One of the best ratting dogs I’ve ever had was a chihuahua/toy poodle mix named Sally. That little dog treated small vermin like an adorable, furry little tornado treats a single-wide trailer.
And, of course, I’ve written at least once about Buster on these pages, so you’d think that the hunting ability of chihuahuas and chihuahua mixes wouldn’t be anything of a surprise.
Chuy is a dachshund/chihuahua cross — a “chiweenie” — and — as such, is not a real big dog. Solid, yes, but not much more than a lap-full.
He and Praline get the same amount of food every morning, the same amount of food that they’ve gotten every morning since they achieved their full growth, but while Praline’s weight stays the same, Chuy had been getting … bigger.
When he broke twenty pounds, we were starting to get a bit worried that maybe there were some health issues. Thyroid, maybe.
As a co-inky-dink, about the same time, I noticed piles of feathers in the back-yard. Several pigeons, a mocker or two, and several blue jays, amongst others not readily identifiable. At least one pile every other day, sometimes several in a day.
I know what you’re thinking, but Praline isn’t all that interested in birds — not when there are skwirlz that need attending to — so I figured that since the town busy-bodies had managed to get the entire place declared a Bird Sanctuary (Absolutely No Killing Of Birds! Ever! Even if they crap EVERYWHERE! Verboten!) some enterprising hawk, owl or other predatory avian had staked the neighborhood as it’s personal hunting ground.
I had let the pups out to do the needful, and since I had just brewed a fresh cuppa, I was watching them through the kitchen window, not thinking of much.
Praline was up in the pecan tree daring the skwirlz to come down and fight — as is her wont — but Chuy was laying on the deck that surrounds the pecan tree, chin on his paws, and looking so totally knackered that I was actually a bit worried that he was sick.
And then …
… I noticed that a blue jay had landed in the yard, and was bouncing here and there, looking for goodies.
Chuy came off the deck like he had an ejection seat under his furry little butt, impacted the bird square amidships and the two of them cartwheeled across the lawn in a tangle of ginger fur, blue feathers, and cursing.
This was apparently such a common occurrence that Praline looked down from her tree, cocked an ear at the full-on brawl not ten feet away, and promptly went right back to opining at the top of her lungs vis à vis the ancestry, personal habits and sexual proclivities of the local tree rats.
The donnybrook ended with Chuy spinning in a backwards circle, shaking his head so fast that the — probably extremely dead — bird was nothing more than a blur amid a cloud of feathers, then he trotted off to his man-cave under the Morgan building with his ears and tail at jaunty angles, and the now-mostly-plucked bird hanging limp from his jaws.
I’m torn. Half of me hopes that the local busy-bodies don’t find out that he’s supplementing his diet with their precious
poo factories birdies, and half of me really, really wants to send them a note of thanks and appreciation signed with a bloody paw-print.