Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The new dog earns her keep

Friday before I left for camp I got up dark and early to go have breakfast with a friend across town in time to make it to pre-op across town in another direction for a parishioner. I wandered into the kitchen, fed the dogs and turned around to go get myself ready, only I wasn't the only one there. There was a furry little rat scampering across the floor.

I quickly hollered for the new dog to come to my rescue. She eagerly came running, no clue what she was after and sought aimlessly to find the rat she could neither see nor smell. I'm not quite sure how this rat became odorless but somehow my dog who can smell me come in the door from across the house could not find a rat 3 feet in front of her.

I directed her and redirected her. She finally saw it and chased it and it was quick, I ran around the corner and closed the door--only it swiftly passed right under. So I opened the door again so the dog could find it. It lay hidden behind a trashcan in the bathroom and I kept debating going to get something to aid in our endeavor. A broom? maybe, but I have to leave the vicinity and if it moves and the dog doesn't see it then I likely have a rat in the bedrooms...not cool. Downfall #2: I am barefoot, if I scare it with the broom and it runs, it could run over my feet. Also, not cool. So instead, I opted for the next best thing: a large picture frame wrapped in a towel to serve as a nice big barrier between it and me.

After situating my impromptu barrier I still had to coach the dog to find this little critter, which meant getting dangerously close for an encounter. But, finally she saw it and went after it.

Being a good Labrador, she didn't kill it on the first go--by nature she's not supposed to. But by nature, I do not want to deal with a half-dead twitching rat so I tried to coax her into finishing
the job. She instead thought this was a fun game and started barking at it like she barks at her tennis balls so she could play chase again. Here is my little heroin waiting for round 2:

It took awhile and much coaxing, but finally she finished the job. I think I might just keep her. =)

News flash: the "exterminator" came today. He was very nice, but the extent of "extermination" was him setting several traps in the attic (after he emptied out 5 rats...). Period. That was it. What about the kitchen? garage? Under the house? Nope. Just 5 traps in the attic. Great. So, even though my darling dog got one, there are plenty more. Oh yeah, and those little ones I saw in the garage and thought were mice, probably not--baby rats...great, they're breeding. Not like that's a surprise to any of you, but I was sort of enjoying my delusion that after we got one in a trap and the dog got this one that we were done with this fun. Sadly not. Apparently we get to play the rat game for many months to come. At least this one is no more.

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