Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Florida Bear Attack Victim Survives

I was out by the garden when I noticed Bear was acting tremendously proud of something in his mouth.

If you live with Labradors, you know there is a certain jauntiness that envelopes them when they have found something really neat to carry in their soft mouths. The head is held high, they prance, ... every fiber of their being is telegraphing that they are holding something special.

This is why they make terrible poker players.

Bear was sending all the signals last weekend as I planted a few new veggie plants. I had to check it out, since we have not "baby proofed" all of PFHQ and there's no telling what he had found.

I was expecting to find a half petrified chunk of pig poo left over from Chewie's stay with us.

I called him over.

He danced over, play bowed, and just dared me to take his special find.

Being the Alpha wolf around here, I slipped my hand in his mouth and pulled out ...

... a baby gopher tortoise!

If that picture above looks familiar, I posted a baby gopher a few weeks ago. Interestingly, this one turned up in almost the exact same location near the garden.


The baby gopher was unharmed and needed to be returned to my woods. It's a protected species and just another sign that my PFHQ gopher colony is thriving.

Bear had to go inside for a little bit, while the baby gopher and I slipped into the semi-open southwest corner of PFHQ.

At the mouth of an existing gopher burrow, I tucked the little guy into a shady nook.

He seemed pretty happy about it.


Bear hasn't received much press lately with Gumbo's illness dominating our lives and checkbooks. He's going to get his own post as I have some fun pictures of him playing in the water.

He is a most excellent pup, full of fun, and his antics keep us in stitches. He likes to slip upstairs and retrieve various bits of Emma's clothing, which he proudly brings downstairs to show off. He's pretty much trained her to keep her delicates above puppy level.

Yesterday, I watched Bear track the swallowtail kite in the sky even though it was just a speck.
(Did I get a postable shot of the most beautiful bird on the planet? Let ya' know tomorrow!)
Today, he flopped after a giant swallowtail butterfly that fluttered past his nose. Everything is so new to him, and he's so amazed by it all.

It's infectious really and I find myself smiling constantly when I watch him.

Same goes for Gumbo who has had an excellent week, except for one sore front leg which may be my fault.

There's a huge turkey oak log in the front yard and I spent some time yesterday getting both pups to jump/climb over it instead of running around it. I hopped up and over the log multiple times, coaxing the dogs to do the same.

They got the hang of it pretty quick. Bear was a little lazy about it, but Gumbo really got into it and he's a lot smaller than Bear so it took more climbing effort than jumping effort.

I guess we overdid it a little with the commando training , he was favoring his right front leg yesterday and I think he might have strained a muscle a little. This morning, he's back in wacky form, running and jumping about.

I have to remember he's a baby.
I only had to write that sentence 500 times before Mrs. FC let me out of the dog crate.


bivalve hunter said...

That is one good looking baby gopher tortoise!
Years ago, when I lived in Winter Haven, I had a German Shephard who would often bring in and present to me Florida box turtles the same way, like a retriever - completely unharmed.

Deb said...

I'm smiling just reading about the puppy antics. And it's even better reading about them without having to deal with real live puppies myself! (Well, Sally still could be considered borderline...)

Jane said...

Brilliant post. The look on his face after you had taken it away. So cute! Didn't know you got tortoise... learn something new every day. Glad Gumbo is feeling better. Labs are such lovely dogs. So expressive! Jane

Rurality said...

Aww. Cute turkle. (I know he's a tortoise, but they're all turkles to me!)

And oh yeah, go Mrs. FC! I wonder if that would work on my husband.

Dani said...

Such a face on Bear!! Hmmm...seems like Mrs.FC is giving us ladies ideas on how to handle our alpha males.LOL

threecollie said...

That was a full bore "Awwww" post complete with a full dose of call-the-kids-over-to-see. Bear sounds (and looks) delightful. The turtle is delightful. Thanks!

Smilin-buddha said...

It amazes me how much the Gopher tortoise looks like a small Redfooted Tortoise. Wish I had them in my backyard.

Anonymous said...

The tortoise sort of has a look of disdain. I don't think he much liked being "found".

Cute pup shots. Glad that Gumbo is starting on the road to health again.

Susan said...

About Gumbo... I hope the vet gives him enough of the right meds to end this for good. A lingering infection can hinder his proper development.

What an adorable tortoise! I'm glad that Bear didn't crunch him.

robin andrea said...

That beautiful baby tortoise looks like a turtle cookie in Bear's mouth. Great rescue, fc. The pups are incredibly cute and look to be wonderfully good-natured.

swamp4me said...

I once had a turtle retriever -- he favored box turtles. Nothing like a handful of lab-slobbered box turtle :)

But, no matter how many cute puppy pictures you post, I'm sticking to my guns...no new puppy, no new puppy, no new puppy. Maybe if I repeat it often enough I will remember and be strong.

Floridacracker said...

Welcome to Pure Florida! Great dogs think a like.

They are alot of work in between the silliness.

It is that expressive face that endears them to me, that and the sweet disposition.

Turkle? There must be a story behind that.

I think wolf packs are really run by alpha females which makes them very similar to human packs.

You're welcome and thanks for sharing it with your crew.
Now, isn't there some farm chore to be done? ;)

They are pretty likeable. I don't see them much, just evidence of their activity.

I'd say it was pretty terrifying for a few monents inside with all those puppy teeth.

I agree. When the current regimen runs out, I'm dropping in for a consult in case we need to go a little longer. He's looking beautiful and putting on some weight now.

I have some puppy water play photos that will melt your resolve.

Anonymous said...

The NNBNN pic is absolutely priceless! But the GT does seem to have a sassy little smile afterwards, doesn't he? Was certainly a better find than a PCPP! I'm looking forward to the SK pics as we seem to have only FWT's in our area. The B&G antics sure make me want to trade in my FDSH for a BLR. Some day. Hey, commandos are not babies. Ohhhhhhhhhhh I get it, you HAD to put away the big brass shiny ones for awhile to make MFC more powerful for the moment. Good call. Good call. :-)

Anonymous said...

Wow, FC. What a wonderful post. I really needed a cheer-up today and you served it on a silver platter! The dog "tails" are such fun to read and I bet Bear thought he hit the big-time, and well, to him, he did. Glad Gumbo is doing so well and that you are out of the dog crate!

vicki said...

Ya- I've heard that labs have a thing for poo and panties. The Gopher turtle is very cute and I'm glad he is unharmed and your population is doing well. Bear is darling in these pictures- I know you're just having a blast with them. Laughing about the the training session and your time out. Not long ago, I had to give Rich time out and make him write, "Cats will not walk on a leash." 500 times.

Floridacracker said...

Humoring the CEO of PFHQ is sometimes is necessary. Punishment delved out PRN.

Happy to oblige. Bear and Gumbo are good medicine.

Bear and Gumbo are big goofy laugh generators.
I've gone to long without puppiness. I see that now.

Laura said...

You have such an ideal place to raise those pups! What a great life they're having already.
Couldn't help laughing at the look on Bear's face when he found that turtle!!!

Good ol' Gumbo. Great to hear he's hanging in there. One day at a time!

LauraHinNJ said...

Oh dear - this is like deja-vu, only it hasn't really stopped yet and my pup is a year old this month!

If you're up for a laugh - have a peak at my most recent Luka post.

Labs are the best entertainment, I think.


Floridacracker said...

If my pond would just get refilled it really would be perfect Lab habitat!
Gumbo is doing great, I can hear him play growling with Bear as I write this.

I'll drop in tomorrow on a high speed connection. Can't wait to see what Luka has been up to now!

Chrisss said...

oh what a cutie....bear and turtle. Looking forward to the new puppy shots.

Rurality said...

It's from all that high-brow reading that I do. (A Dennis the Menace comic book.)

Floridacracker said...

Maybe Friday on those pup shots. Gotta do squirrel Thursday.

Oh, now I get it.

Weary Hag said...

Adorable story and pics to go with it! The tortoise is SO lucky to have his own safety net ... of course, it helped him greatly that you were there to save the day. Poor little guy! Would you just look at the LOOK on his face? hahahahaha

(am a total turtle/tortoise lover)

Floridacracker said...

Wow, it's great to hear from you again. You were one of the earliest commenters here at PF.

Anonymous said...

We're not dry enough for gophers around here, unfortunately. I do love them. Great to know your resident population is thriving!

I love those dogs. Labs seem like a great breed.