Many of our regular readers are familiar with The Pig, L’il Sis’ beagle, the drama queen who has taken over all the sofas in my house, ingests my homemade chicken soup every day for lunch, and spends most of her ‘walk’ time hunting for bunnies. I keep telling her she doesn’t have to go further than our yard to find Peter Rabbit. Every morning when I throw out birdseed (nominally for the birds, but in real life, assorted rodents large and small ), there is at least one rabbit frolicking in the grass. But apparently she likes to work for her prey. I guess it’s no fun if they’re just sitting there like the proverbial ‘sitting ducks’. Oh, we have some of those too. Twenty-four at last count.
Gill has been known to make some disparaging remarks about The Pig, usually things like “I don’t trust her. Those eyes are deceitful. I know she’s up to no good while faking that sad, ‘poor me’ expression. And I’ll never forget the time she looked at me, all innocence, while peeing on the carpet.That dog knows how to work a room.”
But even Gill was impressed (in a good way) recently with The Pig’s exploits. During a trip to a local nature area, The Pig spotted a beaver. She knows what to look for since she recently ravaged and tore apart, log by log,the better part of a massive beaver dam. She couldn’t be stopped. For a cancerous dog (she had her spleen removed in the fall), she had energy and drive to spare. I believe she spotted the beaver exiting from the ‘back door’ but was unable to nab it. But the dirty look he aimed at her was enough to convince her to take on the role of Beaver Avenger. Yesterday, another water-logged rodent jumped from the bank into the water near The Pig and began swimming away. The Pig launched herself into the water and began swimming after the critter. Now keep in mind, this is a dog that doesn’t particularly like water and, to our knowledge, has never swum. Could have been that her substantial belly (a product of homemade chicken soup every day) gave her extra buoyancy. She would have given Michael Phelps a run for his money. The only thing holding her back from bagging her beaver was the leash L’il Sis was holding. (Oh, the humiliation of a domestic pet. I’ll bet The Thorpedo never endured such shame.) She had enough length to get her speed up, but was yanked back unceremoniously in the nick of time.
“Wow!” Gill said, new respect evident in her tone. “Hats off to The Pig! I didn’t know she had it in her.”
Our delight was short-lived. Crazy D, purveyor of strange, wonderful, and often useless facts, informed us that we should be careful that The Pig doesn’t contract Beaver Fever.
“What’s that?” I asked. “Never heard of it…”
“Well, it’s nasty.”
When at the vet’s, I questioned Crazy D’s facts. “Yes, it IS a thing,” the vet acknowledged. “It causes diarrhea in dogs. And it can be passed on to people.”
OMG! Imagine a beagle shitting uncontrollably all over my house! Or, to quote Crazy D’s childhood description, ‘having the drains’ on my carpets. When I informed Gill about Beaver Fever, she knew immediately that SHE would be the next human victim since she is, as we all know, a ‘delicate flower’. I’d like to see her explain THAT one to her Crohn’s doctor. “The beaver made me do it!” she’d explain.