Monday, September 26, 2011

A "Dillo" Kind of Night

As much as I love my adopted bulldog he has a rather..put nicely, extremely high prey drive. Certainly it comes instinctively and at one point in evolutionary history it most definitely would have served him well.

I'm not so bothered when he's jumping 3ft into the air in hopes of snagging a dragon fly or policing the yard for scorpions, spiders, beetles, or small flying insects, but when the prey happens to be neighborhood cats or innocent wildlife that mistakenly venture into the yard in search of food and water of their own it can be a gruesome experience for us more evolved "animals".

Humans have a tendency to "humanize" their pets partially because we feed and care for them so we don't usually see them react on their natural instincts. They don't see the cute little cottontail rabbit in the yard and think.."Oh, how cute" they see it as invasion upon their territory and will protect and serve their pack to the fullest extent.

Even though Bo can now sit, stay, and walk beside us properly we have not managed to nix that strong prey drive of his. An analogy would be akin to trying to train a man not to get an erection when he sees a naked woman..or a man.. which ever one appeals most to him...understand now?

On with the story.

The other night Summer and I were outside doing some treat training with Bo. It was dark and that drought has gone on so long that the greenbelt animals are bravely venturing into our backyard in search of water and food.

So, as we were training Bo, Summer said.."I hear something out there.". I looked out into the darkness and saw something lurking around myself. I'm certainly not a fearful type when it comes to wildlife but not having much experience with skunks makes me a little leery about getting too close to one.

About the time we saw the movement again so did Bo. That's when the trouble began. The armadillo that I had cursed many mornings for digging up my flower bed was making his nightly food quest.

Before I could shoo the thing off Bo took off and immediately pounced on him in full bulldog fashion. After all, how fast can something with heavy, thick armor affixed to his back move???

It was a harrowing experience. Bo was oblivious to my commands and was in full prey mode. The poor armadillo was hissing and trying his best to defend himself against Bo's powerful jaws shaking him back and forth with all his might.

I was desperate for a way to get him to relinquish the poor thing and dragged the hose out...something I know Bo hates. Bo immediately, armadillo in mouth, ran him back to the back of the yard far away from the hose.

Summer must have been on the same thought process as me and had somehow through all the commotion gone inside to retrieve another Bo deterrent...the pop gun. The pop gun was the winner. Once we shot it a couple of times Bo snapped out his kill mode...or maybe because it was because he had already accomplished what he set out to.

It was too late. Poor "Toughie" as Summer so lovingly named him, was laying there in the dead, drought ridden grass with his armor pierced numerous times and a huge hole revealing a portion of his internal organs.

Summer ran and got some old rags and we covered him/her in hopes to make her more comfortable..if only in spirit.

As sad and traumatic as it was, it was an humbling experience. Neither of us had ever seen an armadillo in any fashion other than on his back dead in the middle of a busy highway or in pictures.

We both cried as we watched her labored breathing and struggle for her last chance at escape from dog hell. Summer and I took the opportunity to investigate her armor and skin. She was tough everywhere..even her tiny ears. And she had very small eyes and lots of fur on her stomach....she was beautiful...

She eventually passed on to the destination we go when we leave our physical bodies.

I was so intrigued by the whole experience that I took the time to read up a bit on Armadillos. Aside from being the butt of the Road Kill joke they are very interesting creatures. Take a gander here at some of their unique characteristics.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry for the loss of your "arm-thing"(per Kaitlyn years ago). We have a "prey" dog as well...and my heart always hurt for the innocent victim...always.

    In-fact, I want some chickens...but have to wait until the mutt passes on as they would surely be killed.