June 11, 2013
Tales from the Crate by Karilyn Bentley
Until Clara came into our life, I never thought about dogs hunting. On their own, I mean. Sure, I knew plenty of people who went hunting with their dogs and the dog would retrieve whatever the owner shot. I knew dogs liked to chase rabbits and cats. But I never realized they liked to catch critters and bring them to their owners as some sort of trophy prize. I thought only cats did that. Talk about being wrong!
Our first experience with our newly adopted dog's hunting prowess came at night when she delivered us a baby rabbit. This was pre-Lasik so I didn't realize what she had in her mouth until she got even with me in the doorway. I'm surprised the neighbors didn't call 911 when I screamed loud enough to wake the husband (which was a wonder in itself, he used to sleep like the dead). This "find" was followed by an early "dinner" of rabbit the next day and then several months later by a dead squirrel. In my house. When my hubby was on business trip. Luckily there wasn't a lot of blood. Just a lot of bleaching after I got the poor squirrel out of the living room.
But neither of those catches top the morning dove.
On a cold winter's afternoon, one where there was actually snow on the ground here in TX, I looked out the window and noticed Clara facing off with a morning dove by the edge of our pool. Next thing I see is the bird dive bombing the dog, who in self-defense grabs its wing and tosses it into the pool. Then she stands at the edge of the pool as if waiting for it to come back out so she can finish it off. Unfortunately, birds don't swim like ducks. I go racing out of the house, pull Clara inside, grab the skimmer and put the poor injured bird in the monkey grass under the bushes lining the pool.
Except I forgot about the dog door. Which is open and flapping in the breeze as Clara races through it, ducks into the bushes and, like a scene from a horror movie, grabs the bird by the wing and drags it into the dark recesses of the undergrowth. Where she promptly picks it up and prances to the dog door with a screaming human hot on her tail.
Somehow I manage to get her sans dove into the house and put the dove back in the bushes where I figure it will either heal and fly off or the local stray cats will eat well.
Flash forward to the next day. The dog door is kept down, which upsets Clara who stalks the door and peers outside all that night and the next morning. She then seems to forgot about it. I have a party to go to and because she had a tendency to eat the house if you forgot to open the dog door, I leave it open, figuring the bird is gone since I no longer see it. When I come home a couple of hours later, the back door is open, the alley gate is open, feathers are all over the living room and there is an ugly red blotch on Clara's bedding. The Hubster comes darting through the door about then in his socks no shoes, out of breath and upset.
Yep, Clara found the dove I thought flew off and put it out of its misery in my living room. So my poor hubby came home from a long business trip and had to clean up a mess, which he took out to the alley trash. However, he forgot to shut the gate, then let the dogs out and Clara decided to take herself for a walk. I spent the next twenty minutes or so chasing her through the allies and streets in the dark until she got tired of me chasing her and let me catch her.
And that is the story of Clara and the Morning Dove. Do you have a pet story to share? I'd love to read it. Pets crack me up!