The Joys of Dog Ownership

If you’ve been a follower of my blog you would know that I’m a huge dog lover. And we’re also gluttons for punishment, owning two Dalmatians and a Belgian Malinois. Being out numbered by canines ensures that life is never dull.

With the days getting shorter and the weather not cooperating very much we’re all getting a touch of cabin fever. When the dogs have been able to go outside they’re keen on making their own fun. We had an unusually warm day and I had taken a personal day from work to attend to some things. I knew that my chances for a rousing session of frisbee was going to be slim so Ryder and I ran outside and I launched that disc as best I could. He was particularly excited and chased enthusiastically after the frisbee. But when he reached it he merely targeted the frisbee with his nose and then ran off in the opposite direction. At first, I thought that he was just used to all the target work and training that we had been doing and he was just providing the behavior that he had been reinforced to do. But you can imagine my horror when he ran away and stooped his head down, picked up a dog turd and ran off with it!

EEEW! “Ryder! Drop it!” I hollered in his general direction. He looked back over his shoulder at me with a terribly reproachful look and dropped the turd. He got the typical GOOD DOG praise and I threw the frisbee as his reward.

Again he chased after it, targeted it, and then promptly ran over to retrieve the turd he had so gleefully picked up before. Again, I was horrified, issued the DROP IT command. He reproachfully obliged again.

Ryder and I did this dance a few more times, each time he gleefully returned to the turd and I demanded he drop it. Finally, I decided that the only way this game would end would be for me to dispatch the turd all together. However, when I reached the area where Ryder was guarding his “prize” I discovered that it was much more special than an ordinary dog turd.

It was a dead mouse. That was ever so slightly…. stringy. No wonder it was so much more interesting than the frisbee. Removal was clearly going to be a job for ÜH.

Hindsight is always 20/20, and looking back to earlier in the day I’m pretty sure I can figure out how the dead mouse turned up in our backyard. I suspect that when Maggie and Ryder had been out earlier and were skulking around the edge of my garden they had been tracking it. And possibly when they were rooting around at the corner of the garden they weren’t actually trying to dig under to eat the remains of my Swiss Chard… They had probably cornered the poor mouse. And I would venture to guess that when Ryder ran off and Maggie chased him they weren’t playing their normal game of “Around Around the Pine Tree” – they were probably trying to hide their prize for later.

Ryder and i had to pack in the frisbee session and put a suspension on any dog kisses. Anyone know the statute of limitations on “dead mouse in the mouth”?

  • chuck bimba

    Hey Whitney, try flipping the game on Ryder. Have the frisbee sitting on the lawn somewhere. Throw the dead mouse instead. Perhaps he will target the mouse then run over and get the frisbee! Why not, what could possibly go wrong?!?

    • Whitney Claire

      If only I had thought of that before Steve got rid of the mouse!!! Besides, I’m sure it could put someone’s eye out by now with how frozen it would be. 😉

      I’ll remember this next time a dead rodent shows up in the backyard.

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