No no no, I’m not threatening to shoot at rabbits. In 2012 I published this story of the family dog Kipper. He is my other favorite dogs and is the antithesis of the dignified and brave Beatrice. Kip has gone on to dog heave but the stories he left me with never get old (to me, that is)
I was a little worried Tuesday was Kipper’s last day on Earth because after twelve years of trying, he finally caught a fully grown rabbit. He did manage to catch a tiny neonatal bunny a few years ago. Poor baby bun didn’t have its eyes open yet so goofy noisy Kip was able to catch it. To refresh everyone’s memory of the Plight of the Baby Bunny: It was four years ago, exactly a week after I had reclaimed the dog as mine from stupid Ward. I’m upstairs gathering keys, etc. to take Wally and Beav to the orthodontist and I hear three people hollering at me to “Get down here!!” I run downstairs, thinking Wally has impaled Beav on a stick or someone is bleeding out their ears.
TG plus sons are gathered at the patio door, Kipper is sitting in the middle of the yard and in his mouth is the tiniest bunny I’ve ever seen in my life. TG exits the kitchen and goes into the yard and tries to knock the bunny out of his mouth with a stick and then she shouts at him to drop it. Poor dog is stunned and not sure what to do. Meanwhile, I’m looking at the two young men who are almost taller than me and they basically have their thumbs in their butts. Boys like icky things, why aren’t they out there taking care of this for their poor defenseless mother? I look at the clock and we have exactly five minutes to get to the orthodontist and if we’re late I’m stuck in the waiting room with nothing but four month old Teen Cosmo magazines and sullen teenagers to keep me company; I really don’t want to be late. I march to the kitchen cabinet, pull out the gloves, snap them on, march into the back yard, prop open the dog’s jaw, pull the poor little baby out of the killer’s mouth, march to the fence and throw it over. I push past the boys who are slack-jawed and call over my shoulder, “C’mon, we’re late.”
Tuesday morning, I happened to look outside and he was lying in his usual spot with his stuffed animals in a circle around him (the dog is so freakin’ weird) where he could “look after them” and I saw he was shaking something in his mouth. I was a little surprised because he doesn’t play with his animals like that. He is too busy grooming and tending them. Then I noticed it wasn’t one of his stuffed animals. It was a flippin’ adult rabbit. Oh for the love of God…not again…and of course I’m all by myself. Wally was gone for the day and Beav was at his dad’s. TG was at work. It was going to be up to me to touch a dead animal. I almost called TG and told her she had to come home this instant to get a rabbit out of the dog’s mouth but then I thought about it and considered Kip might mangle the rabbit before she even arrived. I stomped my way into the backyard and faced down my fearless hunting dog who didn’t look perplexed like he did four years ago. In fact, he looked a little smug:
“Kipper! drop the bunny! Drop. It.”
“Woman, are you high? I caught this thing and I’m not dropping it.”
“Kip!!! Put. The. Rabbit. Down. Outofyourmouthnow!”
“I’m sorry are you talking to me? I can’t hear you because I have this giant rabbit I caught with my own bare paws in my mouth and it’s affecting my hearing. Did you say ‘good dog kipper’?”
“If you don’t drop that damn rabbit Imma make you drop it.”
The dog then gets up and walks away from me, seats himself ten feet further away with his back towards me.
“Kipper, I mean it. PUTTHEBUNNYDOWN!”
“Again, can’t hear you over the roaring noise of success in my ears.”
“Fine! FINE! I’ll be right back with gloves and I will take the rabbit out of your mouth just like I did a few years ago. You better not bite off its head while I’m gone!”
Fortunately, he didn’t bite off the rabbit’s head and didn’t growl at me when I forced open his mouth to retrieve the not quite dead but dying rabbit from his jaws. I hurled the poor creature over the back fence and hoped the trip through the air would finish the job and the bunny would be dead for the lazy coyotes.
Kipper didn’t speak to me the rest of the day. Until dinner of course and then he explained it was time to eat. I will say the squirrel who teases him and the magpies who torment him didn’t bother him the rest of the day. I’m thinking the rabbit served as a warning they might be next. If only. Hopefully, someone else will be home to peel the squirrel or magpie out of his mouth.