I have always been pretty good with horses, but never with predators. This includes men and dogs.
Scout, my Jack Russell Terrier, confirms everyday to me that I have no business attempting to train predators.
Scout is a serial killer. I am pretty convinced that she must be reincarnated from some famous serial killer madman. When she is locked in on the kill, there is absolutely no reasoning with her- she cannot see or hear anything else. After the kill, she always begins shaking and going through these crazy tremors like she is transferring to another personality. Definitely thinking she is bipolar or something like that.
The good news, or bad news for some, is that Scout is an Equal Opportunity Killer- she mainly kills rodents (all kinds- as I said, non discriminatory- possum, mouse, rat, squirrel, raccoon, groundhog, skunk- she has been known to venture into the realm of small deer, cats (she stopped that a while back when she got thoroughly slapped down by our barn cat Bubble Gum), and rescued geese. Oh- forgot to mention, she also chewed a pig’s ear off once. Poor pig is still earless.
Her list of kills crosses many state and International Lines- including Canada. I am sure on the varmint MOST WANTED list, Scout is at the top. I can just see some little possum dressed like the guy from America’s Most Wanted highlighting her. I could just hear him tell the crowd… “ Be very careful- this one is highly dangerous-We cannot pinpoint her to one location. We do know that she has a very unique way of killing and NEVER leaves bite marks- she may have an extra digit….She is constantly on the move, and for that reason, we believe she is a traveling circus clown dog.” Then you see a mug shot of a Jack Russell with paint on her face being held by a clown in a clown truck.
Needless to say, a huge amount of my time is intercepting her before she causes another international incident.
Today was one of those days.
We arrived to the campground early to have a few hours of peace and family time before we had to go to sleep early. We had to wake up way before the crack of dawn to get my husband and Reed to the airport.
Scout, of course, foiled our plans. As soon as she saw a weakness, she shot through the camper screened door and took off. I went running after her in my clogs- we raced past the sign that said DOGS MUST BE LEASHED, did two laps around the pool, ran through two backyards, alongside the highway, and ended up alongside a creek with a loose chicken. Scout was in full kill mode. I ran to go and apprehend her- she raced into the brush in hot pursuit of the chicken.
Somehow, the chicken eluded her and ran back to the coop- where the other chickens were. Scout was hot on its tail, and within no time had it in her toothless jaw. After a lot of screaming and scurrying, I managed to grab Scout, extract the chicken which now had a huge bald spot, and take my Jack Russell, mouth full of feathers, back to my campsite.
Less than 72 hours prior, she caused another such incident at my friend, Adrienne Cohn’s. Scout was in the backyard, where we were relaxing on the porch- the calm before the storm-within a few seconds of Adrienne’s husband, Andy, saying “There is no way Scout can get out” she had leapt through a crack about 2 inches in diameter, and was after something- the something happened to be a skunk. Andy, in a full run, threw off his golf shoes and socks and went for her; Jim went running alongside- they both stopped in their tracks when they realized that she had cornered a skunk.
I can only imagine that this is similar to Robert Downy Jr. in Sherlock Holmes- Scout stops- analyzes the situation briefly, plans her attack in a step by step sequence and then goes after her prey- it is all clearly premeditated- and she always wins. The skunk latched onto her cheek, Scout allowed this for a few seconds (obviously toying with it to suck it in) then reared up, swiped it with a hard left with her paw, then grabbed its neck and shook it to death- the best that she can do with no teeth.
When Jim brought Scout back, they smelled BAD- I mean really BAD. She had gotten hit head on. Imagine that- a full on attack after being sprayed head on with the strongest mace you can possibly imagine. Not even the best Navy Seal can do that.
Adrienne sprang into action and ran to the store- the same skunk had sprayed her chocolate lab 4 times. This was not her first rodeo.
When Adrienne returned, the de-skunking began. Jim peeled off his shirt and put on a trash bag as a shirt and slipped on plastic gloves- it looked like he was getting ready to work in a meth lab or something.
2 hours later she was fairly de-skunked.
Note: Scout is 12 years old, is recovering from being caught in a hay bailer in Canada, and has cataracts. I cannot imagine what she could do in her prime.
When Scout went running off to kill the skunk, we were in the process of making ribs. This is an awesome recipe….
Rattle Snake Ribs
The Hungry Horseman