Just had to share this photo with my KF buddies!

caflowerluverFebruary 4, 2007

I have told stories on the Gardenweb side about how my mini dachshund is quite the huntress but no one would believe me. Now I have proof! She is quite the gopher catcher. DH wasn't too happy about me wanting a picture. Just take the d**n shot so I can bury the d**n thing (the gopher not Elvira). It took us almost 20 minutes to get this one out of her mouth. Even with bribes of chicken, she wouldn't let go.


Elvira the Huntress

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SHe sure is a cutie. Aren't dogs wonderful. They really take our minds off of our problems.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 9:33PM
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Hey! Send her to my house! We have gophers that she is welcome to hunt.

What a cutie! Look at the expression--Mine, mine, mine.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 11:20PM
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Thanks. I wish she would catch a lot more. We are on 2.5 acres and are overrun with them! Is this just a California thing? And boy, she really did not want to give it up.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 12:17AM
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I wish my three goldens would catch them, but instead they dig for them. Which makes my yard look like a major excavation project most of the time!

Congrats to your little gopher catcher!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 12:23AM
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He looks so proud!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 4:22AM
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Sorry Clare but that picture grosses me out. I'm a city girl and I understand animal instincts but I can't stomach seeing them in action. I feel really sorry for the gopher.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 8:33AM
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What a cutie! Look at the expression--Mine, mine, mine.

That expression is pure pride!! She good, an' she know it!!

We are on 2.5 acres and are overrun with them! Is this just a California thing?

Not at all. I had a place in Milford, Connecticut that was overrun with the critters, as well, and I've seen em in the next door neigbor's yard up here, too.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 8:38AM
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Donna - Sorry I didn't mean to offend. After living out in the country for so long (over 20 years), I forget what it was like before. I understand a farmers point of view now in regards to animal pests.

We have had our share of pests and have lost fruit trees, tons of ornamentals and most of the garden because of them. I saw a gopher pull down a full grown corn stalk into its hole. We do a lot of passive things like planting everything in wire baskets and lining raised beds with chicken wire and covering them but you can only do so much.

Bill - Thanks for letting me know. I didn't know the East Coast had them too.

Again apologies if I offened or grossed anyone else out.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 9:38AM
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We don't have gophers, but we have more than our share of moles and voles. The moles create huge mounds all over the yard. Our dog hasn't caught very many (she has to see the mound moving and then dig them up), but we've taught her to "whack a mole." We just point to a mole mound, say "get that mole!" and she pounces with all 100 pounds of her weight on the mound. It's pretty funny to watch, but it doesn't kill the mole unless it's right in that spot. (I've been successful twice smacking a moving mound with a shovel. And the dog has killed two, so the score is even now. ;) )

One "good" thing about having moles instead of gophers is that moles don't eat vegetation; they eat grubs and worms. The voles eat plants, but I haven't had too much of a problem with voles (they're pretty small).

I know what you mean about her not wanting to give it up. Our dog caught a rabbit once and dragged it around for two days "protecting it." She finally got tired of keeping track of it and let me throw it into the ravine.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 9:59AM
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Bill, I think you've mentioned previously that you are from the New Haven area, but I didn't realize till now that you lived in Milford. That's my hometown! Did I know you in a former life? (Probably not; I haven't lived there since I went away to college in the early 1960s.) I don't remember ever seeing a gopher there.

There were woods across the street from my first apartment, and my cats used to proudly bring home birds and field mice. They'd try to hide with them in some inaccessible place (e.g., behind the toilet). Once, my kitty caught a baby bat, which I brought to the State Lab, to check for rabies (fortunately, it was negative). Disposal of the prey is NOT my favorite part of cat parenting!


    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 11:34AM
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LOL! We don't have a yard, so my dachshund has to get his ya-ya's out sniffing the gopher holes at the beach. There are so many of them I've renamed the area "Gophertropolis" - there must be millions. And they've eaten all the carefully planted "native" vegetation that were planted there the past couple of years - leaving the succulent ice plants.

People see how small and comical "weiner dogs" are and they don't know that these dogs were bred to hunt (and often kill) badgers and other "terr"-itorial rodents.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 4:12PM
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I can't seem to get Clare's photo up, but we live in similar terrain, maybe 20-25 miles apart, so I definitely can visualize the scenario.

When my cats Bonnie and Clyde (siblings) were younger (they're 7 now), they would hunt anything that moved, including numerous shrew moles (tiny black moles, about the size of a mouse). They soon learned that the shrew moles weren't as tasty as birds or squirrels (sorry, city dwellers, just the facts re: rural pets), so we'd see/clean up/bury the uneaten remains. But we also had another visitor, a true mole, which DH and I never saw, just their subsurface tunnels (thanks goodness, no gophers, so much more destructive to landscaping.)

Anyway, the dynamic duo's prior training meant that the mole only resided a few weeks in our yard, never to be seen again. I don't know if they drove away or killed that mole, but it's gone, at least until spring. The cats are getting lazier now, so coming upon a recently deceased critter is much less frequent, although Clyde did decimate a Varied Thrush (closely related to Robin) last week.

BTW: Because they are indoor/outdoor cats, we accept that they are candidates for the food chain -- we do what we can (getting them inside from dusk til daylight), fencing our huge yard against predetors, etc. But we do have coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions, owls, and raccoons in the broad vicinity, so we accept that nature may turn the tables. However, I think there is balance in the quality of life that B & C are experiencing as both indoor lap warmers and outdoor mousers/critter-management agents.

BTW: I asked a neighbor if he minded B & C hanging out under his house so frequently, and he said H_ll, no! They haven't had any rodents since they've been a frequent visitors (frequent mousers?). So, B & C are in some ways providing a much needed public service.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 4:07AM
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Our huntress kitty Little One once brought in a rabbit in the middle of the night...and dropped in off on our bed. DH woke up in the morning and started screaming after discovering that he'd been sleeping on a dead, bloody rabbit.

I think she'd been watching mafia films on the sly :)

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 7:01PM
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To be completely honest, I guess I'd feel differently if there was a dead squishy critter in my bed, courtesy of my cats. Everything so far has been no closer than the front or back door mat.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 4:07AM
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