of sheer terror. At that point, my delight turned into horror and sadness and I started Bawling like crazy... I had always looked at my dog as my little furry human baby. And now she seemed like such a DOG. Now I keep her on her leash...

I don't think I would have cried over a rat...

QT said...

Hmmm -rat hanging from the muzzle is infinitely worse than bringing dried cow poop to me-inside the house.

I am not sure what I would have done, but thank god Goldie had enough dog instinct to finish the job!

mayberry said...

Oh holy crap. That would have done me right in. I was envisioning you having to grab the rat and... well we won't go there.

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