Friday, December 08, 2006

Pup 0, Pocket Gopher 1,244
















I was dashing off to work yesterday and there was Feather still as a rock, and staring at a patch of dirt. She was so focused on the task at hand that she never noticed me. Normally, she would have trotted over and given me a good dog-talky snuffle hug, but not this morning.
















Her silent, still, stalkiness was interrupted by brief moments of furious digging ...
















... then into the earth again with her powerful sniffer.




ambush
anyone?











I had to go to work, so I called to her and teased her about trying to catch an animal who rarely comes to the surface. I startled (and possibly insulted) her and she "WOOFED!" at me and then went back to the hunt.

I left her staring intently, waiting for the pocket gopher to make a mistake.

Hunting pocket gophers is doggy Sudoku.

(Flounder told me that)




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19 comments:

Rurality said...

I'd never heard of these critters. Please don't send them up here, ok?

Laura said...

Ohhh, they have two front teeth the size of Wyoming!!! Ok, that's just my impression. I think they look like a cross between a rat and a chichihua (sp?)..
with those beaver teeth that seem oversized for their body.



One of our dogs managed to catch one when we lived in G'ville, and dropped it next to the back door, the same way a cat would deliver a "present". And then he lay a few feet away from it, looking very sad about the whole thing. It was the first time he ever caught one and I guess he wasn't sure what to do with it.

I had never seen a pocket gopher up close and ... yech!!!
I was kind of glad that was the only one he ever caught (to my knowledge). He used to do the same thing Flounder is doing here, and he would dig all day if he had to, with only his back end sticking out of the ground, LOL.

Good luck to Flounder in her hunt!

You might want to share photos of pocket gopher mounds with your readers some day. They leave those mounds all over the property! ;)

pissed off patricia said...

Well, I don't think they are ugly and I know they have the softest fur you've ever felt. Hopefully this little guy knows the dogs near by and goes deep.

Sorry pup, but this time I'm on the little guy's side.

debbie said...

My dogs have dug several holes in our yard trying to get at the gophers. Several years ago my daughter (age 8 or 9 at the time) woke the whole house with her screaming when our lab brought her a "present" that was dropped on her bed. It was pretty gross. The lab knew how to open the back door so she would usually let herself out early each morning.

Raised by wolves said...

I don't know from pocket gophers, but my dog is currently bounding about in black face. She looks as if she has either auditioned for employment as a chimney sweep, or a vaudeville act, I can't be sure which. I explained to her that chimney sweep was her best bet because of the politically incorrectness of the latter. Plus, frankly, I could use some help with the chimney. It's been getting a real work out these last few days.

Her main focus in her animal control efforts has always been possums. I don't see how there can be a possum within 5 miles of my place. I only wish I had started keeping her kill record a few years back. Oh, but that would be a crime blog entry, not a nature blog entry. Well, anyway, that "gotta' get 'em" attitude is one with which I am way too familiar with my part Lab.

MoMadness said...

Your dog is gorgeous and the pics are wonderful. My Smokey dog came prancing in the house one summer evening when it was not quite dark enuff to have the lights, on but not light enough to see real well. When he sat down in the living room, I noticed something sticking out of his mouth that looked like he had got ahold of a piece of one of my outdoor wicker doo-dads. But nooooo. I went over to him to get it from him only to find he had bird in his mouth, with the feet sticking out. I about croaked (not the word I really wanted to use). That dog is faster than greased lightening and can catch a bird right out of the air. Although I understand it is his nature, I hate it every time he does it, as I love the birds.

robin andrea said...

Ah, that's why dogs have such good lives, hope springs eternal. Nice pics, fc.

Mrs. S said...

Yay! Another puppy post... I think those are my favorites.

Do you think she'll ever catch the gopher?

Floridacracker said...

Rurality,
You must have them ... the southeastern pocket gopher? Think caddyshack and Bill Murray.

Laura,
Jr. actually got to see one poke out of his burrow moving sand about a week ago. He stood real still and watched it for a few minutes. I have NEVER seen a live one and the 15 year old gets to see one.
Uhm... Feather (pictured)is a girl. Flounder (yellow,not pictured) is a boy, but was mentioned at the end of the post.
You are right about the mounds, my north side is a mine field of sandy mounds.


POPatricia,
That's okay, I don't mind the gophers and don't really wish 'em harm. I don't keep a manicured lawn and they do good by bringing up fresh subsoil.
It's good fun for Feather, keeps her brain occupied. She was still staring at the dirt when I got home at 5 pm.

Debbie,
I'm picturing that moment and LOL.

Raisedbywolves,
Mine are part lab/part golden and they don't seem to be very effective hunters unless you count a few unfortunate chickens when they were young.

Momadness,
Thanks, she will be eleven on MLK day.

Robin,
It really does for dogs. I drove up tonight and there she was staring at a gopher mound.

Mrs. S (aka Zoe's Mom),
Honestly, I don't think she will, but it's good for her dogginess.

Deb said...

I had to Google Sodoku.

When we lived on a sand plain north of Minneapolis/St. Paul, we had a never ending occurrence of gopher mounds in our yard. At least your dog cares enough to try to do something about it.

And...Minnesota Gophers (Mrs. FC should know, football fan that she is). What an interesting mascot.

Floridacracker said...

Deb,
Mrs. FC has switched her crossword addiction to sudoku...I spell it wrong about every third time I write it...she says it's going to fend off senility ... I think that's what she said, I forget...
:)

Hurricane Teen said...

Looks like Feather's fur is puffed up. Is she liking this cold weather? My dog also brought me a "present" a couple weeks ago, very much like momadness had. It was a squirrel, and it had probably been one of the thieves of our satsumas. I feel bad for the little guy, though.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Looks like Feather is having fun. Is a pocket gopher smaller than a regular gopher?

threecollie said...

There is nothing like a lab for just plain good dogginess, just nothing. They take being a dog to a whole new level. Our old one retrieved fence posts....eight foot long locust ones. Hell on your ankles but fun to watch! Oh, and rocks too.

Floridacracker said...

HTeen,
She likes it, skinny, thin furred Flounder does not.

Sandy,
I think they are essentially the same. Not sure how many species of mammal gopher there are in the US.
We also have a tortoise of the same common name.

ThreeCollie,
We have a video somewhere of our old Lab Ranger carrying a small tree aruund like it was a stick.
They are great dogs.

Rurality said...

Nope, we really don't have them. I looked them up, and it says they like sandy soil. It's all clay and rocks here in north Alabama. :) I think there are a few of them in southern portions of the state.

Also, thinking of it as "Psuedo-Ku" helps me remember how to spell it. (But then I keep wondering where the real Ku is, hyuk, hyuk.)

Floridacracker said...

Rurality,
I almost put, "maybe they don't like rocks" in my comment. :)
PsuedoKu ... heehee.

Anonymous said...

Hey to all. That dog got me to thinking about my little gopher pulling adventure and even posted a tale about it

http://curbsideview.blogspot.com/
curbside view

Floridacracker said...

Hey Jake,
Welcome to Pure Florida!