I swore I wasn't going to share the latest rabbit story until I could get a particularly gruesome image out of my head. Not a Stephen King or “Fatal Attraction”- type image exactly, just what happens now and then in life. The totally unexpected, like pennies from heaven. Or in this case, a rabbit head from the sky.
My husband who had been working in the yard to get it winter ready, shouted to me he needed some he
lp catching Blazer, our large adolescent, and I
should say fast, collie, in the back
yard. Our dog had gotten some dead
animal. Blazer was racing around the
yard, bunny ears protruding from one side of his mouth. I rushed to he lp.
One word of background. Those of you with dogs and who live where the wild things are may be thinking what pansies we city dwellers are—why not you just let the dog eat whatever he caught? Well, for those of you who don’t have collies let me explain. We've learned from a collective experience with six collies over more than fifty years that collies often have a digestive system reminiscent of your old maiden aunt who can eat only cream of rice most days.
Changing the diet of a collie is perilous, even if it’s from one brand of good dog food to another. Our collie eats a selective meat-, gluten-, and grain-free kibble containing only fish and cooked veggies. Rabbit heads definitely are not on his menu. Maybe this is the result of over-breeding of collies. But we did not want to be the ones to make a stand for heartier collies at this point in time and experience the consequences of his dining on a totally new food group.
I knew immediately the two of us oldsters had no chance of catching our speedy collie. My husband already had tried chasing, luring with treats, and verbally commanding Blazer to give up his prize. Despite the fact Blazer had graduated with flying colors from two dog training classes, no way was he voluntarily giving up this prize.
The only chance we had was to try to outsmart him. I ran back inside and pulled out one of the special treats that were saved for special times: a “Greenie” bone.
Blazer would not let me come near him if I ran towards him. So I feigned a lack of interest in what Blazer had and was doing. My husband and I talked as I laid the Greenie bone on our steps, my husband at the ready with a “poop bag” in hand. Blazer approached, dropped the bunny head, and took the Greenie. My husband swooped in and scooped up the rabbit head.
Blazer dropped the Greenie and looked around. But he is an “out of sight, out of mind” kind of dog for the most part. He appeared to quickly forget his prized treasure.
Then we were left with the task of trying to find the rest of the rabbit body. We scoured our yard and under bushes without success. We prayed to the dog gods that he hadn't already eaten it. Since Blazer had been in the yard only a short time that seemed unlikely.
As we took Blazer to the park for his evening walk my husband recalled hearing a loud thump against the house earlier in the day while he was working. And a gaggle of crows noisily flying off our roof at the same time. Mystery solved.
Well, now that the image of our collie running wildly through the yard, a dead rabbit head, stiff ears sticking out of one side of his mouth, is out of my head I suppose I've given that image to you. I hope the image does not stay long.
We also are hoping the rabbit whose head made a sudden appearance in the back yard is not one of the baby bunnies we had carefully rescued this summer after their mother built an ill-advised nest under a bush close to our house. That’s one mystery I don’t think we will solve.