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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dogs and Men - are They Born to be Hunters?

The rainy season is upon us in California, and it has driven a few critters to our yard and home.  It's pretty creepy, to say the least, hearing mice scattering and gnawing in our attic.  But a few weeks ago, when I found our golden retriever playing with a dead gopher (which I first thought was a Zhu Zhu pet that my daughter got for Christmas) I was totally grossed out.  Our golden proudly displayed her fresh rodent kill.  She successfully snuffed out her first gopher, after years of staring, digging and breathing down gopher holes, she finally got one.  I was proud my dog actually retrieved a pest and at the same time disgusted!  I promptly sent her to PetSmart to get a thorough grooming and toothbrushing!  But my pooch was delighted, she caught her second rodent (the first being a rat last summer).

I thought we were done with the destruction in our yard, but a day after our dog's gopher slaying, we continued to see a few mounds of fresh dirt coming up.  There was another pest out there. So my husband was determined to get this one on his own.  He set up a trap by figuring out where its main highway was.  Believe it or not (for those of you who despise these yard wreckers) he caught a HUGE gopher within a day.  Now my husband was as proud and boastful as our golden.  They were both true hunters!  The success of catching a destructive gopher encouraged my husband to catch the rat(s) in our attic.  He looked around the perimeter of our house and figured out where they were coming in (through a hole in one of our air vents).  He purchased a few mouse traps, enticed them with peanut butter, and set them to spring for action.  Again, within 24 hours he caught a fat rat.  And then another - and another!

The score - 2 gophers and 3 rats (actually 4 if you count the one our dog got last summer).  We don't have any food, not even dog food, to attract the rats.  They just want a warm place to rest their bones and must be getting ready to nest.  We certainly don't want any of that taking place without rent, so their demise is our fortune.  I certainly hope this is the last of these critters.  But I have to say, my man and my dog are pretty proud and certain now of their hunting skills.  I feel safe and sound in my rodent-free home and yard.  Oh, and that's a photo of our golden.  I think she's ready to cook up some barbecue gopher for herself.....

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