Sunday, April 20, 2014

First Blood

We have a dog, named Mika, that we rescued. She's two years old and some type of beagle mix (rottweiler? coonhound? anyway, something black and tan). Coming out of this bitter winter, she has been very happy to just sit outside whenever possible. She lays under the yews, her black back blending into the sharp midday shadows rendering her invisible.

She is a wonderful family pet. Very submissive, if a little inattentive. Her beagle nose gets her in trouble at times.

So I was relaxing this afternoon, having spent the morning raking out old leaves and mowing the lawn for the first time this year, when my wife screamed for me. "Come outside. Put some shoes on and come outside!"

She was distraught and a little incoherent. Something bad had happened and she could not tell me what. All I could get out of her was that she was backing out. That Mika was out. There was a squeak. But she couldn't speak. She just pointed.

Mika was there, and was fine. Her usual, inattentive self. At the edge of the yew line was something else. A squirrel. It seemed to be missing its tail and was silently opening and closing its mouth to reveal its incisors. The squirrel was Mika's first kill.

Dead and near-dead animals creep me out. I don't like clearing mouse traps. I was no fan of removing the dead bird from our kitchen wall we discovered during its remodeling. This was no different. Ick. However, my wife was near tears and needed hugged to keep from falling apart. As is often the case, when one of us goes noodle, the other takes the load. It was my job to be the rock.

So off she went to the corner store. Once she was away, out came the shovel and I buried the thing. Mika looked like she wanted to snatch it back from me and did not like me taking it out of her range. After all, she would gladly dig the dead squirrel back up again in a couple weeks and roll on it. We can't have that. So the squirrel is buried deep enough so that we shall not see it again.

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