Saturday, April 4, 2009

Never Steal a Dog's Food

I hosed fur, blood & feces off the sidewalk this morning. Why?

At around 3AM I heard playful barking coming from outside. The dogs bark now and then during the night so I didn't pay much attention.

Then something triggered in my head. It was the way the dogs were barking, and I realized that they "had something". I'd heard this bark before when they had a mole (which I did manage to somehow save).

I ran outside and the dogs fled when I did. They knew they were doing something I was not going to like.

This is what I found at the foot of my steps:

BONELUST - Injured Opossum Playing Dead

A really big Mr. Opossum, which looked pretty dead. I stood there watching for breathing, movement, anything. Nothing. I really didn't want the dogs to grab him again and make a big bloody mess all over the place.

It was odd because I hadn't so much as seen an opossum for a long time because of the dogs. But this guy had somehow wandered into my yard and found the dog food.

Yup, that's where the trail of drool and fur started. They must have caught him in the act and nabbed the poor guy in his behind. Long ago I'd find opossum and raccoon heading up a tree with the dogs barking underneath.

I stood between the opossum and the dogs trying to figure out what to do. No way I was touching that bloody ball of wet fur with razor teeth! And I didn't want to hurt him any more in case he was still alive.

Falcor was creeping up alongside a tree half laying keeping his "eyes on the prize", while Artax tried to use his eyes to hypnotism me away from the area. No luck.

BONELUST - Falcor & Artax Wanting to Play with Mr. Opossum More

Then I saw Mr. Opossum's nostrils begin to flare and his chest rise and fall rapidly. Guess he was probably in shock and coming out of it. Whew, good news!

I walked the dogs away from the area and tried to distract them from his escape. Another few minutes passed and I saw him get to his feet and sneak back to the woods. So I ran the dogs out to the road. They LOVE chasing after me and really can't resist!

So glad the opossum was just injured and playing dead. Really hope he made it into the deep-woods and didn't go under my house to die. Don't want to deal with that stench, again.

The next day I saw a vulture circling the property. Though they do make their daily rounds, it had me nervous. This one was flying really low.

BONELUST - Sue Climbing on Fallen Tree Near Opossum Den
Sue climbing freshly fallen trees near an animal den.

So I headed out into the woods to see if there was any sign of vultures feeding. No vultures, no opossum...good. Found an animal den near the base of a HUGE tree that must have fallen during a tornado watch in the area the night before. Could be what stirred up poor Mr. Opossum. Really hope I don't find him back in the yard in pieces later on.

A happy ending, so far.


The She-Creature said...

It's so hard to believe that your sweet-faced, beautiful Golden mixes are pretty much feral. Makes me wonder if Gary Larson was right and that there really are herds of wild Poodles somewhere on the Serengeti?

Good job, sweets!

Jana Miller said...

Haha, yeah any kind of dog can be feral... but they are all belly rub begging and smiles to me. They are very domestic now but thy still have the heart of a feral puppy. The poor opossum just ended up being a big live toy to them. I just keep imagining them tossing it back and forth in the air like Killer Whales do with seals before they eat them. Guess I'll repost the story of how I rescued Falcor and Artax at this point so people can better understand their history.

Eva said...

A possum playing dead! Whaddya know! Those are some great pictures. Hope the poor guy survived.