A Game of Dog and Mouse

mini dachshund trying to capture a mouse

mini dachshund trying to capture a mouseWe have another mouse in the house, sigh…  It turns out that one of the side benefits of living in a wooded area is the opportunity to try out different mouse traps and variations of bait.  I’ve found that the mice that visit my house are partial to peanut butter and jelly, grape jelly works especially well.

I’ve discovered a mouse trap that is easy to set and it won’t injure the dogs if they accidentally trip it. Best of all when the mouse enters the trap to get to the tasty treat I’ve left for it the trap snaps shut and the mouse is trapped inside the black circle, which means I don’t get nearly as grossed out when it comes to disposing of said house-guest.

I’m fairly certain that this mouse had a nice little nest outside in a section of black plastic tubing at the bottom of the water spout.  I would guess that he was also perfectly content in his outdoor home until Romeo discovered him and after that he took refuge in my basement.

Although I’ve seen the evidence that the mouse is in the house Romeo has yet to figure that out.  He is a dog with a one track mind.  For the past two weeks, rain or shine, he is determined to complete his seek and destroy mission.  If he’s not outside with his head inside one of the ends or pushing the tubing with his head and nose he’s inside begging to go back out.

I don’t know if dogs dream, but the way he sometimes squeaks and flails his feet in the air while snoozing make me think they do.  I’d swear that he’s chasing the mouse even in while he sleeps.

His routine never varies.  He starts at the end closest to the house, lifts the tube a few inches off of the ground with the back of his paw and peers down the tube.  Inch by inch his head disappears into the opening that is the perfect size for a miniature dachshunds head but not his body.

He shakes his head and the tube wiggles like a giant worm.  This is always followed by a mad dash to the other end and a repeat performance. When nothing emerges, Romeo tries a different tactic and runs up one side and down the other nudging it with his nose.  Every once in a while he’ll take a break to sniff out the surrounding area or pant in exhaustion and frustration.  It’ll be interesting to see if he moves the tube back to where it belongs now that one end is butted up against the fence.

I’ve gone so far as to stand the tube on end and shake it out to show him there is nothing in there but it seems his obsession is not going to end any time soon.  If only he turn his attention to the basement and actually catch it.

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No Shirt, No Leash, No Excuse

I fear large dogs and geese; it’s a toss-up to say which one causes me more angst when I come across them while biking or running on the towpath.  Not one to miss an opportunity to enjoy nice weather, especially in January, I took my bike for a spin along the canal.  Much to my chagrin, there were more than a few geese along the way and even worse, there were more dogs off than on a leash. 

I’m not sure which boggles my mind more, the fact that people believe that the rules don’t apply to them or that they think they can stop their dog from pursuing a canine love interest, charging a cyclist, nipping at the heels of a runner, or biting a small child.  In my opinion, pets are kind of like babies, no one thinks they are nearly as cute or lovable as you do your own and they are as unpredictable as toddlers.  

I think the next time someone says to me “Don’t be scared, I know he won’t bite you,” my response will be “I never thought my daughter would hurl a shoe and hit the JCPenny shoe guy in the head either, but she did.” (For the record she was two not twenty when the incident occurred). 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t like animals or children; I’m the unsuspecting owner of two miniature dachshunds and the proud mother of three young adults who used to be toddlers.  I’m just a firm believer in leashes for dogs and time outs for kids. 

Unfortunately I think the only people that will agree with my sentiments are those of us who are scared of dogs because we’ve been bitten or know someone who’s been bitten and most likely by a dog who’s “never done that before.” 

Fellow dog owners for the safety of your pet and the people on the towpath, in the park, and in the neighborhood, please play by the rules.  They are in place for a good reason.