Killers Among Us

We live with killers. Did you know that? Likely all of you reading this are sharing your home and possibly your beds with a known assassin. Even the sweetest among them are lethal and don’t you forget it for a second.

Bella the hunterToday I saw first hand, the violence in action. My sweetest of all dogs, Bella is ruthless when her prey drive is in 5th gear. She has been hunting a nest of bunnies in our big yard for a week now. Well, actually, she hunted for a day and then has spent the rest of the week inside. I had hoped that the bunnies would be old enough by now to get away, but I was wrong. I heard the squeaking while I was moving large rocks. I started running while holding a rock, didn’t get far, stopped to drop the rock carefully and ran to her, the whole time yelling at the top of my lungs “LEAVE IT!!!” (which didn’t work, even for me, by the way). I thought I had saved it, it looked unharmed and wiggled in my hand, but then slowly, I saw it’s neck moving strangely and, well, I’ll save you the details. The bunny just slowly died. I stood there for some time, marveling at the beauty that goes so largely unnoticed by us – those velvety ears, the tiny nose, the beautiful fur, the perfect little face. It made me so sad, so very very sad, the waste of it, the loss of such a young life. I walked with it to the edge of the yard and gently slid it to the other side of the fence. Maybe some wild thing will eat a meal today. Maybe the life won’t be lost for nothing.

But then I realized the hypocrisy in me – I nearly rejoice when they kill chipmunks – the critters that ruin my gardens and my morning sleep – why do I have such an arbitrary view on the value of life? And as I turned to walk back to the house, Hermes joined me with a low head, sweeping tail and a smile that said clearly, “wasn’t that COOL? Dude, SO cool!” And I saw Bella in the distance, looking for more. They do what they do without all the stories in mind – they just do what they know to do – chase little furry things that move fast, but not fast enough.

August 10, 2010 • Tags: , , , , , • Posted in: behavior, Bella, dog ownership, other animals

3 Responses to “Killers Among Us”

  1. Shelly - August 10th, 2010

    Nicely put … it’s interesting that I will gladly eat steak or a burger, but won’t dare eat venison or lamb (they’re too cute). It is hypocrisy, but it makes us human. Love you.


  2. Pam - August 10th, 2010

    I fully understand! We also have a “killer” among us. Koda has quite the hunter instinct. He has a remarkable sense of smell! I have watched him track their trails through the yard. He has just recently gotten two in the last couple weeks. I am so heartbroken. ALL commands are forgotten in “killer mode”. I thought he was going to knock down my patio door when he saw one sitting on the sidewalk this morning. He has become quite obsessed with hunting for them each and everytime he goes outside. My sweet submissive little puppy definately has an alter ego!

  3. RJ - August 11th, 2010

    Ahhh I can remember when my old Rott Nicky brought me a huge rabbit to my patio back door. She was smiling ear to ear and wagging her butt. I could just hear what was going on in the inside of her head (look what i got you dad!!). Then another time Guiness caught a mouse killed it, then brought it to her dog bed where she must have licked it for a really long time. All it’s fur was wet and matted down (YUCK!!)

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