Protectors from the Vermin Hoard
Back about 13 years ago we had just moved into our current home. I was taking a nap on the couch in the rear family room. My wife was out running errands. The boys (Max & Milo) were guarding the house against squirrels and decorating the picture windows with their nose prints. I didn't think anything of it when they seemed to go berserk for a few minutes until the boss came home. "How come there's broken glass all over the breezeway?" she asked. Huh? Turns out someone had stood looking in the family room (I could see his footprints in the dirt and he must not have seen me lying on the couch), grabbed a stone from the rear garden, and broke out the rear door window to the breezeway porch (of a door that had been unlocked). He was set to enter the house when the dog raucous discouraged him.
The best stories most folks tell relate to the first times their Dales did something that they never imagined would happen when signing up for ownership. Things like: learning their dogs could sing; or finding out about anal gland discharges; or their dog bringing home his first trophy varmint; or the time they retrieved the skunk to the back deck; or the time they knocked the Christmas tree over; or the time they ate _______ (fill in the blank).
I will occasionally look out the back window and see my pup flipping or nosing some poor animal, dead or alive. Most recently it was a squirrel who had succumb to squirrel pox (I never knew there was such a thing). I've also caught him with birds in his mouth (both alive and dead). But the pièce de résistance was this past spring when he caught and killed the biggest possum I'd ever seen, a 20" long character we named Osama Bin Possum. Osama had been tormenting the boys for over a month hiding out under our shed. The following was our FB announcement of the event along with the picture that accompanies this chapter:
On Sunday night, February 10th, 2013, at about 10 PM, in a daring night raid, our favorite son (Hector the Airedale) captured and killed Osama Bin Possum.
Osama had been hiding out in Abbottabad (aka, underneath the shed in our backyard) for the past month.
The following photo is proof of his deeds: (See picture.)
Now I thought such a light-hearted post couldn’t possibly be mistaken for anything but humor. It was also a pretty good inside joke given my son’s line of work. Oh boy, was I wrong! People upbraided me for allowing my son to kill opossum. How could I be so cruel? So heartless?
Go figure, Airedales don’t need to be trained to hunt varmints, it just comes naturally.