Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Doggie Du Jour

So let's say you're an alligator -- and you want to grow up somewhere peaceful and serene. Somewhere where's there's plenty to eat and no one drives an airboat over your tail every six minutes or harasses you with sticks. So you make your way from some freshwater pond somewhere in a subdivision (where you have to share your sunning spot with fourteen Venezuelan Red-Eared Sliders (turtles) that people have released into the pond after getting bored with them as pets), to a brackish creek that flows into Tampa Bay. You're thinking to yourself, "Sweet -- all the otters I can eat!" And you glide along day by day enjoying the scenery. You're a little leery of the big yellow house, yet intrigued by the white dog who is continually in and out of the water as if he didn't realize you were there watching. And waiting. And hungry.

So let's say you're watching this white dog, day after day, calculating how big your jaws are compared to how tall and big around the dog is. Biding your time. Waiting for just the right moment.

And then one night, let's say about 10:00, you hear some activity at the big yellow house -- maybe like someone is having a party in the sweltering August heat (what are they thinking?)-- so you swim silently down the creek to have a look-see. As you get close, you realize the white dog is not only outside, but is standing in the shallow water at the edge of the creek. Jackpot! "Maybe this party is for ME!" you think. You swim closer.

And closer. You are getting really good at this silent gliding thing. When you get right behind the dog, you lunge . . .

And get nothing but air because that dang dog is so fast that as soon as you opened your massive jaws he yelped and jumped six feet in the air, while running. He was like a cartoon with his legs just spinning around and around without touching the ground.

That dog has more lives than a cat. Have I told you about the time he got bitten by a cottonmouth and we rushed him to the emergency vet? The vet came out and told us it would cost $1200 for the first dose of anti-venom and I gave the dog a hug and said, "Sweet puppy, it's been nice knowing you and you've been a good dog. I won't let you suffer." I asked the vet how long it took to know whether or not the dog would survive the bite and the vet said two hours. So I sat in the waiting room with the dog for two hours so that I could have him put down if he started having seizures or something. He laid at my feet, peaceful as can be and at the end of two hours I took him home.

He's killed more than one snake and lived to tell, but I'm pretty sure he won't win a battle with the alligator. Fish & Game better get out here quick.

1 comment:

  1. Turns out our alligator trapper is a Lady! Julie Harter is Hillsborough county's assigned trapper. I've even got her cell number to call in an emergency


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