Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rouse Days

Well, here is one for the books. Yesterday Vickie started screaming at the top of her lungs. I ran into the kitchen to see what the problem was. I have never heard her scream like that. I hear her hollering now and again, but this was a high pitched “Yeak” sound that she kept screaming as she ran through the kitchen.

I finally saw what was making her jump from one place to the other while she screamed “Yeak” again and again. You won’t believe this. It was a teeny tiny little fury brown thing I later came to learn as being a Rouse. Too small to be a Rat and too big to be a mouse, thus the name Rouse.

I mean, come on, it was just a tiny little critter, why the big Who Ha!!!

Think about it. The little birds that she feeds in the front yard are no bigger than that mouse and SHE IS FEEDING THEM. So why act so crazy over a little Rouse. Next thing I know, she is scrambling up to the attic mumbling something about finding the old trap.

A trap, now isn’t that a little extreme? I know about traps…..When I was younger, and learning how far across the cupboard I could reach when I stood on my hind legs, she …set a trap… then. It was awful. It was a little wooden thing that had a big heavy wire across the front that snapped shut if you came near it. It was called a mouse trap. I wasn’t too concerned cause I wasn’t a mouse.

One day Vickie put about three of them across the front of the counter with a FINE piece of steak on the other side. I knew the meat was meant for me, why else would she leave it out on the counter.

All I had to do was wait until she left the room, stand on my hind legs, reach up with my paws and slide that piece of meat closer so I could grab it with my mouth and then…..Happy Day…. Steak for Bert.

When she left the room, finally….I made my way to the counter. Looking around to make sure that Jamie or Abby were not around, I stood up on my hind legs and put my paws on the edge of the counter.

There it was…..just waiting for me….delectable delicious meat….All I had to do was reach past those mouse traps she had left in front of the steak. That should be no problem. I noticed she had placed them upside down. The snapping trap part was on the counter and the back of the trap was facing up. I wondered how she expected to capture a mouse when the traps were upside down, but that was her problem. I had much juicer things to work on so I pushed my paw past the trap to the meat.

I’ll be danged….all of a sudden, the world came crashing in around me. I must have just barely touched the middle trap with a hair from my paw. That thing blew straight up into the air making a loud snapping sound as the metal clamp flipped it around and cracked shut. Then it dropped out of the sky falling on the second trap which caused it to shoot in the air whirling straight for me. I blocked it with my snout just as the clamp slammed shut missing my lips by a fraction of an inch. As I pulled myself back from the cupboard my other paw grazed across the third trap, and WHAM……it leaped into the window causing a horrific whacking noise and then fell into the sink below.

From that day forward I have NEVER placed my nose, paw or any other part of my body on the counter. You can put a hot dog, a steak or my very best, most favorite toy in the world up there and there it will stay, for you never know when she might put another one of those traps out there and I might not know it.

So now, hearing her up there in the attic, looking for the trap, my heart sinks. I feel bad for that furry little creature. I wish I could tell him to Run, RUN for your life, little fella, Run….. But alas, his fate is now in the hands of “The Trap” I just hope he isn’t as easily fooled by the smell of food as I was. Poor little guy.

Gosh, it took Vickie about 10 minutes of searching before I heard her say “Got It” and down the attic stairs she came. I didn’t want to even look upon those little wooden items of torture, but I couldn’t help myself.

I was surprised to see she was carrying a long wire cage type thing. It had a metal door on one end and a little teeter tauter type thing in the center. I guess she could see the concern in my face and she told me this was called a “Live Trap”. She said that she didn’t want to kill the Rouse, she just didn’t want it to live here with us.

Vickie promised she would “Relocate” the Rouse if she caught it. Now I am not sure what she means by Relocate, but it must be good because I know she is a kind heart and doesn’t like to hurt any living creature.

Next, she took a cracker and sprayed cheese over it, then placed the trap in the kitchen and we all went to bed. I was anxious all night. I would go in and check on the trap almost every hour. Nothing…..It got kind of boring so around 4 am, I settled in and finally went to sleep.

Just before 5 am we were all awakened by a loud thwacking sound. (Yes that is a word, look it up). I ran into the kitchen followed closely by Vickie and Jamie. There it was, the Rouse…..sitting safely inside the trap. Not hurt, just a little surprised. He or she, not sure about that and didn’t want to know, watched us closely as we all peered in at him or her.

Then Vickie picked up the trap and put it out in the garage. She said the rouse had to stay out there until after all the day care dogs had arrived. Then we would all get in the car and take him to his or her new home. It was all very exciting.

Boy that was a long morning. I spent most of it, just imagining where his new home would be. I was hoping it would be way out west by the bird refuge because that would mean we got to take a long walk. Vickie promised she would find a place where he (the rouse) could find a warm and safe place to hide with a lot of food close by as it would be like moving to a new neighborhood where you didn’t know where the store was.

Finally it came time to get the rouse and go for a ride…..

We all jumped into the front of the truck, but the rouse had to ride in the back of the pick up by himself. Its ok, though. We have a shell on the truck so he was plenty warm enough.

When we got way out west past all the houses and close to the bird refuge, we got out. Vickie put on her gloves, hat and coat and got the rouse and off we went. It was a great walk. IT was snowing and I got to run and run.

When we finally reached the place where the rouse was to go free, Vickie set the metal cage down, put me and Jamie on a Sit Stay. (I think she thought we would chase the rouse, but I wouldn’t hurt him, I would just play hide and seek with him for a bit) then she opened the cage door and told the rouse to go ahead and be free.

I thought the rouse was just frightened because he didn’t move. Vickie tried to coax him out by tipping the cage so he knew he could go, but still he clung to the floor of the cage. Then I heard Vickie give a sad little sigh. I think I knew too that something was wrong.

Our little mouse finally tumbled head over heal out of the cage and lay motionless on the ground beside us. We all waited for him to jump up and run off into the tall grass and bushes that bordered the river where his new home was to be, but he just lay there barely breathing.

Vickie started to cry because she felt so bad that this little creature was dying and there was nothing we could do. She explained to me that it was probably so frightened by all that had happened that morning that its little heart had given out. Little rouse died a few minutes later and Vickie slid him under a big warm looking bush and we turned and left him there.

It was a very sad walk home for Vickie.

But on the lighter side, I am making headway with Roxy. I was a little worried at first that Zeus might try to impress her, but he spent most of his day asleep on the lazyboy andwhen he did come out, he pretty much made it clear, that he wasn't interested in her. He said, "She isn't my type of girl" I wonder what he meant by that. So Check out the video below. She and I play for hours…..I think she is falling for me……Yahooy


Michele Thompson said...

Vickie, you are a riot! I was laughing so hard reading this! Thanks for the giggles this morning! PS, could my dog get ANY lazier????

Keli said...

Sorry about the little rouse but thank you for the counter surfing deterrent. Taylor is going to be sooooo surprised!