Patti Soldavini

The Unexpected Gift

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 01/07/2012 at 8:45 pm

"I can't believe it either."

This is a true story. And not a pretty one. The other day, as Olive and I stood on the lawn on the side of my house, facing my neighbor’s country white split rail fence, we both noticed something odd at the same time. About 10 yards in front of us, on the other side of the fence was a large object on the ground. Olive barks at it. I stand there and think to myself “WTF?”  Holding Olive firmly on her flexi-leash, I make my way toward the fence, my steps slowing a bit as I get closer. “Christ. It’s another dead pheasant, Olive.” Mangled and frozen to the ground. “At least it’s not on our lawn this time,” I say to Olive who is now straining at the leash, desperate to investigate the carcass du jour. “Let’s go back in the house and call Ray and tell him he’s got lawnkill in his yard.” As I dial the phone (and why do some of us still say dial when rotary phones disappeared along with the Triceratops?) I mentally calculate the number of dead pheasants I’ve encountered since the Snoctober storm. Too many. For the first few weeks, they were skittering around the property like mice that had dropped acid. Since then, they’ve been dotting the property and the roadway like paint on a pointillist masterpiece. It isn’t over yet. The next morning, I release Olive from her crate as I always do. Except this time, she zips down the hallway, leaps down the stairs and races to the front door where she starts frantically sniffing the bottom of the threshold and scratching with both paws simultaneously at the draft blocker like a serial killer trying to claw their way out of hell. Great. A mouse must have gotten in the house I think. In retrospect, I should have been so lucky. I take Olive outside and as we pass the alcove by the front door, I can’t help but see a black object about the size of a small brown derby cake to the right of the doorway…exactly where Olive was scratching from the other side of the door. As I take this odd sight in and consider the possibilities, Olive is trying to pull me toward the object. “Not a chance, Olive. That looks way nasty even from here.” I bring Olive back in the house and return to the scene of the crime. I don’t know whether it’s dead or alive, but I’m pretty sure it’s some sort of animal. As I get closer and closer, I notice greasy black streaks leading up to the object. I am as close as I’ll get to it now and looking down, I observe the most revolting concoction of blackened feathers, bloody guts and God knows what else. Now I know what it is. Some animal, in the middle of the night, a fox or a coyote, ate too much of its prey and came to my front door to evacuate it out of one of its orifices. Thanks. And I used to think that cats bringing dead pink and grey little voles and headless mice was bad. This sets a new standard in vileness. And now I have to deal with it. I get a shovel from the garage and begin picking it up. As I do this, I can’t help but start to dry heave. I have never been good about cleaning up any type of vomit, dog or human. Multiply either of those by about 50 and that’s what I’m dealing with. I continually retch as I walk across the front lawn, across the street and dump it into the cornfield which has already been transformed into Our Lady of Holy Pheasants. The grass is littered with the corpses of about a dozen of these game birds. I back away and stand there for a second. I’ve stopped retching. I go back in the house and call my neighbor, Ray to tell him about this. Before I begin my story, he says, “Hey, you know that dead pheasant on my lawn yesterday? It was the damnedest thing. I picked it up, and everything was all there…except all its insides were gone.”

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  1. Oh, yuck! That was terrible sweet Patti and you did so well telling about it I thought I could almost smell that mess. I am glad you got Olive in and she didn’t help you clean it up. Surely there will be an end to the dead birds and all else at your place soon…we hope that pile you shoveled away will be the end. Hugs for you and nose kisses for sweet Olive.

  2. It’s like a horror movie!!! I found myself holding my breath as I read your graphic description. Poor you 😦 Hope your yard does not become a permanent wild life cemetary.

  3. Ick! (but intriguing). It’s amazing, isn’t it, the stuff you see and look closely at because you have a dog? I had no idea until I acquired the bulldog who appears in my posts sometimes. Anyway, I hope this passes soon and things get back to normal for you!

    • You’re telling me. I had no idea I’d be looking at dog poop so often. I think I qualify to be certified as a Scatologist. When you live in a rural area, it’s always “Days of Our Wildlives.”

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