A Dog’s Prey Drive

Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside. ~Author unknown

Monkey here.

Mama’s been tied up with stuff — a flurry of work, various appointments, and a visit from the Domer — so I seized her laptop for a post of my own. Cool.

Here’s what I’m wondering: What is it with humans and food?

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Mowing can be Hard Work

Inadvertently, I’ve found myself in possession of a new job — lawn mowing.

It started simply enough — our wonderful yard man informed us back in the winter months that he needed knee surgery and wouldn’t be able to mow for us this summer.

After calling around, we found a “substitute.” Unfortunately, this man’s work paled in comparison. He wouldn’t edge, wouldn’t weed-eat, wouldn’t sweep the sidewalk and driveway afterward. He refused to show up until at least 10 days had passed (in the summer, our lawn needs cutting at least every 5 days). He wasn’t agreeable to planting extra shrubs, and he charged a ridiculous amount to clean the gutters.

So I volunteered to mow between his regular appearances, spelling him off, as it were.

A week or two passed, then My Favorite Domer arrived home for summer break. Hearing about the problem, he offered to spell me off and climbed aboard the riding mower, heading for our backyard.

He’d made a few rounds when I noticed the humming had ceased. Next, I heard the back door slam.

Uh-oh, I thought.

Fearing the worst, I ran to the kitchen.

My son was white-faced and shaking. “I think I just decapitated a baby bunny,” he told me.

Now I love bunnies. And I hate the thought of a bunny in trouble. Knowing I couldn’t look at what I expected was a gory scene, I told him to take a shovel, scoop up the remains, and toss them far into the field behind the house — far enough away to prevent our Sheltie from feasting on a bunny dinner.

He wouldn’t do it, said he couldn’t. When he appealed to his grandmother, she took care of bunny’s “burial.”

And when he begged me to finish mowing the back yard at least — where mother bunnies invariably safeguard their little ones in ridiculously shallow nests, despite the adult Sheltie who regularly patrols the area — I agreed.

How could I not?

He was so upset and at least for now, has condescended to mow the front yard, assuming that no bunny nests are tucked away there.

I guess I’ll earn that job, too, should he ever see another bunny pop up from its hole!


One of my favorite things about this time of year is bunnies.

If I didn’t have a dog — a herding dog — I’d raise bunnies, lots of bunnies.

I love the way their little noses twitch and how oh-so-still they sit when they sense danger nearby. Maybe they think they’re invisible if they don’t move, but they haven’t got my dog fooled!

I’m thinking in particular about three special bunnies I’ve come into close contact with:

1) A tiny, jet-black bunny I picked up and cuddled in a petting zoo once. His little heart hammered like it would jump right out of his chest, but I just wanted to take him home!

2) A HUGE white bunny owned by one of my son’s friends. This one was the size of a small dog and would even let you pet him!

3) A “teenaged” bunny, much like the one in this picture.

bunny eating grass

In case you can’t find him, he’s sitting beside the sidewalk eating grass. I couldn’t get any closer, for fear he’d hop away.

Anyway, a bunny much like the photo-bunny managed to get tangled up in some fishing nets my dad had off our back porch one rainy Sunday afternoon several years ago.

Daddy said the bunny would work himself free and cautioned me he might be “sick,” but I didn’t listen. I ran to get a pair of scissors.

“Are you going to help, or do I have to do this by myself?” I demanded.

Daddy picked up the “prisoner,” who watched us warily. The poor thing seemed to know we were trying to help, for he stopped struggling against the netting and froze. I looked at his bleeding leg and felt tears come to my eyes.

Working fast, I snipped his little feet free. We set him down, and off he scampered!

It was a good feeling.

Since then, I’ve often wondered whether the bunny we saved ever returns to our yard, whether he (or she) had baby bunnies, and whether he remembers our setting him free.

I like to think he probably does!