Black deeds in the Backyard

By: Anne Corke

Mar 03 2013

Tags: , , ,

Category: Terriers

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Aperture:f/3.5
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We may think that our dogs are cute, cuddly pets but some of them have a darker side. I have lived with dogs my entire life, a cocker spaniel when I was a child, followed by several Kerry Blue terriers and now two naughty Lakeland terriers. Generally speaking, my Kerries were pretty tame. I do however remember one summer evening out on the patio when a bird flew from the feeder right into Susy’s path. Instinctively, she opened her mouth and the bird basically flew in! She just as quickly released the poor creature which seemed none the worse for wear. A similar incident happened with Dickens. He was patrolling the yard and a chipmunk happened to run across his path. Again, instinct took over, and he snapped at it. For a brief moment, he stood looking at me with a striped tail hanging out of his mouth before he released it. Unfortunately, he had inflicted mortal wounds and the poor thing died. Lakie Danny has caught a few mice and voles. When he was just a puppy, he heard something scurrying under the snow and pounced for it. He then proceeded to run around the yard with his prize, a mouse, while I chased after him trying to get him to drop it before he decided to eat it! Being much faster than me, he delighted in this new game, pausing every now and then to mouth his catch which caused it’s tail, hanging out of his mouth, to wiggle like a worm, then off he would go again. Lakie Sophie is a most serious hunter. She will go after anything that moves. Woe betide any small creature in the backyard if Sophie is out and about. She is generally a quiet, calm little lady but once she spies a target, she’s all business and completely focused. While I don’t get too out of shape when she kills mice or voles, I don’t like her going after birds so we moved the bird feeders to the front yard. But in the spring, when the baby birds are leaving the nest, we have to be very careful to check the yard before we let her out as she has been known to catch and kill baby robins. One day, when we were bringing groceries into the house, a bird flew in the front door. She was on it in a split second and the bird was no more. Come spring we will deploy the live trap by the feeder and relocate chipmunks and squirrels for their own safety and our own peace and quiet! I recently had to block the bottom of the gate with a board to stop the rabbits getting into the backyard after a late night incident. I had taken the dogs out for last tinkles when Sophie discovered that there was a rabbit in her territory and she gave chase. I tried desperately to direct the rabbit to the gate so he could make his escape but he just kept running around the yard with Sophie hot on his heels. Sophie may be small but she is determined and once she has acquired her target, she will never abandon the chase. Well, rabbits may not be particularly clever but they’re very fast and I thought for sure she would have a heart attack rather than give up her prey but finally he managed to deke under the gate. I had no sooner heaved a sigh of relief than Sophie found there was a second bunny in the yard and off we went again! It’s amazing how deep instinct runs in our dogs. Even though we like to think that they are domesticated, there’s still a wolf lurking beneath the surface.

Copyright 2013 Anne Corke

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