April 20, 2012

Gopher It!

After the last week or so, I think "gopher it!" is Rita's new motto. Let me explain. A really unfortunate number of dead gophers have appeared at Fiesta Island lately. I've lost count of how many she's found/picked up/carried around--but not of how many she's eaten. That count stands at 2 1/2 (over the course of a week).

The beagle in her can smell them at 200 paces, and she'll suddenly veer off into the bushes straight for the little buggers. She usually proudly brings them back to me. "Look, Mama! Dinner's on me tonight!" For the most part, I've been able to get her to "Leave it" (command often shrieked...) and trade her for a jerky treat (100% made in the USA!*), but today she wasn't buying what I was selling. She brings it right to me, I offer her the jerky treat in exchange, and then she wolfed it down. No amount of "Leave it" yelling or jerky treat waving would help. I tried to pry her jaws open (not easy when you are also trying to not touch the dead gopher sections that are hanging out of her mouth...like the little tiny, creepy feet...) but was unsuccessful.

"It's all ... SQUISHY!!!!"
In other horrifying dead gopher news, I had to stand on one (!) to keep her from eating it. I'm sure you'll be happy to hear I have no pictures of any of this madness, but I do have a depiction of what my face probably looked like when I stood on the gopher. (And, yes, it's always a Bad Hair Day at the beach.)

The beagle/former-beach-scanvenger combo is just not a good one. I'm guessing this was probably her M.O. when she lived on the beach, which makes me sad. At any rate, I guess it's a good thing she's not a kisser!

I called the vet's office and asked if I should be worry. A woman at the park said the reason there are so many DEAD gophers (Rita's definitely finding them already dead -- ex-gophers, as it were -- and not hunting them down/killing them) is because there was an exterminator at the beach protecting the Least Tern nesting area. She said they use coumadin/warfarin to "bleed out" the rats/gophers, but supposedly the dose is low enough to not hurt the dogs. The vet said to just keep an eye on her for any signs she's not feeling well, but she's been her usual spunky, constantly hungry self.

I guess the moral is that I need to start bringing higher-value treats along to the beach. The jerky is not cutting it! My friend helpfully suggested dead birds. Since I don't really want to carry a dead bird in my pocket, I might try a bully stick. She had her first one the other day (well, half of one anyway) and loved it. (If you don't know what a bully stick is, here is what is says on the package: "Ingredients - bull pizzle." Yes, bull pizzle. That kinda cracked me up. But I guess it's about the nicest way to put it!)
"My first bully stick!"
"Mm-mmm good! Two dew-claws up!"

Two Other Quick/Amusing Bits of News

Quick news: My website is up! Go to www.jackiebouchard.com and check it out if you have a minute. My friend did the logo for me. She's so talented!

Amusing News: When you have a blog, you get stats about how many visitors you've had and how/where they came to your site from. For me, it's mostly from Tripawds or Facebook, but sometimes there's an amusing Google search that brings someone to my site. Well, today it was a search on "very dirty smooches." Yep, guess what comes up when you search that -- two pages from my blog are the first hits! Lovely. :) One was the "Our Dirty Little Secret" post I did about when we first got Rita and another was a post with a picture of a "very dirty" Rita. Guess I should try to not use the word dirty anymore. Filthy's probably no good either! Will have to go with sandy or muddy from now on!

Thanks for reading! (Or at least looking at the pictures.)

* Don't buy any treats/food for your pet with ingredients from China!!!


  1. Love the drawing of your face while standing on the gopher. Mine would have looked similar :-)

  2. My dog keeps finding those too! Luckily since they're not moving objects, she only casually sniffs at them.

  3. Thanks for posting! I have a wild husky and there is no way of getting those dead gophers away from her. I was researching to see how toxic they are and your post makes me feel a little better...i'd rather her not eat a poisoned gopher! Im contemplating getting her a muzzle and hope she can still enjoy her freedom without eating gophers!


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