“Is that dog waiting for someone?”
That’s what a visitor asked upon seeing Luke in this pose – perched at the end of the deck, ears erect, eyes intent, his body facing the gate to our driveway.
“Yes,” Zach replied. “A mouse!”
A family of mice lives in our fencing. I hear them scuffling nervously every day when I open the back door to let the dogs out for their morning break.
Before the deck went up, I often saw the little buggers, too. Gray shadows flitted past the gaps in the boards. Or maybe a little face peeked through to see if the coast was clear.
Luke’s not the only one keeping watch.
Foster dog Charlie Machete knows about the mice, too.
He races Luke around the corner of the house daily. They even attempt a sort of team hunting tactic, with Charlie Machete ducking under the deck from the back and Luke crawling in from the other end. This strategy has yet to prove successful.
In the spring, the fence mice attracted another kind of predator.
Luke found the evidence - a snake skin, half buried in a mound of dirt next to a fencepost. It was beautiful.
I hope the former wearer of that skin enjoyed a mousy meal before slithering on.
Last year, the mice inhabited the garden.
They nibbled the melons and excited Luke and past foster dog Minnie, who rushed to the melon patch at every opportunity to nose every possible mousehole in the hopes of catching something. (Ideally, not a disease.)
One of those times, I snapped this familiar picture:
A few minutes later, Luke succeeded at hunting! The mouse trapped between his teeth did not succeed – at life.
At least the killing was quick.
I was more grossed out than mad. But I won’t gross you out with a picture of a bloody rodent.
Truth be told, even in death mice are pretty adorable.
Their pointy little faces can’t help but remind me of a certain very old, pointy-faced toy dog, if only his head was the size of a thimble.
Scooby has in fact been known to engage in dirty, mousy behavior.
But let’s be realistic.
Cute though they may be, mice are not creatures I want lingering in or too near my home. I’m glad Luke’s looking out for us.
However, something tells me I may need to get him some back-up in the form of pet-safe traps.
Do your dogs chase mice or other small animals? Do you have a foolproof method for deterring mice?