Sunday, February 27, 2011

Oh the gifts dogs leave us

I know for many of you, it is still very much winter. Here, we've had a few cold days, but the temperatures are rising slowly. Right now, 40 and 50 degree weather sound about good, though I'd prefer 60s and 70s. I want to believe it will be an early spring. I mean after all, Punxsutawney Phil, the famous ground hog, didn't see his shadow (my guess, all the freaking snow, he couldn't have). Therefore, for what it's worth, his prediction is that spring is near.

Besides all the stuff about trees and flowers blooming, another way I predict that spring is near are the moles. Yep, you heard me right, moles. They are abundant here for whatever reason (I guess maybe similar to Boulder, CO's prairie dogs), and many people are not happy that they tear up their yards, including me. I'm not big into trying to "kill" an animal for removal, as really the best method is to trap them and then move them elsewhere.

Well, last year, I learned that Tovah is a bit of a huntress and finds these moles. At first, I was a bit shocked. I've never had a prey-driven dog, so it seemed a bit like whoa. But when I could, I'd watch her stare at the ground intently, just waiting, then she'd snake out the mole. Many of these moles were the small ones, and I soon learned, she had no intention of killing them, just "playing" with them. She'd flip them in the air, kind of toss them about. Of course, the poor moles, well, they likely died of shock, though some did make it. I removed those as best as I could. Last summer, she probably found 6-8 of them and not one had a mark or puncture on them.

This year, it looks like the mole count is going to be higher and start earlier in the season. Yes, she's already found 2--one on Thursday, the other yesterday. The one she found on Thursday, I literally saw her stare at the ground, wait, pounce, grab, and hold the mole. (I was here at this time and told her to drop it and leave it which she did) What surprised me with these moles were how large they were. I remember seeing one dead in my yard last year that was a big bigger but not by much. Check out for yourself below.

The mole she found yesterday is a bit of an embarrassing story. This cable guy showed up around 12:30pm. I was still in my jammies. Obviously, it was not my best impression here. He was apparently there to check signals. He was legit, so I let him in. I brought Hank and Tovah in from outside. Tovah dropped something black right by our feet. Yes, it was a dead mole! I was mortified! I immediately disposed of it and apologized profusely to the guy. Luckily, he wasn't too squeamish and said he'd seen it all. Still though, it was like one of those stories you hear about your child saying a curse word (ahem, yes that was me, the angel I was when I was younger) in front of someone, or running around naked or something.

The response on FB was interesting. Quite a number of people laughed over this, a few cheered her on, and one reminded me it could have been much worse--maybe a rat, a pair of underwear, a bra, or feminine hygiene products. I once had a cat who brought a baby snake into the house. This same cat killed a rat, left dead birds as presents on our front porch and in the basement, and also loved to "talk" to the birds trying to get them to come near the windows where they would meet their demise.

I don't necessarily discourage this behavior as long as Tovah releases when I ask her to and leaves it (she always has). I think this is her new fascination. For awhile there at the other place I lived at, it was dead birds. I always know w hen she has been "mole" hunting by the dirt on her nose, the holes in the yard, and her dead stares into the ground. My hope is that the moles will learn that this is just not a cool yard to be in and leave. I'm also hoping her mole fascination will not hinder her other scenting abilities of cadaver work which I'll be starting soon. I'm so psyched about that and hope she has the chops to do it. More on that later.

On a side note, apparently in Germany, moles are a protected species. Who would have thunk it?


scottrecovered said...

that's crazy! Kinda cool though, keeping the mole problem under control!

Missy said...

Who needs to impress the cable guy? Pshaw. (0: