Saturday, June 02, 2012

GIGO ... Gopher In, Gopher Out.

Not shown ...several seconds of wrestling Bear for possession of this young gopher.
He did not want to let go of his prize. Thank goodness for the Lab's soft carry instinct.

We were on our afternoon walk last week, and not even out of the backyard, when Bear made a short dash and lunge at something.
Since I was attached by a 20 foot training lead, I too made a short dash and lunge.

It all happened quite fast, the dog weighs 92 pounds and it is all muscle and heart.
In contrast, I weigh about 175 lbs, with a lower percentage of muscle to mass than my dog, so overpowering him is never a simple thing.
Especially when his reptilian predator brain kicks in.
He never gets mean, but he does switch over to a single minded, hard headed, adrenaline fueled, laser-like focus on his goal.

We dropped to the ground, I pinned him, and pried loose the slobbery prize.

No harm was done, I'm not even sure how much harm was intended, but I am certain that Bear wanted to possess the gopher.
This one is young, about twice the size of a tiny one I posted about last year, and in the same exact vicinity, so it may be that gopherling.

A look at the plastron.

I put Bear in the house for a bit, and took the gopher back to the scene, looking for a burrow.

Sure enough, I found a matching gopher burrow cleverly tucked into a nook at the end of an old deck platform that I once used as a place to BBQ.

There's no doubt that this is the right burrow.
It's a perfect size match and about ten feet from the dog'rasslin site.

A pat on the butt sent him sliding into the burrow and I headed back to the house to retrieve the retriever, and continue our walk.

         In (Labrador mouth)
           Out (Labrador mouth)


Miz S said...

I love the mental image of you pinning Bear and prying that turtle from his mouth. If only someone had been filming that.

Marilyn Kircus said...

A box turtle on our property made several visits to our house complements of our black standard poodle.

She would come in with something in her mouth. I'd say "Out" and the box turtle would go bouncing across the floor.

It's really wonderful that you manage your property for gopher turtles.

Jeanne said...

We love having Gopher turtles wandering around us. The one who lives on our property is named Rambo.

Carol said...

Great story..would love to have seen it on video. Too wet in the Hammock..but did have a huge one on the road dirt road leading into our place.

Florida Beach Basics said...

little gophers are so lovely - glad Bear was easy on him.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Wonderful mental images to go along with this exquisite little jewelbox of a turkle. My favorite part is how you found his flat under the deck. Thinking like a gopher, you were.

Kimberlee said...

Great rescue, FC! I love your gopher stories. I still think about that photo you posted (a long time ago) of your son, around five years old, holding a tiny gopher in his hand. They were BOTH adorable!

threecollie said...

Ha, poor Bear deprived of his prize. And besides the weight to speed ratio he has four on the floor too. lol

Floridacracker said...

Hey Gopher Fans,
I'm so glad people care about these wonderful tortoises.
I'm also glad to see more and more burrows along roadsides around here.

4 more school days til summer!