a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Canis Tika vs Rodentia

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Canis Tika vs Rodentia

SUMMARY: Tika removes many rodents from this world. And is making a fine mess, too.

Tika has declared a personal jihad against rodents of all sizes and shapes. She has always been an avid verbal abuser of squirrels (and occasionally has sent one to the great walnut in the sky), but now--perhaps it's because they plowed the 200 acres of grassy field recently--we have an infestation of small skittering things. Mostly mice, but I've noticed an influx of lizards, too. I think the lizards are too subtle for tika--or, at least, I've not found any little ex-lizards.

On Monday, I picked up three late mice and a very very late rat. On Tuesday, Boost went into her "alert! danger!" mode out back, which she usually reserves for when I've done something dire such as, say, move a chair from one side of the yard to another. I went out to see what was up. As usual, she takes my company as good backup and proceeds farther into the yard towards whatever it is, at which point I can walk up to whatever it is and calmly pat it while she creeps forward and stretches out her nose to sniff, while yet ready to run away with all due haste if it makes a sudden move, say, back to its original side of the yard.

However, in this case, I didn't see anything out of place where she was barking, and it became apparent that her focus was on the shrubbery along the rear fence. Sure enough, as I came near, there was a rustling of old dead shrubbery leaves. I approached cautiously, with images of the rattler that came in from somewhere 3 or 4 years back, when suddenly a blur of gray shot past me from behind (no, not Boost) and plunged into the shrubbery. While I yelled futilely, there was a tremendous to-do among the foliage, then brief stillness, then Tika emerged cheerily, shook herself off, and trotted away in search of mice.

I peered cautiously under the bush and found a freshly dispatched gopher.

Now, it's all very well and good that she's after these critters. However, she's digging holes under and into my compost piles, strewing uncomposted whatnot around the yard; she's dug holes in my lawn (why that has anything to do with rodents, I don't know--they don't look like gopher-chasing holes); she's trompled entire flats of (expensive) unplanted 6-packs of flowers, she's toppled and broken flowerpots and dumped planted flowers out onto the ground; today she ripped apart the (probably expensive) covering holding the insulation in place around the pipes and wires that run between my hot tub and its pump/heater. I managed to block that off (I hope), but I don't know where next she'll strike.

I *was* happy to see the rodents go, but the price is getting a little steep--


  1. Ugh! I can't recall if I posted about the ground hog that Ray did in earlier this spring. It was quite gruesome as of course he has to torment it before actually killing it, since they aren't any fun when they stop moving. Ray did take quite a shot in the chops though and had a swollen cheek for a few days. Score one for the ground hog.


  2. Wow, a ground hog! Now *that's* a rodent. These gophers are half the size of squirrels. Remington took on an adult raccoon several years ago and we were nursing his wounds for weeks afterwards. Near as I could tell, the raccoon came out WAY ahead, dashed for cover when I managed to distract Rem enough for the 'coon to make a break for it.


  3. It was about a 10 pounder. Probably toddler as ground hogs go. He definitely got the worst of it. Though Ray was a bloody (literally) mess.