The Spoils of Goofch's War
Friday evening Goofch brought a "present" to the back door.
Modean was an effective hunter, but Goofch never really got the hang of it. Once he found a dead squirrel and was so proud. And then there was the time a live chipmunk fell out of a tall tree and BOUNCED OFF HIS HEAD and ran away. Meanwhile Goofch stood looking stunned at his amazing fortune. By the time he snapped back to reality and started the chase, chippy was 30 feet up in a pine tree hyperventelating and rocking back-and-forth chanting "I do believe in fairies." In Austin Modean would catch oppossums (we did live on Possum Trot street after all) and let Goofch play with them until SNG or I saw the turmoil and rescued the poor things, who inevitably played dead so effectively that we were never quite sure whether they'd get up and stagger away afterwards (they always did).
But from time to time, Goofch does surprise us, and just as even a blind squirrel gets a nut some of the time, even Goofch manages to catch a real, live critter once in awhile.
I had called him to come in for the night Friday around 11:00 and he ignored me. I could hear him rusting around somewhere, so I whistled for him (it's like the "One... Two... Three" you use with little kids-- he knows he's in big trouble if he doesn't respond to the whistle). He comes to the back step and drops a limp, half-struggling little tiny baby bunny. It was about 6 inches long from nose to tail all stretched out and it was still alive. I've saved baby creatures before, and my vet is open on Saturdays, so I put the dog inside and wrapped up the little guy in a dish towel to try to keep him safe for the night and get him some care in the morning.
Poor little thing never had a chance. I'm pretty sure his spine was snapped, because although he was breathing and moving his head and front paws, his whole lower half was dead still. Maybe I made it worse by picking him up, but I thought he was certainly a goner if I'd left him in the yard, with all the giant owls prowling at night. And, I'm sure Goofch had already shaken him up pretty good. Literally.
OH he was so cute! He passed away within 5 minutes. SNG and I were so sad, and a little bit in denial. We decided to leave him wrapped in the warm towel in a nook where owls wouldn't spot him from overhead and if he was still dead in the morning, SNG would dispose of him.
That night I dreampt about the bunny. I dreamed that he did recover and hop away on the night, and a few months later we found him again. He had healed and gone "on the road" and was making the county and state fair circuit as a highly successful show rabbit. He had lots of blue ribbons. Maybe the weirdest thing was that he had turned completely white after he recovered. We congratulated him on his great success.
When I woke up, the bunny was still an ex-bunny, so SNG disposed of the body and we said a few kind words before closing the lid, wishing him well in bunny heaven. Perhaps he is there going from cloud-to-cloud as a successful show bunny, doing a Vaudeville act that includes a wild dog chase.
Squirrels, lizards, possums, mice and other things the dogs have caught over the years gross me out a bit but they don't make me particularly sad. This one got to me, though, because I've had lots of pet rabbits.
Then, this morning, SNG finds THIS on the web. I swear, it looks exactly like our bunny. Exactly. As it turns out, Goofch may have actually been saving us from a terrible fate.
Like I said, sometimes that dog surprises us.