Sunday, June 5, 2011

When Animals Go Bad

Yesterday evening, the dog did not come in when I called him. When I went searching, I heard the most horrific, high-pitched terror/pain freakout wailing. If we had bear traps, I'd have thought the dog was stuck in one. I found the dog in the backyard, unhurt, but anxious to lead me to the scene of the terror. About ten feet from the back of the garage, I found it--a small turtle, with suspicious amounts of dog saliva on its shell, and what looked like a death crack from doggy jaws zig-zagging across its back.
I took our dog inside and announced to all and sundry that we were harboring a vicious turtle-killer. Later, when my husband and I were leaving to go out to dinner, I decided to check and see if the turtle was truly dead. As I rounded the corner in the fading light, I saw the little guy, neck stretched out, and amphibious feet paddling for dear life. He was like an armored Michael Phelps, swimming for the gold, as he raced across our grass.
"Go, little turtle, go!" I shouted. He stopped cold. Apparently, turtles do not appreciate Olympic style cheers. So, after showing Chris and peeking my head back inside the house to shout, "The turtle lives!" we went out to dinner. 
But, this morning, I went looking. The turtle was gone. And now I'm crossing my fingers, and hoping the turtle indeed lives, because I'm pretty sure a dead turtle nearby will get very nasty very quickly in the June heat. 
All of this brings me to the realization that I'm totally down with respect for all of life, as long as I don't have to deal with the rotting carcass. 

So, as we prepare for a summer surrounded by pets and woodland creatures, I ask you, what am I going to do if another turtle shows up, and this time, the dog finishes the dastardly deed?