Outdoors Column: Banished

Jag, the terrier, goes out hunting on his own and might be gone for an hour or two. We do not think much about his disappearing as we will hear him barking at a rabbit somewhere off in the distance. We can usually hear when he has a squirrel or raccoon treed, assuming we care and will come get it for him. We do not. If I shot every squirrel he found, we would soon be out of squirrels and he would no longer have something to chase. Louie, the boxer, will disappear for short times, but never is gone for more than a few minutes at a time. When he chases a squirrel and it runs up a tree, to him, it is the same as vanishing into thin air. He does not grasp the concept of squirrels climbing trees. He gets bored, comes back to the house and wants inside.

One day last week, my wife was going to town. The dogs had been outside so she called Louie to put him in before she left. Strangely, he did not come. Jag was also missing and also did not respond to being called. She called for several minutes becoming somewhat concerned. She finally had to leave, not knowing where the dogs were.

When she returned from running her errands in town, the dogs were both resting on the porch and jumped up to greet her enthusiastically. Whatever they were doing wherever, we thought we would never know.

Later that evening, Louie was resting comfortably on his bed in the living room while my wife and I watched television. Suddenly, a squeaking noise emanated from right below Louie’s tail. He glanced back, got up, and left the room. My wife and I looked and each other, knowing this was a bad sign. Within seconds, the room was engulfed in a stench that was bad enough to cause a person’s eyes to water and nose run. We turned on the exhaust fan in the kitchen and went outside. This only happens to Louie when he eats something that does not set well with him, such as raw deer meat.

At the end of deer season, I like to take any remains we have and place them with a trail camera so we can get pictures of our eagles or whatever else might enjoy scrapes of meat and chewing on bones. This year, I have pictures of two eagles, an opossum, a bunch of crows, and two dogs that found the scrape pile.

The scrap pile has since been moved and Louie has been banished to the garage for a few days.