Saturday afternoon, our dog caught a groundhog. This was, in our way of thinking, very good news. The bugger had already gnawed on spring pea vines peeking through the garden fence, and we aren’t big fans of ground hogs. The other part of the good news is that Dingo seems to be showing his age, and this murderous success let us dash off thoughts of his mortality for a bit.
Saturday evening, we went to a birthday party for the sons of our friends. It was a golden summer evening, and twenty or so kids played a soccer game that somehow included a frisbee. Us parents shot the breeze, drank something cold, and watched while we thought “we hope those kids know how good they have it.”
As a few of us put out condiments for burgers and dogs, I mentioned Dingo’s recent victory over the groundhog, and Tera laughed. A few years back, one of her sons had a play date with someone from the fancy development to the north of town. Tera’s family lives on a farm, and the prospective playmate had never been over before. As the parent and kid came to the house from their car, the cat walked across their path with a dead mouse. As the parent and kid came closer, Tera noticed an earlier catch lying in the yard nearby.
The play date was not a rip roaring success.
We’re on the edge of farms and suburbia here. Most folks get their food at the supermarket, and don’t know anyone who farms. The few folks here that hunt do it for a trophy, not for the freezer.
The ones who are still connected to their food, they get it. Having a pet that hunts, like Dingo, or Kathy’s Molly, reminds us that we’re part of a cycle that’s bigger than buying groceries off a shelf, veggies crisp under the store’s mister, and meat on a slab of styrofoam, wrapped in cellophane. It reminds us that our pets are companions, but they are animals too, valued for more than their friendship.
The folks who can appreciate how wonderful it is to be rid of another groundhog or mouse, those are our people. We’re still not sure how Dingo’s eye sight is doing. He took off after some rabbits yesterday evening that were far away across the field. But he doesn’t always see the rabbits when they sneak up around nap time. He’s getting along, though, and he got rid of a danged groundhog.
Thanks for being our people!
Rachel and Kathy
P.S. He got another since I first wrote this. Now it’s Dingo: 2, Danged Groundhog: 0