Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Prolly not too good for my rep...

   I really didn't want to begin my day by killing a baby squirrel. In fact, it being my day off, how I really wanted to start my day was by sleeping in. Then my wife put her hand gently on my shoulder, kissed me on the cheek, and said, "guess what your dog has done." Yeah, he's her dog when she gets home from work, and he's wagging his tail so hard he's hip checking the furniture, but he my dog when he's "done something."
   It seems he had caught a squirrel, and he was playing with it. The wife had managed to get him to drop it, and come back inside. She then woke me up, at six-thirty in the morning, to inform me that it was lying in the back yard, injured, but still alive, and I had to go deal with it.
   I knew right away it was a baby. No self respecting adult squirrel is going to get himself caught by an overgrown puppy like Shadow. I pulled on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, slipped into a pair of runners, and ventured out into the too-fresh morning to see what the situation was.

   It was lying in the middle of the yard, hair all matted and wet from being in the dog's mouth. I couldn't see any obvious sign of blood. It was breathing, and looked up at me when I approached. I wasn't sure how badly hurt it was. It might simply have been frightened half to death. I decided to leave it there for an hour, or so, to see if it would regain some strength - and sense - and crawl away. After spending an hour with the dog alternately staring at me, then staring at the door and whining, I went out to have a second look.
   He obviously wasn't getting any better. His head was hanging down in the grass below him. He was still breathing, but he made no movement when I approached. It was clear he wasn't going to be hopping up and running up a tree. With a sigh, I got out a pair of gloves and a plastic bag. I picked him up, and eased him into the bag. "Sorry, little guy," I said, as I tied the bag closed. Then I swung the bag up, whacked it hard on the sidewalk, and dropped it into the garbage can.

   Oh, come on! What else was I going to do?

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tenyearnap said...

A vet once told me to put injured babies in the freezer and they would fall asleep before freezing to death. Your baby-whacking method seems better somehow. Sorry you had to do that. --Cin

simianfarmer said...

Can a morning be too-fresh?  Those are the best ones.  Invigorate the circulation and inspire the respiration.  Or maybe I'm just feeling chipper today.  Who knows.

I'm not sure what it says (about me, society, people in general) that I read this post with a greater sense of empathy than when I hear about more car bombing deaths in the middle east.


frankandmary said...

I feed the squirrels peanuts & talk to them. Yup, I am going to be one of those old ladies, soon every one will have a name. Two already do.  This made me cry, but I  don't know what I would have done.... ~ Mary

dpoem said...

Don't know what I would have done.  

Hey!  I am going to have to tell you about the time I learned that, when they do their cute little standing up thing, the prairie dogs in Montana are tall enough to head-butt the front bumper on my Jeep.  

After the first few "pings", I was kind of sad.  Then, when I got to around a dozen, it just turned morbid, and I think I lost count somewhere around twenty.  Apparently, they like to stand in the middle of the road on cold mornings.  If they kept their heads down, no problem.  But, the curious bastards always had to stand up to see what's coming.  

I figure the rodents' last thoughts were something like: "Ooo..  A cow.  WTF does that say?  'America's Dairy' --WHAM!"


princesssaurora said...

Omg... :(  I would have taken him to a vet.  I know... I have issues.  But, you did do it a kindness however harsh it may seem.

be well,

lovingsinger002 said...

I don't know how you feel, but I have killed a squirrel before. When I did, I started crying. If I were you, I would have taken it to the vet, not have killed it. Some people don't understand that humans aren't the only ones who have a life. BUt I don't know. I'm only 13.