Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Still Sleeping with a Killer
It happened AGAIN yesterday. Mabel killed again. We were at the creek, midday - between doctor visits for me.
Mabel had been on alert. The ground squirrels were running and squealing all the way from the car into Dirty Creek. We've had a number of trees fall over the winter and then the floods washed out a lot of the ground around the trees. I have to hop over branches while watching where I step to avoid holes and stay on the trail.
I was mid hop when I heard screaming to my left. In the water, a mere 10 feet away, was a ground squirrel - which looked a lot like a rat - running straight for me. Mabel was hot on his heels. I squealed and dance -hopped further downstream and turned around to see where they went.
Mabel - I kid you not - was doing a headstand!!! For like 10 seconds!!! I counted! The squirrel had headed under the branches of a fallen tree. With limbs everywhere and nowhere to really stand, Mabel was on her front paws and digging for the squirrel with her nose while kicking her hind legs in the air to stay upside down!!! She finally came down and bounced a bit to gain a foothold. And within seconds, she had the squirrel in her jaws.
I ran to them screaming at Mabel. "NO NO NO NO NO DROP IT NO!"
And then I heard bones crunching. Only then did she drop it. She picked it up and crunched some more.
Mabel dropped him again and ...pranced around all proud of herself. She bowed up and went looking for more!
And this is what bugs me about the killer I share my bed with. I can't pretend her killing is just a goofy dog who doesn't know her own strength...which is what I've told myself about incident #1. Nor can I say she does it for food.
'tila Boy, our hiking buddy, killed his first rabbit a few weeks ago. He ate every last bit including big ears and fuzzy wuzzy tail! That, I can forgive. But not Mabel. She left it there as if to warn the other ground squirrels: Mabel Lou was here!
That was just the beginning of a brutal day for me. I got some earth shattering news...bad, bad news. And nothing I want to share here yet. I finally crawled in bed exhausted at 1 am this morning and Mabel was being her usual bed hog self. I asked her to move several times and she refused. Finally I got out of bed to spin her around to her side and she snarled at me - certainly still feeling her oats. And I snarled right back! It takes a certain top dog mentality to live with a rottweiler. They test you.
I know she's "just being a dog" but it's hard to reconcile the creature I've seen kill two helpless animals with the one who cries and curls in my lap when she has a tummy ache.