Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Walk Where Hurley (Almost) Caught a Rodent

This morning, Hurley and I headed out for a morning walk.  He's been doing so well I even decided that this was not going to be a "training" walk.  The clicker and treats stayed at home and off we went to enjoy a half hour of morning sunshine....and rodents. 

Immediately upon exiting the house, I had my eyes peeled for the usual suspects.  You know, birds, cats, squirrels.  The things that will prompt Hurley to forgo his loose leash walking ways and lunge.  I spied a crow a half block up and got ready with my "Leave It" the moment Hurley noticed it.  However, I failed to notice the R.O.N.S. darting right in front of Hurley's snout.  I have no idea what this Rodent of Normal Size was - it looked like a squirrel and a rat had an illicit affair and begot a bastard rodent.  Whatever it was, Hurley's jaws came within millimeters of crunching it to pieces.  How it got away can only be evidence of superior rodent survivability because, folks, I thought this R.O.N.S. was surely a goner.  Somehow, it cartwheeled away from Hurley's snapping jaws and darted far enough away for me to get my hunting beast under control (and by under control, I mean I dragged him kicking & screaming in the opposite direction).

I can usually buck up and face whatever grossness I have to to ensure the health and well-being of my dogs.  But prying a live R.O.N.S from Hurley's jaws of death?  Nope, don't think I could've handled that one.

And 30 seconds later on the walk, we saw a opossum! What the ?!?!?!  I have never seen any rodents or marsupials ever in our neighborhood.  Ever. 


  1. That's weird. I have a friend whose dog swallowed a chipmunk....she promptly threw it back up. :-(

    I worry about my dogs catching live things too....especially where we walk. And I just found out that the toads are poisonous to dogs!

    It seems everywhere I turn there is something more I need to worry about...

  2. The prey drive intensity I think is one of our greatest barriers to good training in this household--there's no getting through to Fozzie when a RONS--or anything that moves, of any size--emerges near him. That RONS sure is a lucky one.

    Keep up the good work with Leave It and maybe you'll never have to pry a rodent from Hurley's jaws!

  3. I can see why you were caught by surprise.

    "Rodents of normal size? I don't believe they exist."

    I'm glad to know I'm not the only one unable to seize something yucky from the jaws of dog. Honey swallowed a dead pigeon whole as a puppy (how, I'll never know) and I could not bring myself to stick my hand in after it. Luckily, she had no ill effects and never did anything so crazy again.

    Be careful. If you're seeing opossums in the daytime, they might be ill.

  4. I saw one just the other day...also in broad daylight. I thought it was a bit strange, but never considered it might be ill. We had a couple of Norway rats living under our deck a couple of years ago. I guess it's something we have to expect here in Portland.

    Sage is obsessed with C...A...Ts. Something I can't quite figure out since we have 2 living with her and she gets along fine with them.