Yesterday morning, I got home from working midnight shift and all I wanted to do was to crawl in my bed. My eyes were blurry from exhaustion and I let two of our four dogs out to potty while I headed to the bathroom to do the same. When I let them back in, I saw a huge dead white rabbit, with the terrier/wolfhound about to take a chunk out of its belly. Luckily I didn't have to fight her for it. She came in when I cussed at her.
I had a dreaded suspicion that I have sort of met this rabbit before. A few months back, before the winter mud set in, we had seen a very large, fat rabbit sitting in our neighbor's back yard. It was calmly nibbling on their organic back yard grass as our four barkers were going crazy. It nibbled and watched and nibbled and watched the non-hopping four leggeds lose their voices with excitement.
We speculated on whether it was the Easter Bunny, or the neighbors’ grandkids’ pet. It was really fat and really calm in the face of four barking dogs. No one was watching it but us as we were ensconced in our fully fenced backyard while it was free to roam wherever it wanted to (except into our territory).
Then this morning what do my blurred sleep deprived eyes see, but (I suspect)this very same bunny dead near my garden in my evidently not so secure backyard.
I cussed some more at the dogs, put in a load of laundry to give it time to finish dying before I had to go pick it up.
|The Newest Grand Canyon|
When I approached the very cold dead rabbit (they actually the deed when my partner let them out in the middle of the night while I was at work). Its blue eyes were open and I knew this was no wild rabbit. She was pure white and her shape and ears were different than the wild rabbits I had had to deal with similarly in the past. Although she still weighed about 10-15 pounds, she was much skinner than the rabbit we had seen over the summer. (I did not take a picture of her, so I can't share, out of respect for her.)
I apologized to her, bagged her and dodged dog poop all across the yard and crossed over the new Grand Canyon that the dogs had dug in the side yard as I headed out the front gate to set her by the garage where the dogs couldn’t maul her. Luckily her outsides were all still in tact.
Picking up dog poop and filling in the holes had been on the agenda for a while anyway. I decided to postpone sleep and take my blurred vision to at least get it started. So I got out the scooper and poop rake and began to fill holes. I had some mulch left from the beginnings of building my backyard edible forest garden this summer, so I was layering that on top in some areas that were slick with mud where the dogs had either dug away the grass, or had worn it away with their running. Theoretically, the killer pooping machines won't dig where their own poop is buried. It worked around the blueberry bushes after I replanted them this fall after...you guessed it. They had dug them up. (That is when they moved to the base of the steps for their digging pleasure, making a wet muddy unavoidable mess to step in every time the compost needs to go out.)
|The Blueberries are safe-for now|
So I scooped and I hauled and dumped doo in an effort to make at least some progress in the great winter swamp of poo. On my feet, I wore my crocs, which are great for this because there is no tread to collect stuff in if I step in it. I had socks on because it was a bit chill this wet December morning. I scooped more and carried more and buried more poop than any four dogs should be allowed to emit (I'm a bit behind on this chore).
|This is the trench at the base of the deck.|
It is in the process of getting filled
by dog bombs and covered with mulch
to make it less slick and sloppy.
Oops. I tapped the back of my pant leg with the poopy poop rake once or twice. Good thing those pants were next to go into the washer. Several minutes later, with a five gallon bucket of hardwood mulch in each hand, I felt a squish under my left heel. It felt suspiciously like what I had been picking up for the past forty five minutes. And it was ground into my sock and squished to the inside of my left croc and then, the smell of wet dung wafted up to my nose. I pulled off the blue croc, scraped it with a stick. Wiped my now wet brown socked foot on the even wetter colder grass (at least a foot from any piles that my blurry eyes could see) and put the shoe back on. I was determined to get at least some of those holes taken care of.
So I scooped and hauled and dumped and filled and covered for another fifteen minutes or so when all of a sudden the entire pot of coffee and fifty two ounces of lemon water I had been drinking all night decided it was time to go. Now. I had poop on my shoes. Poop on my sock (thus on my foot) and dirt all over my hands. I made a mad dash for the house, dragging my treadless crocs on the cleaner parts of the grass, stairs and deck to get as much of the brown stuff off as possible. I be-lined through the kitchen to the basement bathroom. (I used the shower in the utility room down there and I went ahead and changed the laundry, throwing in my poopy dog pants in while I was at it.
|The stuff I pulled out of my poopy pants pockets|
before throwing them in the washer.
The bad news is I haven’t yet asked my neighbor if they have a pet rabbit for their grandkids. Nor do I know if I just paid respects to the Easter Bunny.
|Snuggle and Nap Time!|
The good news is that my pants, socks, shoes and feet are all washable. And that I couldn’t possibly have stayed mad at the dogs. They are so cute and snuggly that as soon as I had showered and fed them, they didn’t give me any choice but to snuggle in with them for a short winter’s nap.