Dogs and Possums

This is a link to one of my favorite scenes in Caddyshack.

Carl Spackler: License to kill gophers by the government of the United Nations. Man, free to kill gophers at will. To kill, you must know your enemy, and in this case my enemy is a varmint. And a varmint will never quit – ever. They’re like the Viet Cong – Varmint Cong. So you have to fall back on superior intelligence and superior firepower. And that’s all she wrote.

Carl Spackler: I have to laugh, because I’ve outsmarted even myself. My enemy, my foe, is an animal. In order to conquer the animal, I have to learn to think like an animal. And, whenever possible, to look like one. I’ve gotta get inside this guy’s pelt and crawl around for a few days.

It appears that we have developed a bad case of varmints in my backyard.  I know this because some time ago my dog declared war on the squirrels. Every day I raise the gate, lower the drawbridge and watch as he turns on the afterburners in a vain attempt to capture one them furry tailed rodents. Thus far he hasn’t been close but that is only because the squirrels have been smart enough to sit on top of the block wall that runs along the back or alternatively hang out in a tree.

From their perch the lovely Chip and Dale taunt the dog and do whatever they can to try and make him lose his mind. A smarter dog would simply turn his back and walk away or engage in some kind of mental warfare but not mine. He chooses to stand below wherever they are an hurl threats and insults at them. I told him that the definition of insanity is to repeat the same action over and over again while expecting different results. He cocked his head and gave me a look that made it clear that he thinks I am an idiot.

All this proved was that he must have somehow inherited some of my DNA. We don’t do things the easy way- not us. No sir, we choose to take the long way home and set fires along the way so that we can enjoy having to put them out. Why make life easy when it can be made hard.

Since he insisted on ignoring me I decided that my four legged child was going to receive the same treatment as my two legged kids. So I sat him down, looked him in the eye and said that it was time to go to work. We started out with some simple exercises and in no time the “Bark on, Bark off” routine had made a significant impact upon his behavior. It didn’t go unnoticed, no sir, not unnoticed at all.

The squirrels figured out that he was a different dog and they changed their tactics. They sent for out of town talent and hired a team of possums to come harass us. Not so long ago that might have worked, but what they didn’t know, couldn’t know was that Ninja Dog had evolved and grown into a terror known as Four Legs of Fury. And old Four Legs wasn’t about to be denied.

Thus far he has taken out three of the possum family members. Rumor has it they have declared a blood oath and promised to avenge their fallen comrades. Their first attempt came around early evening but Ninja Dog wasn’t taken unaware and instead captured the assassin and brought him home for interrogation purposes.

Ninja Dog’s 6.5 year-old sister went apoplectic. When she saw the captive she started screaming bloody murder. I tried to console her and promised that waterboarding isn’t torture but she was having none of it. So I picked up the captive and tried to show her that he was very much alive but she screamed even louder. Suddenly she was scared for me or so she said.

I tried to explain that I used to be a zookeeper and that I once worked for TSA but none of these explanations worked. So I hustled her out of the room and took the captive outside for a little man to varmint talk. I explained that he and his associates better leave because to do otherwise was the equivalent of calling down the thunder and that in the future every time I saw one of his kind there would be much spilled, none of it my own.

Time will tell if they took me seriously or if I am going to open the gates of hell and unleash the dogs of war upon them.

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8 Comments

  1. Nathan King April 27, 2011 at 11:05 am

    How do I learn ‘Bark On, Bark Off’ – that would definitely raise the sanity level in my house. As for possums, my dog has taken down two of them. Squirrels are next…

  2. Nathan King April 27, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    How do I learn ‘Bark On, Bark Off’ – that would definitely raise the sanity level in my house. As for possums, my dog has taken down two of them. Squirrels are next…

  3. Carina Clark April 26, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    Just don’t forget what happened to Sonny. Santino’s death was a huge hit to the Godfather, and beware those blood oaths – possums don’t play. Maybe a mouse head in their nest while they’re sleeping will do it, but maybe not.

    Just remember – never let anyone outside of the family know what you’re thinking. 🙂

  4. Carina Clark April 27, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Just don’t forget what happened to Sonny. Santino’s death was a huge hit to the Godfather, and beware those blood oaths – possums don’t play. Maybe a mouse head in their nest while they’re sleeping will do it, but maybe not.

    Just remember – never let anyone outside of the family know what you’re thinking. 🙂

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