Monday, July 21, 2008

Bear vs. The Armadillo Gang

Just stop and go watch this video.
It's only about 35 seconds long and even if you have dialup, it's worth a look.
Go on.
We'll talk about it later in the post.
Go on now, I'll wait ...


Caution: Whining ahead.

I'm beat.

I worked on the living room steady yesterday afternoon and into the night.
At 1:30 AM I was outside, barefoot in the dewy grass, rinsing thinset mortar off of my notched trowel. The hearth is now completely sheathed in cement backerboard and ready for new tile of some kind.

It would have been okay if Bear had let me sleep in, but I was alone in the house, so I had to respond when he did his 6:00 AM whinebark. (All the smart and interesting people I live with are off adventuring ... not that any of them ever seem to hear the 6:00 AM whinebark anyway)
Of course, once Bear is up and has done his business, he's ready to rumble, so we have to play. Any hope of crawling back into bed ebbs away like a spring tide.

So this morning, I'm at that weird place where I want my coffee because it's morning, but I don't want it because it will nix any slim chance of slipping off to sleep for another hour should Bear actually rest.
And this is the kicker ... dare I fall asleep with him only resting? What will be shredded when I awake?
I could sleep with one eye open like Conan The Cimmerian ...

All right, the coffee won. Whining is over. I am committed to wakefulnezzzzzz.

Where was I?
Oh yes ...
Here's how the armadillo attack unfolded ...

Surprisingly, the T-storms came early yesterday and late afternoon was golden with sun, not grey and electrical as has been the norm. I was working away cutting backerboard to fit the hearth when Bear nudged me, and I knew it was time for a break.

I grabbed the Sony and off we went, me, Bear, Flounder, and Feather. I was barefoot so we stuck to the old gokart trail mostly.
This trail winds through the woods along the west and north sides of PFHQ, past the planted pine plantation, behind the pistol range mound, and through the chinkapin patch.

Being barefoot had me going a little slower than usual as last year's insane acorn crop still litters the sandy track and ouch, they aggravate me.
I mention being barefoot, because I think this is why I saw the armadillos before they sensed me and even before the dogs saw them.
The dogs had gone ahead a bit when I noticed not one, but four (the fourth one is just glimpsed at the base of the palm)armadillos grubbing beneath a sabal palm.
Seeing one is no big deal of course, but I never see herds of dillos. This must have been an almost fledged family group.

I swung the camera up and on, switched to video mode and started filming the pastoral scene just a few seconds before Bear's ears went up and the chase was on.

If you listen carefully, you can hear the armadillo growling as Bear chases it off into the woods by the pistol range.
The other dillos dove into a nearby burrow.

The dogs conferenced about the feasibility of excavating professional diggers like the armadillo pack. Flounder urged the other two to "Let it go, move on". He's the calm one in the pack.
Bear accepted this, but ...

... Feather remained focused on her goal.


Miz S said...

I had no idea that armadillos could move so fast. Also, wait, who is Feather? Have I not been paying attention?

Floridacracker said...

Miz S,
Feather is Flounder's sister (really).
She is wonderful with the softest muzzle and a big heart.
You really may need to start taking notes ...

Anonymous said...

That was toooo funny! I can safely say that Bear was probably thinking "oh s***," what the **** is this strange creature? Feather surely showed her lab trait of persistence. Stick to the objective no matter what. I love it!
Bro J

Anonymous said...

I've never seen one move like that either, all the ones that I saw at my Aunt & Uncles spread down in Texas were always hopping to get away. But, with 3 labs on your scent you learn to move fast,real quick!
Bro J

Julie Zickefoose said...

Poor dillo! That was hilarious when Bear abruptly changed course, perhaps thinking he'd found a snake driving a little car...Daddy!! Yipes!

kathy a. said...

fetch the dillo must be at least as much fun as chicken chasing!

Anonymous said...

I used to chase armadillos on campus at University of North Florida. I was a runner back then, and I actually caught one...and immediately released it.


SophieMae said...

Yes, I laughed right out loud. Dogs and dillers are so entertaining. Mix the two together and floor-rolling is inevitable.

When they cross JEEP's path, do you honk? It always amazes me how they never miss a beat, just incorporate the levitation into their steady pace.

threecollie said...

Hilarious! Kinda like an armored rabbit....

Laura said...

Soooo many things for the lil' guy to learn when it comes to living out in the country!

pablo said...

Are you sure you weren't moving more slowly because of your advanced age? (You are old than I, remember.)

The only time I saw more than one dillo in the same place, the second one was much smaller than the other. I'm thinking it was a juvenile, just as you believe yours were.

MyamuhNative said...

I was rooting (hehe) for the Dillos until I read Zick's comment about a snake driving a little car!
OMG! I'll never look at a Dillo the same way again.

Deb said...

We just don't see armadillos around here, so thanks for the enlightenment and entertainment! And, in reference to your last post, I had never thought that alligators could be a barrier to the natural inclinations of the Lab. Shows just how sheltered a life we Minnesotans live, from June-August anyway. :)

Susan said...

After watching the video a few times, I'm feeling sorry for the dillo family that was abruptly scattered. I hope they were reunited before dark.

Thunder Dave said...

All I can do is echo the words of "Frank Barone" (played by Peter Boyle may he RIP): "Holy Crappin' Crap!" That thing had a rocket strapped to it's back! I nearly wet my pants when Bear caught up to it and then turned tail!

Freste said...

Zippity do dah, look at that critter fly! Always imagined them things just kind of lazing and flopping around like a fat possum. Go figure.

Nice to know you have such a reliable morning armadillarm. Too bad it busts right into that nice early morning sleep. But hey, only something like six more weeks till school starts so you'll be used to it by then, no?

Anonymous said...

Lordy, lordy. Does my formerly Labrador-owned soul good to see doofy dogs chasing critters that way. Thank you for the picture of Feather dedicated to waiting for the 'dillos. Too cute.

lej619 said...

LOL and rolling on the floor! I'm surprized that you held on to the camera!!
i like the pic of feather good watch dog.

Just the Right Size said...

Too funny! They can run pretty fast! We always see a few when hubby and I go walking in the morning (still dark out).

It's interesting to be near them when they cross the road as you can hear their little claws clickity-clicking on the pavement. Another thing they'll do is when they see us, they'll sit up on their haunches (like a rabbit) and check us out before they beat feet (or claws).

rick said...

you will probley get a call from
PETA ( People Eating Tasty Animals) about that video

Floridacracker said...

Armadillos are exotics here who have changed the native soil fauna of Florida with their constant, efficient foraging. Cute or not, Florida would be a better place without them, so they are fair game for dog antics ... in my book.
Glad most of you got a chuckle from Bear's predatory instincts.
There's a wolf in there somewhere.