Our neighborhood is thick with rabbits, and my dog has caught several in our backyard. One time I opened the back door to let her in the house, and she came trotting merrily up the deck steps with the freshly eviscerated remains of a full-grown rabbit hanging out of her mouth. I could see that she had plans to bring her prize inside to finish snacking on, on the living room carpet no doubt. After some prying, I got her to drop the carcass into a garbage bag, and when I let her in the door, sans carnage, she flashed me a look that I would later see many times on my thirteen-year-old daughter, a look which clearly said, “Why do you have to be so MEAN? Gawd!”
So on Saturday, as I kicked loose dirt into that hole to fill it in, I tried not to think about what probably had happened to the baby rabbits. I hoped really, really hard that I would not have to find out for certain what had happened to those baby rabbits.
Then, last night, it was dark outside and starting to rain, so I opened the door to let the dog in. As I was admiring the little yellow flowers that have sprouted on the tomato plants in the pots just outside on the deck, the corner of my eye caught something dangling from her muzzle. Before I could say, “NononononoNONONOOOOOOOOO,” she had strolled past me and dropped her dangling something onto the kitchen floor. It was a dark, wet, shapeless little pile, which had tiny pink rabbit feet attached. Based on the smell, these remains were decidedly un-fresh.
Another plastic bag later, the offending pile was out of the house, but its aroma was not. Disgusted, I put the dog into her kennel and latched the door shut.
I watch plenty of “The Dog Whisperer.” I understand that my dog is an animal, and she was only doing what she, as a dog, is hard-wired to do. But at the same time, I was so appalled that I could not even look at her.
This morning when I went to let her out again, I thought I still smelled that smell. Maybe it was only the memory of it that I was detecting. Or, more likely, my darling hound probably took a nice, long roll in her stinky pile before picking it up to bring in the house, and I am going to have to give her a serious scrubbing in deodorizing shampoo tonight.
I am choosing not to wonder exactly how many baby rabbits were once in that hole.
I am also choosing not to wonder where exactly my dog might have others stashed away for later.